Hearst Closing Seattle P-I Print Edition, Going Online Only

imageOnly Hearst executives will ever understand why they unnecessarily put the staff of the 146-year-old Seattle Post-Intelligencer through an additional week of uncertainty before finally admitting today the print edition ends Tuesday. Hearst will continue to publish seattlepi.com but it would be a mistake to think of it as the Seattle P-I Online. It won’t be staffed the same — editorial will have 20 staffers, down from 150-plus — and it won’t be framed the same. (According to the P-I, Publisher Roger Oglesby told staff “the bloodline will live on.”)

It will, however, cost less to operate. It also will make a petri dish for Hearst as it figures out how to make the transition in other cities. Despite more union concessions, the San Francisco Chronicle‘s print future is far from assured. Hearst CEO Frank Bennack Jr.: “Our goal now is to turn seattlepi.com into the leading news and information portal in the region.” Details after the jump.

Here’s how Steven Swartz, president of Hearst Newspapers, described it in the announcement: