More Buyouts and Possible Layoffs Are Coming to the Seattle Times

Comments

1
Print is going the way of the Dodo.
2
While many domestic newspapers have suffered from the disruption of digital, The Seattle Times demise was accelerated years ago by the malfeasance of Frank Blethen. From needless squabbling with the Guild, to vindictive targeting of Teamsters, the Times leadership has been distracted by Frank's personal agenda, at the expense of business rigor.

It's totally fine to expand gender & racial diversity. But completely stupid to promote someone with a middling journalism career and incompetent circulation experience (but who ticks the diversity boxes) and put them in charge of advertising!

Fine to provide opportunity for generations of family ownership. Stupid to promote your own kid, a journalistic hack, over more capable nephews & nieces.

Fine to diversify the family business, with the rise of the Web. Stupid to make a nostalgic purchase of a sleepy, yesteryear newspaper in Maine.

http://crosscut.com/2008/05/how-blethen-…
3
It's fine to drum up advertising. Stupid to sell your paper as a $290m mouthpiece to the Port.
http://www.seattlemet.com/articles/2016/…
4
And whatever happened with the tax break the state gave you?
http://crosscut.com/2009/05/iseattle-tim…
5
Fuck you to death, Frank.
6
Fuck them and fuck their paywall. Too bad their print survived instead of the superior Seattle P.I.
7
The day they announce the deprecation of the editorial page is the day I will subscribe again.
8
My God, they can't get any leaner than they already are. This move is cutting off limbs. But still, that said, I will continue being a digital subscriber, out of some sense that daily newspaper journalism, however diminished, is still a valued service to the community. Especially now in the facer of Trumpism.
9
I used to think the Seattle Times mislabeled their Humor section as "Comments." That is, until Trump was elected and it stopped being funny.
10
What @2 and @5 said.
11
Yay! That "Hope" and "Progress" liberals have been going on about for the last eight years is yet again paying off! Maybe Patty or Maria can help save those jobs ----- or not! Well at least Seattle will have another homeless squatter building for the minimum wage set to live in! GO HAWKS!
13
Fire some editors and disable comments and I'll happily buy a digital subscription.
15
@13- Comments bring clicks which bring ad revenue, and ads make more money than subscriptions.
17
Pretty soon The Stranger will be Seattle's Only Newspaper for real.
19
A. Why are they wasting $ on parking?

B. They need to write stuff that isn't so right wing and cancel the op ed page
20
I suspect putting major dailies behind paywalls was an exercise that led to decreased ad revenue, not increased online subscriber revenue. It's likely been a self-sabotaging move on the part of more papers than The Seattle Times. Major dailies provide a public service even if they are for-profit. Too bad so many of their owners and managing editors are such crappy business people when it comes to running one. Success in running another type of business doesn't guarantee success in running something as specialized as a news daily.
21
https://post.thestranger.com/ad-info

The information at the link above is very interesting. As long as Stranger readers maintain their "impressive disposable income" and continue to spend, spend, spend then spend some more at businesses that advertise in the publication - I am sure this paper will be around for a while.

For a paper that advocates socialist solutions they sure do have a cozy relationship with local capitalists.
22
I wish Seattle Times should cut the sportsball stories and other fluff, cut the syndicated national and international stories we can get elsewhere, clean house in their out-of-touch editorial department, and focus on adversarial journalism of the sort we regularly saw (and in greatly reduced volume, still do see) from The Stranger. Comfort the afflicted. Afflict the comfortable. Speak truth to power. Ask difficult questions of powerful people. Ask again when non-answers result. Show some damned spine.

I recently subscribed to the Sunday print edition at a cut-rate group-deal price out of some sense of duty, but I'm not sure Seattle's daily paper adds a whole lot to the community besides holding the seemingly-important role of being our only print daily. It's sad.
23
The Stranger (and Slog) survive because the eschew representation by the Newspaper Guild (reporters/admin) and the Teamsters (production/distribution), which significantly drives the Seattle Times cost basis.

Ya see.....the Slogs special kind of liberals believe unionization is swell for grocery workers, hotels and UBER drivers – but not for newspapers owned by national syndicates.

"All animals are equal. But some animals are more equal than others" – George Orwell. Animal Farm
24
I regret making that remark long ago about Rosebud-dude . . .
25
22@, First you don't really pay (even with subscription) for the news, anymore than you pay for the news on the tv networks. The advertising does. Subscription (home delivery and online) only pays for about 4% of the cost of a daily paper, and that includes the Editorial (reporters), trees, production and delivery to every store, coffee shop and bus stop machine you can see. Every day, 365. An absolutely enormous carbon footprint, wasted trees, pollution from pulp, an incredible fleet of trucks and cars delivering this paper that is the very definition of a throw away society, hardly read cover to cover, but is trash at the end of the day. (Dont mention the News is already 12 hours old) Yes, you can recycle newsprint, but that takes a lot of energy too and the ink extracted is toxic.

P.S. Sports is popular with Times readers, it sells papers.

Many years ago an owner of a chain of Department Stores said "I know half the money I spend on Newspaper Advertising is wasted, I just don't know what half". In other words, he didn't know how many eyes saw his ads. Now they know by how many clicks you do or don't on the pop ups and border ads, and if you follow through, did you buy something. Newspapers had glory days when no one could tell if anyone was looking at the ads or not. Now the businesses can say, I can count the clicks, your advertising isn't working, their saying, "Seattle Times Advertising costs too much" and I'm going to save money and not advertise unless you make it a lot cheaper.

It's a changing world, this is just a touch of it.

26
What @13 said. The wrong paper died in 2009, but I would greatly miss the better angels of the Seattle Times if they leave including Lynda Mapes, Dan Beekman and Gene Balk.
27
@6 "Fuck them and fuck their paywall" is like saying "Fuck Dick's DriveIn, I want to eat their burgers for free."

@19 Will, the company required reporters/photographers to have cars for covering assignments and paid half the parking fee. Everyone else paid full price.

@26 The P-I's death was called in from Hearst Tower in Manhattan. At least the Times is locally owned.
Support local business!
28

Local ownership?

The Times is co-owned (49.5) by McClathchy, who assumed Knight-Ridder. The Times is so in debt that the remaining 50.5% is essentially owned by banks, with the real estate as collateral.

This isn't a newspaper business. Its a financial exercise involving the limited future of copyrighted assets (photography library), the transfer of wealth in family trusts, some low-leverage media in rural areas, and the timing of redevelopment for some land near Amazon.

Sugary sweet romanticism about 'family-owned, independent journalism" is what led Frank to flush it all down the tubes in the first place.

http://www.seattlepi.com/business/articl…