The Seattle Post-Intelligencer has been published for 146 years. But it seems likely it will cease publication in 60 days. Hearst owns the paper and announced to the newsroom late Friday evening that it is putting the paper up for sale. If a buyer is not found in 60 days the PI will either become a web only publication or cease publication entirely.
It’s an extremely poor climate to sell any newspaper. And as the PI’s article on its own apparent demise notes, the paper has lost money every year since 2000 and lost $14 million in 2008.
Late Update: As I noted last month, the Rocky Mountain News is in a similar, though perhaps not quite as dire situation. In early December, the paper’s owner Scripps, announced that it was putting the paper up for sale might sell it if it didn’t find a buyer in 4 to 6 weeks — in other words, by about now. Not surprisingly, this carnage is starting to hit first in mid-sized two paper towns (like Denver and Seattle) in which both papers have been for some time operating under Joint Operating Agreements, in which many non-editorial functions are consolidated. Here’s a blog (iwantmyrocky.com) run, I think, by employees of the Rocky trying to save the paper.
Even Later Update: Here’s a post from The Slog, the blog of Seattle’s alt weekly, The Stranger, on how it went down Friday night.
Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.