It's a bad news week when a TV report is first to say you're out of your newspaper job - and worse, when your own>"/>
It's a bad news week when a TV report is first to say you're out of your newspaper job - and worse, when your own editor refuses to comment. Thus it doesn't look good for the future of the P-I. Just a few weeks ago the two Daves - editors from the P-I (David McCumber) and Times (David Boardman) - were discussing such as fate.
Neither editor thinks much of Seattle's joint operating agreement,
which financially ties the P-I and Times, and both think it's as doomed
as newspaper classifieds. (The Times once drew 50 percent of its
revenues from classifieds, says Boardman, and has lost 80 percent of
that income, mostly to the web. "You take 40 percent out of any
business, that's a lot of revenue.") Likewise doomed is one of
the two Seattle dailies in today's form. Similar newspapers with
similar coverage and distribution footprints? "It just can't go on,"
says Boardman. If two are to survive, one would have to become very
different from the other.
It can be argued that Seattle is no better able to support two dailies
than any other city that has seen all but one newspaper fall to
economic reality. But each newspaper that died took some piece of the
soul of the city it served to the grave. It's too early to mourn the P-I, but it's not too early to reflect on what Seattle loses if it goes.