Today, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, founded in 1863, published its last print edition. The end of a great newspaper? Yes. The end of a great news/content distributor? Hardly. Tomorrow, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer continues on in a digital only format, becoming the largest U.S. ‘newspaper’ to make the switch to all digital.
I wouldn’t be surprised if the P-I not only becomes profitable in the future, but also becomes a better product. They certainly have that opportunity. Will some people lose their jobs? Unfortunately yes, but I hope they figure out ways to repurpose a lot of the people who touched the physical product along the route.
Think of all the people who helped get the paper in the hands of readers: delievery people, newstand sellers… Who better to report on hyperlocal stories?
With some training, other staff members could be in the field, covering more topics, in greather depth, than ever before. Customer service/sales reps could become forum moderators, pushing consumers to others stories on the site, increasing traffic and generating additional ad revenue.
The P-I has already addressed the toughest issue: Understanding that they weren’t in the paper business, they were in the information business. Now they can focus on all the different types of information and different ways to present it. That’s going to give them a huge advantage, locally, regionally and nationally on their competition.