Monday, August 10, 2009

quick hit: up from the ashes?

Interesting news out of Seattle, proving that once again, the reports of journalism's death in general, and newspapers in particular, may have been greatly exaggerated.

The New York Times reports that, since the demise of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Seattle's remaining daily newspaper has begun to turn a profit. When the PI went out of business, many of the subscribers just re-upped with the Times.

Meanwhile, several of the online news site that have sprung up since the PI closed up shop, are doing well.

From the story:
... But The Times has improved its prospects by picking up most P-I subscribers and managing to keep them so far. It says its daily circulation rose more than 30 percent, to more than 260,000 in June, from about 200,000.

Oddly enough, what remains of The P-I is also faring better than expected. The Hearst Corporation kept the paper’s Web site alive as a news operation with a small staff, heavily reliant on more than 200 unpaid bloggers who write on things as diverse as their neighborhoods, cooking and marathon running.

Industry analysts called it a long-shot experiment, but has kept most of the reader traffic it had as a newspaper site. Hearst will not say whether it makes money, but it says that audience and revenue are ahead of projection.

SeattlePI’s news staff of 20 people, down from The P-I’s 165, covers only a few subjects closely, like crime, the aerospace industry and transportation, while offering links to news on other sites. Michelle Nicolosi, the executive producer, said the site, rather than resembling a traditional news organization, “is trying to be Seattle’s home page.”

Other news sites populated by former P-I staff members have also cropped up, expanding Seattle’s already-vibrant range of alternative news choices, and turning the city into something of an online news laboratory.

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