« Why Don't You Mind Your Goddam Business? | Main | NY Times Never Ran A Story on Freeman's Appointment...Until Now »
March 10, 2009

Overnight Open Thread: Seattle P-I Stay of Execution? (genghis)

Update: "Episode IV: A False Hope." A P-I reporter posted the following at their "media partner" KOMO news website earlier this evening: Seattle P-I Closure Appears Near. Appears? You don't say. But there are at least a few new details:

"SEATTLE -- Despite The Hearst Corp.'s statement Tuesday morning that it hasn't decided whether to sell or shut down the Seattle P-I, clues emerged later in the day suggesting that Hearst plans to close the 146-year-old paper shortly and will continue operating a Web site."

"Staffers learned Tuesday afternoon that boxes and bins are scheduled to be delivered to the newsroom later this week -- some for materials to be taken home, others for notes that require shredding."

"Employees were told to file promptly to be reimbursed for their expenses. And they were told they can retain their cell phone numbers if they wish."

There's some disgruntlement amongst the ranks:

""It would be nice to have some clarity," business reporter Joseph Tartakoff said. "It's really hard to plan your work when you're not sure if you'll be around the next day."

I can't think of a single crack to make about that statement.I'll bet you can though. But does it get better you ask? Of course it does!

"Separately, the largest union at the Hearst-owned San Francisco Chronicle reached a tentative agreement late Monday on contract concessions as part of Hearst's efforts to dramatically cut costs to prevent a sale or closure, though the deal still may not keep the 144-year-old daily from shuttering or being sold."

So it looks like we'll be moving on to our next target soon. As the ancient saying goes: "When one door closes another one opens." Or some nonsensical bullshit similar to that. Original post is moved below the fold since this is becoming about a mile too long.

Looks like the Seattle P-I got a temporary reprieve from its mother ship, the Hearst Corp., today. Wednesday was supposed to be the paper’s appointment with the gallows.

”Staff at the newspaper have been told that Wednesday's paper won't be the last one. But the P-I's parent company, Hearst Corp., isn't giving further details. Spokesman Paul Luthringer says only, "We are still examining our options."”
“Hearst announced Jan. 9 that it was putting Seattle's second-largest daily up for sale, and that if no buyer could be found within 60 days, the paper would be shut down or possibly continued as a Web-only operation.”

So that’s not really helpful, but it means we get to watch them slowly twist in the wind for a bit longer.

I found a couple of articles that might provide some background on the newspaper bidness. It’s true that part of the problem is they’ve alienated half the population, but there are other issues in play as well (bad business models, increasing competition from other sources, falling ad rates etc.)

Here’s a little summary about the increasing pressure for papers to move to an online format or die.

And here’s a 1988 editorial from, of all places, the New York Times titled A Crutch for Failing Newspapers. They actually applaud Pres. Reagan’s A.G., Ed Meese’s decision to allow a Joint Operating Agreement between Detroit’s two main papers at the time so they could both survive. So in a way, these failing papers have been getting a sort-of bailout package for many years under these JOAs when they probably should have been cut loose to fail on their own. Just seems like it delayed the inevitable.

”Critics charge that The Free Press and The News did by failing what neither could do by intelligent competition: Sew up the fifth-largest newspaper market in the country, a prize worth as much as $300 million a year.”

While JOA’s have been around since the 1930’s, the practice was somewhat formalized with the Newspaper Preservation Act of 1970. The Wikipedia article gives a little more background on the act along with a list of cities where papers are currently operating under JOAs along with a list of those that terminated or failed.

While we’re waiting for the P-I to die, here’s a couple of videos below the fold to keep you entertained (they’re old, but probably not everyone has seen them)

First: “One of these things is not like the others:” Since I know you’re all devoted fans of Miley Cyrus, here’s a short vid of her at a book signing in NYC. See if you can spot the creepy discrepancy. (Short Subway add up front but mercifully it’s Jared-free).

Second: Beer Bottle Dominos. It really needs no explanation beyond that. I’m not really convinced they did that in one take, but I admire all the effort they had to have put in to empty all those beer bottles. It’s good to see that some in America are still willing to roll up their sleeves in support of their chosen craft. It’s quite inspirational.

