Wanna buy a used, 146-year-old daily newspaper? How much loose change do

Wanna buy a used, 146-year-old daily newspaper? How much loose change do you have in your pocket? So soon after the Snowpocalypse, we now have the P-I-pocalypse. As we and everyone else are reporting, Hearst Corporation has put The Seattle Post-Intelligencer up for sale. If no one bites in the next 60 days, the paper stops publishing. (The venerable brand could possibly survive as a Web site published by a skeleton staff, likely non-union. Though that’s exactly what newly non-profit Crosscut.com is doing already, without setting the world on fire.)Who would buy the P-I? Not Frank Blethen and his Times Corp., which still can’t unload the Maine papers he so disastrously bought a decade ago, pre-Internet. Over on Crosscut, Bill Richards–who once wrote for us–has reported that Blethen is frantically trying to sell the Times’ parking lots and adjacent real estate to raise cash. Meanwhile, the Times’ very unhappy minority partner, McClatchy, would dearly like to sell its 49 % stake, as we’ve written. So McClatchy won’t buy the P-I, and Hearst has said it won’t buy the Times. And, no, neither Paul Allen nor Bill Gates nor any other local philanthropist is about to step forward. Newspapers were a gold mine in the 19th century, but not anymore. (See The New York Times’ depressing account here.)Not that we’re gloating. Every paper in the country is in trouble. Staff size and page counts are shrinking everywhere. We wish the best for our frenemies over on Elliott Avenue. But if no one buys the P-I as a whole (as we predict), there are some breakup assets of note….Here’s my itemized shopping list of P-I assets, with suggested values and possible buyers–if any exist. (The building is rented, and the presses are borrowed from the Times, so no sale there.)$1,000 First, as my old boss Knute Berger has written on Crosscut, the P-I globe must be saved! He thinks it should go to the Museum of History and Industry with other historic neon icons (including the Rainier Brewery “R”). Agreed. And Hearst could get a small tax break for the donation.$100,000 Editorial cartoonist David Horsey has the Pulitzers that would make him welcome at any paper in America. Whether he’d leave Seattle, however, is a different question. Over at the Times, the only deal they could possibly offer would be to give him Frank Blethen’s entire salary–assuming Frank is willing to embrace the new austerity. And maybe throw in his Porsche as a deal-sweetener.$75,000 Sportswriter Art Thiel is a damaged brand, through no fault of his own. An excellent sport columnist, he has no Sonics to write about, two shitty football teams, and a cellar-dwelling baseball team on his beat. In other words, there’s no reason to read him anymore. But SI.com might be a good fit.$50,000 Columnist Robert Jamieson pulls his weight. But, honestly, it tends to be the same weight, week after week after week. A change of surroundings might relieve the tedium. Perhaps Tim Keck is hiring on Capitol Hill. Gay-bashing is much more interesting than gang-banging.$5,000 Veteran movie critic William Arnold certainly has command of his subject. But, trust me, paid film reviewers are a dying breed. (Look no further than Roger Ebert, dumped from his own TV show.) All papers are syndicating their reviews. Time to write another book, perhaps? It’s that or la vida freelance.$500 We’re talking to you, Joel Connelly, you adorable big lug! We love you, man! Come work for Seattle Weekly! We’ve got a desk waiting for you! We can’t afford to pay you much, but your editor would be Mike Seely, your favorite drinking pal. And there’s no maximum word count on the Web!$5 O, woe is the fate of art critic Regina Hackett! The Times’ Sheila Farr (an SW alum) just left Fairview, sensing correctly that the market for professional informed opinions is dwindling. But that vacancy will never be filled. But wouldn’t it be terrible if Jen Graves suffered a horrible accident…? She might have her brake lines cut, tumble into an elevator shaft, or fall onto a knife. She better watch her back. We know how Hackett works.


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