Seattle daily eyes online for survival

10 March 2009

SEATTLE: US newspaper and magazine publisher Hearst has announced that its Seattle Post-Intelligencer (PI) title may become online-only. It would be the first major metropolitan newspaper to move exclusively to the internet.

The company lost $14 million (£10.14m; €11.09m on the PI last year, and is considering the title's fate over the next 60 days. Other options at its disposal include selling the publication, which has a circulation of 118,000, or closing it completely.

The news comes as part of a major review of Hearst's publishing activities, which span 16 newspapers and a collection of magazines. High on the critical list is the San Francisco Chronicle which needs a huge reduction in costs to ensure survival.

Hearst has yet to comment on the future of PI but, in a recent note to staff, president of newspapers Steven Swartz said: "During good times our industry developed business practices that were at best inefficient."

With newspapers making an estimated 90% of revenues from print advertising, heavy job cuts are likely if PI migrates to the web.

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal; additional content by WARC staff