Seattle Post-Intelligencer Up for Sale, Might Go Online-only

In case you missed it, Hearst Corp.’s Seattle Post-Intelligencer has bee put up for sale. And Hearst says that if it can’t find a buyer in 60 days, the paper will shut down.

From the Associated Press:

Hearst Corp. put Seattle’s oldest newspaper, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, up for sale Friday, saying that if it can’t find a buyer in the next 60 days, the paper will close or continue to exist only on the Internet.

“These options include a move to a digital only operation with a greatly reduced staff, or a complete shutdown of all operations,” Hearst, the P-I’s parent company, said in a statement. “In no case will Hearst continue to publish the P-I in printed form following the conclusion of this process.”

The P-I’s coverage is here. It notes that after 146 years in business, its days are now numbered to 60. The future, if there is one, lies online:

“We’ve been on the knife edge all this time,” P-I managing editor David McCumber said Friday. “We finally slipped.”

Economic reasons have forced the state’s oldest morning newspaper into a sale, Steven Swartz, president of The Hearst Corp.’s newspaper division, told employees Friday.

“One thing is clear: At the end of the sale process, we do not see ourselves publishing in print,” Swartz told employees gathered in the newsroom overlooking Elliott Bay. “Since 2000, the P-I has lost money each year, and the losses have escalated and continue to escalate in 2009. We have had to make a very tough decision.”

Hearst said the P-I lost about $14 million in 2008.

The newspaper reports that if it indeed goes online-only, it would employ “far fewer” than its current staff of 170.

Hearst is also selling its interest in the joint operating agreement it’s had between the P-I to The Seattle Times since 1983.


Video of the announcement, from the P-I


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