Back in March, the Hearst Organisation made a decision to cease publication of the daily the Seattle Post-Intelligencer in favour of moving the newsgathering output online.
A decision hoisted on the company after the title lost $14m in 2008. The decision was taken to stop the presses and push the news into the pixels. So, on March 17th, the last paper rolled through the presses. Swiftly on the back of that transition, the corporation wielded the knife and slashed staff number from 165 to 20.
Figures from Compete suggest that the publication may have risen for the ashes as the rise in web traffic in subsequent months has been somewhat meteoric, hitting a high of 718k visitors a week in April. But that may well have been only a sentimental trip for some visitors, as their visitor numbers slid back about 60k in May. It would suggest that there is certainly a market there for the brand going online (in the absence of it not being found in print naturally!). Hearst owns a raft of print titles (amongst other media interests) through newspapers, magazines and directories. The group knows that the migration is to online so, its said, that relinquishing itself of a $14m loss per annum is a great investment in experimentation.
Other media pundits are “encouraging” (probably like a crown at an execution) them to use the Seattle platform as a form of R+D so that they learn form their mistakes/advances here if it ever came to repeating the exercise ion a more profitable title. It’s definitely one to watch.