Tuesday, March 17, 2009

RIP for Seattle PI (1863-2009), With a Heartless Good-Bye From Management

Hal Bernton, a reporter from The Seattle Times addresses his colleagues in front of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer offices today.

Today was the last print publication for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. It will continue on as an online-only venture, but in the process it will reduce its staff from 181 to about 40. One manager, instead of thanking the service of so many professionals, gave them a swift kick out of the door as they left in her column.

Here is a slide show that chronicles the events in the newsroom.

Here, Executive Producer Michelle Nicolosi discusses some of the changes the organization will face.

We don't have reporters, editors or producers—everyone will do and be everything. Everyone will write, edit, take photos and shoot video, produce multimedia and curate the home page. That'll be a training challenge for everyone, but we're all up for the challenge and totally ready to pick up all these skills.

But, in the coldest send-off ever seen, she also notes ...
My staff and I are thrilled to have the chance to prove that an online-only news operation can make money and do a great job serving readers. Literally, I'm getting emails from staff with the subject line, "Woo!" And Tweets that read, "I'm so excited about everything...can't even describe the feeling..."

If those emails are accurate, then the P-I staff is the most callous, mind-numbing, thoughtless people on the face of the earth. How can you possibly be involved in any organization that decapitates itself and sends roughly 75 percent of its colleagues out on the streets? If those quotes are true, Nicolosi and her fellow henchmen need to take a long look in the mirror. Truly, it is one of the most heartless things to print on the day your kicking 140 or so people out the door.

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