Anger and Aggregation

The P-I's Online Plan and Its Discontents

Comments

1
wjo = who

(According to one P-I reporter wjo met with Riddick, he said it probably would.)
2
emplyees = employees

(As a result, at this point nearly all of the paper's roughly 170 emplyees expect to be out of a job.)
3
nice piece - yes, and Hearst has the money to play this out for a decade and prefect the model - other cities?
4
These typos were short-lived. Thank you for reporting, though.
5
Another one bites the dust:

"Hearst said on Tuesday that it may sell or close The San Francisco Chronicle if it cannot wring enough savings from the money-losing newspaper.

The announcement is the latest in a string of bad news for the newspaper industry, as several large papers and their publishers contemplate filing for bankruptcy amid plummeting advertising and circulation numbers.

Hearst said in its statement that The Chronicle, which it bought in 2000, lost $50 million last year and has lost money every year since 2001. Among the changes the company said it wants to see is “a significant reduction” in its union and nonunion employees.

“Survival is the outcome we all want to achieve,” Frank A. Bennack Jr., Hearst’s chief executive officer, and Steven R. Swartz, the president of its newspaper division, said in a statement. “But without the specific changes we are seeking across the entire Chronicle organization, we will have no choice but to quickly seek a buyer for the Chronicle or, should a buyer not be found, to shut the newspaper down.”

Frank J. Vega, The Chronicle’s chairman and publisher, told the newspaper: “It’s just a fact of life that we need to live within our means as a newspaper - and we have not for years.”
6
Given the current commenters on the PI website, they better do something to keep the number of insane neocons and clueless libertarians down, cause those n00bs don't buy stuff they just whine.
7
The P-I, Eli writes, is "the more left-leaning of the two dailies." Really? Does either of them lean to the left?
8
Not a lot of substance here. Interesting speculation and coverage of people's emotions tho.
9
About those contingency plans that Ms. Murakami talked about.... will the severance package include a non-compete clause?
10
Thanks for this Eli, good insights and a great feel for what they're going thru under the globe. I wonder if the P-I won't try to keep most of its staff — but at deeply reduced salaries (150 staffers at $15k a year is certainly doable for Hearst). The result would be an incubator for professional online journalism: Where everyone shares the pain, but also where everyone feels part of something new and exciting, one of the first transition newspapers to online. The devil would be in the details, there would have to be a lot of flexibility, the paper would support previously "outside" activity such as involvement in activism, blogging and forms of personal entrepreneurialism. A lot of folks would probably choose to leave (severance might look a better deal), and indeed part of the point of such an approach would be to assist staff in segueing to other careers for those so inclined. Into any void could step eager bloggers, who do good work for far less than $15k. The low investment level required by Hearst could string this along until real business models for content emerge.

Just a thought and, given the news from San Fran, maybe pie in the sky. I just can't understand why the P-I would continue to string people along if there wasn't a plan to include them in a post-print strategy.
11
GIVE IT A FUCKING BREAK YOU CUNT HACK ASS 'REPORTER'
12
Interesting. But I liked the Weekly's P-I story better today - more about the people, and the fact the Times, too, may fold its paper.
13
Post consumer war stress gloom and regret for the industrialist owners downsizing their guilt by offering a few choice tidbits to the 27 or so... and then the inevitable crust of a brighter future for those who don't qualify for business air miles from the paper downsized because of Hemp Tort Law Litigation and "pharma-meticular" bastardizations.
14
The answer is in The Stranger. Go with unique individuals with strong, sometimes offbeat viewpoints. Break the rules. Explore the subjects most of us prurient weirdos love. Check out the top 10, top 5 stories in those online versions of the newspapers. Those are the stories I always gravitate toward too. It's far from the pithy, intellectualized socio-political godspeak journos think is highbrow, therefore equals interesting.
15
The demise of print newspapers makes me sad, after spending more than 20 years working for them. Despite the fact that I was born a reporter, I gave my blood, sweat and tears to an industry that gobbles up reporters and spits them out whenever they wanted investors to see higher profits--they are paying for that now. I left the industry and survived. There is life after newspapers. I used to think that when I left daily journalism to go to PR, I was going to the dark side. Not any more. Hearst is the kest Darth Vader here. My heart goes out to the PI and SF Chronicle staffers.

16
Sorry. I'm not willing to sell my soul to something I don't believe in just to stay in "journalism" that might be called the P-I ... but is not even close.
17
Hearst needs to think about something other than money $$$$$$$$ How about serving the public, being acoutable to the people? How about unbiased news reporting? How about the truth? How about not being bought off by political & special interests? .....Think.....Viaduct......eh? How about flushing the BS down the toilet?
Hey Nichols, .....Simms,.....Kerli,....Locke....they all got a job with Obam, why can't you? ? ? Probably pay better, & you could be, say, uh, commisioner of gamming? You & yer kid. Like father, Like son. We need a new mayor anyway, so, go for it! You know what they say, still water gets stagnant after a while. See ya, at Jazz night on the beach, Mr. Mayor!
18
Here's a post about what an 'online-only' San Francisco Chronicle might look like: http://postchronicle.wetpaint.com/
19
A helpful person (perhaps a PI copy editor) points out that there were typos in this story. The fact remains that The Stranger has been able to forge a feisty irreverent no-bullshit edgy identity that people want to read. That's the big picture.

