The clock started ticking on the P-I in January when the Hearst Corp., which has owned the newspaper since 1921, announced that it was putting the P-I up for sale. If nobody bought the paper within 60 days, it would be shut down.This storys been tagged:
Well not surprisingly, no one stepped up to purchase the newspaper, which according to Hearst lost $14 million last year. But rather than just walking away, Hearst has decided to drop the print edition but remain as an online newspaper with a much smaller staff.
And as sad as it may be to see an institution like the P-I struggle, what's kept the newspaper going for the last 25 years has been the joint operating agreement. Without the JOA, the P-I would have folded decades ago. The 1983 agreement between the P-I and the Seattle Times enabled the P-I to remain as a newsroom only, with the Times providing all of the advertising, marketing, sales, production and circulation.
According to a report in the Seattle Times, Oglesby said the JOA is being terminated. It remains unclear which reporters, editors and columnists will stay working for P-I's online edition, or the status of union contracts. According to the Times article, the majority of the 167 P-I employees will lose their jobs with the online P-I consisting of only 20 to 25 employees.
When you look at the P-I's history, transformation has been a part of the P-I since it began 146 years ago. The first edition of the newspaper came out in 1863 under the Seattle Gazette masthead. In 1867, Sam Maxwell purchased the Gazette for $300 from J.R. Watson and renamed it the Weekly Intelligencer. Then in 1881, the Intelligencer merged with the Seattle Post to form the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
And so it goes.
Video of the announcement by Oglesby can be found here.