Seattle P-I Runs Final Dead-tree Edition Tomorrow

Unable to find a buyer for its print operation, Hearst Newspapers has opted to convert the Seattle Post-Intelligencer into an online-only operation.:

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer will roll off the presses for the last time Tuesday, ending a 146-year run.

The Hearst Corp. announced Monday that it would stop publishing the newspaper, Seattle's oldest business, and cease delivery to more than 117,600 weekday readers.

The company, however, said it will maintain seattlepi.com, making it the nation's largest daily newspaper to shift to an entirely digital news product.

"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."

In a news release, Hearst CEO Frank Bennack Jr. said, "Our goal now is to turn seattlepi.com into the leading news and information portal in the region."

Of course, if the online-only venture ends up in failure, the future of all-digital conversion for the ailing print industry could arguably be rather grim.

After all, in January Forbes named the Emerald City the number one "wired" city in America and the region is home to a lot of tech-savvy, highly educated talent employed at companies such as Microsoft, Boeing, and Amazon.com.

If digital-only doesn't work in Seattle, isn't it all the more riskier an option in less tech-savvy urban centers?

Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd is the Managing Editor for NewsBusters