We'd typically leave news that one of Seattle's two daily newspapers, the Seattle P-I, has been put up for sale to our sister site to the north. But a segment in the P-I's own story on the announcement gave us much pause:
...the reason for offering the paper for sale is purely economic.
"Since 2000, the P-I has lost money each year, and the losses have escalated and continue to escalate in 2009," he said. "We have had to make a very tough decision. This is a business decision and it is no reflection on your work. The decision reflects our inability to see the losses turning around soon."
In a release circulated shortly after Swartz finished speaking, Hearst said the P-I lost about $14 million in 2008.
So, Hearst has a brand new head of newspapers trying to stick his finger in the leak of the damned newspaper industry. Bless his heart. And there's a paper that's lost $14M in the past year, so, sure, makes sense.
But what about our own Hearst owned paper, the beleaguered (way, way too many links to choose from, folks) Chronicle? We've all heard how the Chronicle was losing a million bucks a week, and we're dubious that much has turned around since then. So, OK, that's at least $52M for 2008, right?
So, what's keeping the little Dutch boy from shutting down our local dike? One possibility is the difficulty they might have in getting out of a 15 year contract the paper recently signed with a Canadian printing press company. 15 years! Won't we be getting news via a port in our brains by then?