The city of Seattle’s oldest newspaper, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, is for sale. The owner of the paper Hearst Corp announced to employees that if the paper is not sold in 60 days, there’s a chance that it will cease to exist altogether. The president of their newspaper division Steven Swartz said, “One thing is clear: at the end of the sale process, we do not see ourselves publishing in print.”
Hearst is citing economic issues being the reason for the sale. The paper has lost money every year since 2000 and is expected to continue to loose money. They are looking to sale, otherwise their options are left to discontinue services altogether or go to a completely web-only operation.
Newspapers all around the country have been struggling over the past few years with hundreds and likely thousands of layoffs. Overall readership is declining due to Internet and television competition in the news department. Classifieds, usually a big hit for newspapers are also losing out to websites such as Craigslist and Ebay. Not only that, advertisement revenue is going up and newspapers are being forced to sell ad after ad to try and make money, but that’s making for less news. Then again, if several other businesses are going under, why would newspapers be immune.
Not for nothin’, but I’m pretty sure this will be the first of many announcements like this from newspapers all across the country. The days of grabbing the morning paper from the front porch and reading it over a cup of coffee are over.