Seattle Paper Plans For Online Only Edition

    March 6, 2009

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer has informed some of its staff that they have been selected to work for an online only version of the newspaper, if publisher Hearst moves forward with plans to shutdown the print edition.

Seattle PI Logo

Two reporters said they received "provisional offers" from P-I New Media boss Michelle Nicolosi or Hearst executive Ken Riddick, according to the P-I Web site.

The reporters declined to give details because they had been asked during their interviews not to comment.

General assignment reporter, Hector Castro, said Riddick did not tell him not to speak. Castro said he turned down the offer as it increased the cost of his health insurance, cut his pay, forced him to give up his severance pay, reduce his vacation accrual to zero and made him give up overtime.

Hector Castro
Hector Castro

According to Castro, Riddick said Hearst plans to launch the site the day after the paper stops publishing. Hearst has not named a specific date but the deadline for a buyer is March 10.

"I got the definite impression Hearst does plan to go forward with the site, assuming the paper stops publishing," Castro said.

Hearst announced the P-I was for sale on January 9 and said it might launch an online only version of the paper if no buyer came forward in 60 days.

A number of publishers have taken steps to cut costs or put their newspapers up for sale. Last week EW Scripps closed the Rocky Mountain News after it failed to attract a qualified buyer.