PubliCola, a Seattle news blog, has announced it will shut down and its writers will head to, a local nonprofit media outlet. Publicola writes it "is going out of business. Sort of." The farewell post adds that despite a loyal readership, "we haven’t been successful as a business. Advertising revenue has been limited and inconsistent."

Crosscut editor David Brewster confirmed by phone earlier this afternoon that he has reached advanced negotiations to recruit a new editor from out of state while also hiring both PubliCola writers, Josh Feit and Erica C. Barnett, but he insisted that a final deal hadn't yet been reached. Brewster has been on talks with Feit for several weeks now. “We are far along in those discussions and I can’t quite say that it is going to happen… but I think it is likely now that it would happen.”

The three newsy hires would represent a significant shift for Crosscut. The site has long been heavy on context and analysis and light on breaking news. The PubliCola writers, who staked out beats covering the minutia of local politics, would bring freshness and urgency to Crosscut's coverage.

“If we can pull this off, we would make the change in a month or so—both hire the new person and bring Josh and Erica over,” Brewster says. Rumor has it that the "new person” would likely be a former Seattle newspaper editor.

Brewster describes PubliCola as being in a “perilous state.” The blog has struggled recently to make ends meet, pleading in February for donations from readers, writing, “We need to raise $10,000 over the next couple of weeks.” Although PubliCola met its target, the pledge drive raised speculation that PubliCola’s two leading financers—developer Greg Smith and entrepreneur Rajeev Singh—had cut off most or all of the funding. Brewster says he’s met with Smith to make sure “that he would be comfortable with the arrangement.”

Brewster says that cinching the deal will require securing key private and foundation funding. "There is an ambitious effort to raise this money over a two-year period to allow us to hire an impressive figure as leader of the company," Brewster says. “I and the board want to see Crosscut operating at a considerably higher level of funding in order to have more stability, more impact, and more full-time reporters."