When I worked at the PI I found it to be place full of so much potential that was blocked by arrogance, group think and petty politics.

There was the notion that since we are the newspaper our way was the right way. True innovation has given way to 'standards.' These are not real substitutes for excellence.

We seemed to get wrapped up in the details and formal qualities of journalism, while losing sight of the whole.

I will be sad for an original source of local and regional news to go dark. I won't miss the arrogance.
20
Andrews can't figure out why Hearst is stringing along P-I staffers? Really?

They running out the 60 days as called for under the contract and in the meanwhile trying to suck every single worthwhile idea from them -- to be used for an online P-I or another online Hearst publication.

Pretty much everyone will be told to hit the bricks in the end. You are surprised by that? That's how business works.

Another incredulous reaction for the "P-I staffers who were angered thta the online P-I started linking to other publications." Really? Are you that naive? Do you think, as this situation edges toward its bitter, ugly end, that Hearst will be taking your feelings or professional opinions into consideration? Really? Such naivete blows me away. Can't put my finger on it but there's something about the naivete that blurs into arrogance and self-importance, which links to one of the reasons the P-I and other papers like it are going bye-bye.

It's a business. Businesses don't survive if they don't make money. Decisions are made revolving around what makes a profit. Nothing else, in the end, matters.
21
A fair piece of work with not much real news. There was, it seems, an inordinate desire on the part of the writer to deduce something from the corporate suit's attire. That's what reporters do, when they can't find an angle or report anything of real import.
22
One other thought, comes to mind. Remember what George Bernard Shaw once said, "Beware of journalism. It will have you feeling 60 at 40."
23
Hmmm. Could Hearst being using the P-I transformation from a money-losing print daily to an online news & entertainment portal (that is hopefully revenue generating) as a pilot/test case? If successful, will Hearst use this model to transform money-losing dailies in other cities into online portals? Inquiring minds want to know.
24
Not many people under 35 are going to miss the newspapers. That era is over... time to save some fucking trees.
26
Paul Andrews is a snivvling PI employee looking to kiss Hearst's ass because he has no real skills to be employed someplace else at a real job. What a sadpiece of human trash.
27
the seattle papers are out of touch with its residents and with what is going on.

the seattle papers are preaching to people about how to think instead of reporting worthwhile news.

the papers are obsessed with race.

the seattle papers won't report ctime instead focusing on select weird stories like mary kay latouneau forever, so i knew a decade ago i would not subscribe to any seattle paper.

the seattle papers are for wealthy women who don't work living on the eastside with its "feely good" stories. glad to hear it is dying since it had no connection to the living world.


28
@dguy you're such a moron.
29
@dguy you're such a moron.
30
Hey, there's hope -- pledges are accepted at SeattlePostGlobe@yahoo.com to help P-I employees create on online venture should they be booted by Hearst.

See:

http://tinyurl.com/bve84u
31
You can bash the dailies all you want - but an awful lot of news stories don't get covered if they go away. "Save a tree" - sure, OK, we can argue the environmental impacts of the newspaper itself, but the civic impacts of losing the reporting are enormous in our erstwhile democracy. The Stranger and the Weekly will do what they can, but neither of them are going to be able to afford to go after the same number of stories the PI could.
32
But what about the arrogance?
33
Where are the law makers scrambling to find new owners for the P-I?

They did for the Sonics, and tax payers don't have to continually dishout millions of dollars for better facilities to keep the newspaper in town. It can certainly be argued that being a two newspaper town is a community asset and definately critical to a healthy democracy.
34
Kip Schoning, Don't you have enough to do ripping off your renters and hiding from people you own money too to be blogging?

It is hysterical that you are blogging about someone elses ability to do their job when your whole "empire" is tanking. You suck at real estate!

All you have left are your various scams. Right now you are renting your houses (actually hovels) to unsuspecting low income families knowing full well that the properties are in foreclosure and scheduled for auction. You collect first and last months rent plus a hefty deposit (more if the family has pets). In a couple of weeks familys get evicted when the house is auctioned butyou, your skanky wife and your sham business, Bula Reality, pocket the last months rent and all the deposit money. Your kids must be so very proud of both of you!

The easy money has dried up, you can't keep borrowing new loans to keep up on the mortgages and previous loans. How will you keep your big house in Corvallis, your place on Vashion and your limo. You might even have to get a job!

You have lost 20 properties already, with 40 more foreclosures coming. You will not even be able to steal form the poor for much longer. You can't blame it on the economy, your defaults and over extended credit are part of the reason for the banking crisis. You have been slowly sinking for a couple of years now. It is years and years of greed, stupidity and copious amounts of drugs and drink that got you where you are today. Karma can be such a bitch.
35
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