Alexa

Seattle paper's fate to be known next week

Seattle paper's fate to be known next week

The packing boxes arrived Wednesday at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, but its parent company still isn't saying when its last edition will roll off the presses, or whether the newspaper will live on as an Internet-only venture.
"We expect to announce a decision regarding the P-I at some point next week," Hearst Corp. spokesman Paul Luthringer said in a one-line e-mail.
Hearst announced Jan. 9 that because of mounting losses, it was putting the 146-year-old daily up for sale. If no buyer could be found within 60 days _ a deadline that passed Tuesday _ Hearst said it would stop printing the paper immediately, possibly go forward with an online-only operation or close the P-I entirely.
The signs of demise were all around Wednesday, from the farewell cake sent over by KOMO-TV to the commemorative P-I hats available for $15. Reporters, photographers, editors and other employees have spent the week cleaning their desks, interviewing for other jobs, posing for souvenir pictures on the building's roof, and attending workshops on resume-writing and transitional health-care benefits. Learning that they'd need to keep writing stories for several more days exhausted them.
"To keep people in this constant state of suspense is ridiculous," said Liz Brown, administrative officer of the Pacific Northwest Newspaper Guild. "They're on the ragged edge and they can't get an answer about when their last day of work is going to be."
Rumors swirled about the reasons for the delay. Was Hearst still wrestling with whether an online-only operation is viable, even after making provisional job offers to some P-I staffers last week? Employees have yet to be given severance agreements or had their accrued vacation or sick time cashed out _ perhaps it had to do with such human-resource issues? Or were Hearst and the rival Seattle Times waiting for Justice Department approval to end the federally sanctioned joint-operating agreement that has governed their business relationship since 1983?
"We have no idea," said reporter Vanessa Ho. "Everyone's really tired and stressed."
She added, "They've got the shredding bins and packing boxes in the newsroom, which feels like you're seeing the shovels to dig your grave."
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On the Web:
http://www.seattlepi.com


Updated : 2021-03-09 13:43 GMT+08:00