ROUNDUP: Seattle Post-Intelligencer stops the presses
San Francisco - The Seattle Post-Intelligencer newspaper will print its last edition on Tuesday, ending a 146-year run and continuing operations as a web-only publication, the paper said Monday.
The newspaper is currently distributed to more than 117,600 subscribers every morning, making it the nation's largest daily newspaper to shift to an entirely digital news product.
The paper lost 14 million dollars last year and owner Hearst Corporation put the paper up for sale in January, saying that it would stop printing if a buyer couldn't be found.
The move comes amid a bleak period for newspapers trying to deal with a flight of readers to the internet and the recession that has put a crimp on advertising revenues. Most major newspaper companies are reducing staff, eliminating bureaus and freezing pay to deal with the situation.
The Seattle P-I is the second major newspaper to shut down in 2009. The Rocky Mountain News in Denver was shuttered in February, while the Hearst Corporation is also considering closing the San Francisco Chronicle if a buyer can't be found.
"Tonight we'll be putting the paper to bed for the last time," editor and publisher Roger Oglesby told a silent newsroom Monday morning. "But the bloodline will live on."
"The thing that should not be missed here is that the P-I is not going away. The P-I is going online," he said.
The online enterprise will have a news staff of about 20. But the vast majority of the P-I's 167 employees, including almost all in news, are expected to lose their jobs.
"I'm sad the print product will go away. It's the end of an era and I'm not sure it's a good thing," said copy editor Glenn Ericksen, a P-I staffer for nearly 25 years.
The closure means that the Seattle Times will remain as the city's only daily newspaper with about 200,000 subscribers. (dpa)