Here we go. The Hearst-owned Seattle Post-Intelligencer is taking its first steps toward an online-only model as the prospects of selling the major metro daily grow dim.
In preparation, the Post has made offers to 22 of its 170 newsroom staffers to remain with the news operation should it indeed go online. That amounts to about 13 percent of its print news staff, which one analyst says might be a number worth remembering.
Also worth noting: the cuts that Hearst is asking its would-be online-only reporters to take should they come aboard the new operation. General assignment report Hector Castro talks about the offer made to him by Hearst exec Ken Riddick:
He said the offer increased his health insurance cost, cut his salary by an unspecified amount, offered to match his 401(k) contributions, required him to forgo his P-I severance pay, reduced his vacation accrual to zero and required him to give up overtime.
According to Castro, Riddick said Hearst plans to start the site the day after the paper quits publishing, which Hearst has said will occur on a date not yet specified if no buyer has emerged by March 10.
“I got the definite impression Hearst does plan to go forward with the site, assuming the paper stops publishing,” Castro said.
He said he turned down the offer because he finds working online “too tech-oriented.”
More details here on who might join the online operation — and who won’t — and possible reasons why.