updated 03:00 pm EDT, Mon March 16, 2009
Seattile PI All Digital
Hearst on Monday said the Seattle Post-Intelligencer would become the largest newspaper ever to move to an online-only format. The move leaves the Tuesday issue as the last paper copy and ends the 146-year history of the physical edition. Its owners describe the shift as the result of "extremely difficult circumstances" for the company's finances and after unsuccessfully trying to sell the Post-Intelligencer to another company since January 9th.
To make up for the absence of the newspaper, Hearst said it would ramp up online advertising by creating a dedicated team that would pick up local advertising. It also draws on Ask.com, Google, Kaango, MSN and Yahoo for its larger online ad plans.
The Post-Intelligencer's reorganization is the latest in a relatively rapid series of collapses for the newspaper industry, which in the tough US economic climate along with the push towards online content has already pushed multiple smaller papers to close entirely or make similar decisions. Larger, established papers like the LA Times, Miami Herald and New York Times are also suffering financially and in some cases have sometimes had to cut back resources and lay off staff.
Most observers attribute their declines not just to their regular websites but to alternative news sources and, to a lesser degree, the reduced need for the newspaper while traveling courtesy of full-web mobile devices like Apple's iPhone or Amazon Kindle.