LA Times: eP-I's Inspiring, Oddball Journalism 'On Track' to Profitability

"I would say the Big Blog was responsible for me becoming a journalist."

That's the end quote of James Rainey's LA Times story this morning on the eP-I's first anniversary, and it seems to appropriately define both the P-I and what some think a journalist is today. A wacky theatrical moment at Thursday night's bash at the Crocodile, says Rainey, "played a bit like itself - uneven and inspired, accessible and oddball. The new PI can't afford to be comprehensive. It doesn't really try to be authoritative. It no longer offers routine coverage of county government, for example, but highlights felines in the cutesy LOLcats feature and misses no turn in the saga of Amanda Knox, the University of Washington student tried for murder in Italy."

Rainey notes that while the eP-I is claiming to have as many website visitors as it did a year ago when the print edition was still alive, the folks at Nielsen say it is half that number. Rainey also spotted a paper posted outside General Manager Pat Balles' office which suggested the website is coming up short financially, having "booked" $544,000 toward a first-quarter goal of $1.3 million. But "Those aren't the real numbers," Balles told him, saying the site is "on track" to profitability.

As the for the guy who says the Big Blog inspired him to become a journalist, Rainey writes, "He's not letting go of his job at Kinko's yet."

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