Seattle Post-Intelligencer Moves Online

    March 16, 2009

The Seattle Post- Intelligencer (P-I) will become the nation’s largest daily newspaper to move entirely online, its publisher Hearst Corporation announced today.

The announcement was made by Frank A. Bennack, Jr., vice chairman and chief executive officer, Hearst Corporation, and Steven R. Swartz, president of Hearst Newspapers. The final print edition of the newspaper will appear tomorrow.

Steven R. Swartz
Steven R. Swartz

"The P-I has a rich 146-year history of service to the people of the Northwest, which makes the decision to stop publishing the newspaper an extraordinarily difficult one," Bennack said.

"We extend our profound gratitude and admiration to our P-I colleagues who have done such an exemplary job under extremely difficult circumstances over the past several years. Our goal now is to turn into the leading news and information portal in the region."

On January 9, Hearst announced that it was offering the sale of the P-I and its interest in the Joint Operating Agreement (JOA) under which the P-I and The Seattle Times are published. No buyers came forward resulting in the decision to shift to an online -only news model. The P-I was founded in 1863 as the Seattle Gazette. will be led editorially by Michelle Nicolosi, executive producer, who has headed the site since 2005. Nicolosi was previously an investigative reporter at the Seattle P-I.

"On the business side, we are assembling a staff to form a local digital agency that will sell local businesses advertising on as well as the digital advertising products of our partners: Yahoo! for display advertising, Kaango for general marketplaces and Google, Yahoo!, MSN and for search engine marketing," Swartz said.

"The site will also feature a digital yellow pages directory powered by Hearst’s yellow pages unit, White Directory Publishers."

The majority of the P-I’s staff is expected to lose their jobs. The online version of the P-I will have a much smaller staff.

In January, Nielsen ranked among the top 30 newspaper Web sites with 1.8 million unique users. The site has an average of 4 million unique monthly visitors, according to internal Hearst tracking.