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Posts tagged as “Post-Intelligencer”

The Peoria plan

Nick Licata

Nick Licata

In this time of weakening newspapers, as lots of people start looking for alternative models, the situation has gotten so serious that public officials are holding public meetings on the subject of "who will report the news?"

Specifically, in Seattle, where one daily newspaper - the Post-Intelligencer - is near certain to end printing and may or may not remain in some online form, and the other - the Times - is also in perilous financial shape. It's where tomorrow Seattle City Councilmember Nick Licata will convene a council Culture, Civil Rights, Health, and Personnel Committee meeting, and devote most of it to "a panel discussion about the importance of maintaining diverse media outlets, the future of daily newspapers, and the potential roles and responsibilities that a community can take to keep public discourse healthy and thriving." (It is supposed to be streamed.)

That's noteworthy right there, since it means the search for news alternatives in the Northwest now has its first substantial public elected official taking point.

The meeting already seems to have had one effect at least: Discussion of what's being called the Peoria Plan. A piece today in the site Crosscut describes it: In Peoria, Illinois, where the daily paper also is in serious trouble, there's talk about creating and using a new type of business structure to encourage news operations.

This blog generally has become increasingly wary of new business structures, but if limited and defined properly this one, called the LC3, has com promise. It's described as a hybrid, with some allowance for limited profits, but also some status as a charity, making possible tax-deductible contributions, which could allow some newspapers to become something akin to non-profits (a term which is in itself a term of art).

The Crosscut piece is worth reading. And the meeting tomorrow should be worth watching.

58 days

A blog we'll be checking regularly: The Seattle Post-Intelligencer's, recording what's happening there as the 60-day deadline - by which, either sale, closure or conversion to all-digital - approaches.

It seems to be focused on the paper's BigBlog, which has been around for a while. But what look like regular posts should make for some gripping reading.

Goodbye, P-I?

pi

Post-Intelligencer flag

UPDATE The bad rumors have turned real. This just in: "The Seattle P-I is being put up for sale, and if after 60 days it has not sold, it will either be turned into a Web-only publication or discontinued entirely. 'One thing is clear: at the end of the sale process, we do not see ourselves publishing in print,' said Steven Swartz, president of the Hearst Corp.'s newspaper division. Swartz addressed the P-I's newsroom at about noon Friday, flanked by P-I editor and publisher Roger Oglesby and Lincoln Millstein, Hearst's senior vice president for digital media."

UPDATE 2 The corporate letter on the situation.

Last night, when KING-TV reported that the Seattle Post-Intelligencer was about to be put up for sale - as necessary legal prologue to closing it in a month or so - our reaction was caution. The story apparently had a single unnamed source, and everyone quoted by name, at the P-I and the Times, said they knew nothing of a planned sale.

That doesn't mean the report wasn't credible - metro papers all over the country are in this kind of position, and if a sale/closure isn't being mapped out now, it's probably not far off.

Midday today, the story is looking more likely because of the response, when finally elicited, from the publisher (Roger Oglesby) of the P-I: "There's nothing I can tell you now. I will call you later today."

Uh oh.

The Northwest hasn't lost many daily papers in the last few years: after, of course, a long stretch when the numerous multi-paper cities slid to one apiece. (The last lost was the east-King County paper based at Bellevue, a couple of years back.) The loss of the P-I means the last city in the Northwest with two general-interest daily newspapers will have just one. (more…)