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March 16, 2009

Overnight Open Thread: “Seattle P-I: Going, Going…” (genghis)

Sale Sale Sale! Going out of business sale! Everything must go! Only two days left! Prices have been slashed! Editorials and Opinion going for half price! All articles must be liquidated! No reasonable offer will be refused! Sale Sale Sale!

But for you? I’m prepared to make you a special offer. If you provide a comment in tonight’s open thread you will receive a special gift from us at no extra charge! These bargains won’t last forever, so hurry on down to the store before it’s too late!

(Note: Content below is a mixture of the Seattle Times article linked above and this article from t.v. station KOMO, Seattle)

”SEATTLE (AP) - The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, which has chronicled the news of the city since logs slid down its steep streets to the harbor and miners caroused in its bars before heading north to Alaska's gold fields, will print its final edition Tuesday.”

“Tonight will be the final run, so let's do it right," publisher Roger Oglesby told the newsroom.”

There’s a first time for everything. They plan to run a 20-page special commemorative section on Tuesday to pat themselves on the back. We’ll give them a proper musical send-off tomorrow night. Then we move on to our next juicy target. Meanwhile, plenty more below the fold, including some parting thoughts from everyone’s favorite Decider and a song and dance number.

More assorted quotes from the articles. First, it’s “Morning in P-I-ville.” Can you tell us about your future plans?

”The Hearst Corp. also said it will keep the P-I alive online "as a new type of digital business with a robust, community news and information Web site at its core."
“P-I Publisher Roger Oglesby said in an interview that the online venture would have a professional news staff of about 20 or 25. The vast majority of the P-I's 167 employees, almost all in news, will lose their jobs.”
“Hearst Newspapers President Steven Swartz said in a prepared statement that the site also would have "new columns from prominent Seattle residents; more than 150 reader blogs, community data bases and photo galleries." It also will link to other local Web sites and blogs, he added.”

A new type of digital business you say? With columns? And Links to web sites and blogs? I daresay old chap, that is some bold, out-of-the box thinking. Quite brilliant and innovative. But wait; we haven’t yet heard from Managing Editor Decider David McCumber.
”Managing Editor David McCumber said the past 60 days have been like "purgatory" for the newspaper's staff, even with growing excitement about seeing the P-I brand live on in the online world. "It's a sad day, obviously, but it's good to have the word finally and have this process come to an end," he said. A 20-page special commemorative section, detailing the P-I's 146 year history, is planned for Tuesday's paper. P-I leadership is also planning a press run that will put three times as many P-Is on the street as normal, McCumber said. "I think we'll outsell you tomorrow," he told a Seattle Times reporter.”
“The P-I had 181 employees, but Managing Editor David McCumber said the Web site would employ about 20 in the newsroom operation and another 20 to sell ads. He said he would not be working on the new site.”


Not fair! An entire niche industry has grown up around Mr. McCumber. Think about how many bloggers and commenters will be displaced if they can’t post his photo and “Decider” column on a regular basis?

The Seattle Times helpfully provides analysis about why the P-I failed:

”Newspapers across the nation are reeling as advertising revenue plummets, buffeted by twin typhoons: the recession, and reader and advertiser migration to the Internet.”

Yes, yes. But something seems to be missing from the equation…can’t quite put my finger on it. But I guess we should close out with a testimonial from one of the P-I’s reporters regarding the paper’s primary mission.
”It's a really sad day for Seattle," said P-I reporter Angela Galloway. "The P-I has its strengths and weaknesses but it always strove for a noble cause, which was to give voice to those without power and scrutiny of those with power."

It’s good to see that they had their priorities straight. Can’t let all that factual reporting get in the way of a noble cause. Many in Seattle are reacting with sadness over this news. Not all, though, as evidenced in the following video:

That’s just flat out offensive and inappropriate. Who knew that Snoopy was such a hater?

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

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posted by xgenghisx at 10:59 PM

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