I found both of those vids at my favorite radio producer Phil the News Junkie’s blog. He’s got plenty more funny over there, so be sure to stop by and say hello.

Announcement: Regarding last night’s overnight open thread: “Silly,” I left you a mea culpa there so please read if you get a chance. I didn’t want to post it here since it’d be meaningless without context. And it’s really a kinda’ mea culpa to everyone else as well, not just “silly.” It’s at comment #81.

Also wanted to say I appreciate all the tips and do read every one of them. I’d like to post most if not all of them but I’m sort of limited to one or two a night due to the worldwide pixel crunch. But remember…it’s an open thread so no one needs to feel limited to whatever piece of shit I put in the post. That’s just something to grease the skids a little. So if your tip doesn’t get posted, go ahead and link it in the comments. There’s never a set topic. Also, sorry I can’t reply to everyone…It’s simply due to time constraints. Thanks.

Notice: Posted by permission of AceCorp LLC. Please e-mail overnight open thread tips to xgenghisx@gmail.com. Otherwise send tips to Ace.

digg this
posted by xgenghisx at 11:17 PM

| Access Comments

Recent Comments
squirrelly dan: "584 Btw, walking liberty was teh hawt. Posted by: ..."

irongrampa: "        Free will.&n ..."

TheQuietMan: "Nowadays though if you're not Chad, you're gonna e ..."

Emperor Country Boy: "I enjoy reading your theological posts. Thanks ..."

GGE of the Moron Horde, NC Chapter: "And I take it back. Not all quarters are lame. Sta ..."

WaterCow: "Yayyy for Speaker Pelosi to call out the CLIMATE D ..."

not so: "Charlie Brown Christmas on ABC. The Wokeste ..."

MAGA: "601 GOP senators CAN be trusted... not to commit p ..."

JAS: "If you are looking for some really good satire, on ..."

mnw: "The guy in IA who got in Biden's face also told Bi ..."

Moron Robbie abridged: "I think its some kind of gold ally microplating, l ..."

squirrelly dan: "Funny story about yoga pants. I was working out in ..."

Recent Entries

Polls! Polls! Polls!
Frequently Asked Questions
The (Almost) Complete Paul Anka Integrity Kick
Top Top Tens
Greatest Hitjobs

The Ace of Spades HQ Sex-for-Money Skankathon
A D&D Guide to the Democratic Candidates
Margaret Cho: Just Not Funny
More Margaret Cho Abuse
Margaret Cho: Still Not Funny
Iraqi Prisoner Claims He Was Raped... By Woman
Wonkette Announces "Morning Zoo" Format
John Kerry's "Plan" Causes Surrender of Moqtada al-Sadr's Militia
World Muslim Leaders Apologize for Nick Berg's Beheading
Michael Moore Goes on Lunchtime Manhattan Death-Spree
Milestone: Oliver Willis Posts 400th "Fake News Article" Referencing Britney Spears
Liberal Economists Rue a "New Decade of Greed"
Artificial Insouciance: Maureen Dowd's Word Processor Revolts Against Her Numbing Imbecility
Intelligence Officials Eye Blogs for Tips
They Done Found Us Out, Cletus: Intrepid Internet Detective Figures Out Our Master Plan
Shock: Josh Marshall Almost Mentions Sarin Discovery in Iraq
Leather-Clad Biker Freaks Terrorize Australian Town
When Clinton Was President, Torture Was Cool
What Wonkette Means When She Explains What Tina Brown Means
Wonkette's Stand-Up Act
Wankette HQ Gay-Rumors Du Jour
Here's What's Bugging Me: Goose and Slider
My Own Micah Wright Style Confession of Dishonesty
Outraged "Conservatives" React to the FMA
An On-Line Impression of Dennis Miller Having Sex with a Kodiak Bear
The Story the Rightwing Media Refuses to Report!
Our Lunch with David "Glengarry Glen Ross" Mamet
The House of Love: Paul Krugman
A Michael Moore Mystery (TM)
The Dowd-O-Matic!
Liberal Consistency and Other Myths
Kepler's Laws of Liberal Media Bias
John Kerry-- The Splunge! Candidate
"Divisive" Politics & "Attacks on Patriotism" (very long)
The Donkey ("The Raven" parody)
Powered by
Movable Type 2.64