Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Seattle Newspaper at a Major Turning Point

One thing is clear: at the end of the sale process, we do not see ourselves publishing in print.

- Steven Swartz, president of the Hearst Corp.‘s newspaper division

In David Kaplan, "Hearst Says Seattle P-I Will Either Be Sold, Close Or Go Web-Only," PaidContent.Org, January 9, 2009

Reflecting the increasingly dismal situation of the U.S. newspaper industry, Hearst Corporation has decided that it can no longer support the Seattle Post Intelligencer, the weaker of two dailies in the city. Steven Swartz said the paper’s losses have been escalating steadily for the past nine years. The paper was founded in 1863. "Publicly, Hearst sees three possibilities for the Seattle P-I, which is one of only two of the city’s daily papers: it will either be sold, turned into a web-only publication or shuttered." Hearst is giving itself thirty days to find a buyer, and then will turn to the other options.

Hearst owns 15 other papers around the US, including the San Francisco Chronicle. It and other newspaper firms are facing the twin problems of lower print circulations, difficulty of making the lost print money from online growth, and the current recession.

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