The Seattle Post-Intelligencer (aka Seattle PI) is printing their last issue tomorrow and going online exclusively. The newspaper company will go from a staff of about 20 people rather than the 165 that they had. It will become like a Huffington Post style paper where they link to other news stories and provide some commentary.
The Seattle PI has hired some government officials to write columns and blogs. There will also be a large number of unpaid content on the site. It won’t compete as much against The Seattle Times, another local newspaper anymore. Hearst, the parent company of Seattle PI hopes that they will be able to capitalize from the traffic that the website already has. The PI already beats The Seattle Times in online traffic.
According to Hearst, the Seattle PI lost $14 million last year. ?We clearly believe we are in a period of innovation and experimentation, and that?s what this new SeattlePI.com represents,? stated Steven R. Swartz, Hearst?s President of the newspaper division. ?We think we?ll learn a lot, and we think the Seattle market, being so digitally focused, is a great place to try this.”
Some of the new columnists include former Seattle mayor Norm Rice and his wife Constance, congressman Jim McDermott, and Maria Goodloe-Johnson.