Economics of Online-Only


In the aftermath of the closing of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, the Wall St. Journal wrote an interesting article: “Hearst Shuts Down a Seattle Paper: Post-Intelligencer Will Become a Laboratory for Web-Only Edition.”

Here’s the interesting point about online-only: “It isn’t clear that an online-only P-I will be financially viable. Hearst is giving up more than 90% of the revenue that a newspaper typically generates from sales of print advertising and circulation, and that won’t easily be replaced by online dollars.”

Also: “The P-I’s new model hinges on slashing its work force, scaling back its news coverage and selling different kinds of online advertising. The P-I is retaining just 20 of its journalists to work on the online operation, leaving nearly 90% of its newsroom employees, or 145 people, out of a job. The P-I, which prints its last edition Tuesday, also is hiring more than 20 people to sell advertising for its Web operation.”

In terms of big-market newspapers, the is changing “the familiar model of a big-city daily as a catch-all of local and national news and features. Instead, it will cover local events and publish blogs and columns from staff, readers and prominent local citizens. It also plans to link liberally to other news sources in the Seattle area.”

Also check out the New York Times article, “Seattle Paper Shifts Entirely to the Web.”

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