Another one bites the dust

The City of Seattle will have one less newspaper to printbeginning tomorrow.

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, which has chronicled the news of the city since logs slid down its steep streets to the harbor and miners caroused in its bars before heading north to Alaska’s gold fields, will print its final edition Tuesday.

Hearst Corp., which owns the 146-year-old P-I, said Monday that it failed to find a buyer for the newspaper, which it put up for a 60-day sale in January after years of losing money. Now the P-I will shift entirely to the Web.

“Tonight will be the final run, so let’s do it right,” publisher Roger Oglesby told the newsroom.

Hearst’s decision to abandon the print product in favor of an Internet-only version is the first for a large American newspaper, raising questions about whether the company can make money in a medium where others have come up short.

It will be interesting to see if the PI can survive online. Whatever the result is, it will be felt throughout the newspaper industry.

There is another newspaper ceasing publication this week.

For nearly 140 years, the Tucson Citizen has told the stories of Southern Arizona, but on Saturday, the state’s oldest newspaper will tell its last — its own.

Gannett Co. Inc., the nation’s largest newspaper publisher, announced in January it would close the Citizen if it didn’t find a buyer for certain assets. Robert J. Dickey, president of Gannett’s U.S. Community Publishing, said the paper was losing money and was a drain on Gannett operations.

I’m surprised a city the size of Tuscon could maintain two newspapers this long. Overall the closure of the Citizen and the Seattle PI going online only can’t be seen as anything but bad news. Fewer news providers isn’t likely to produce a better product and there will be more opportunity for both slipshod reporting or biased work having an adverse effect on a community.

Pardon The Interruption