Today is a sad day for Seattle news. It was the last day that a copy of the Seattle P-I newspaper will ever roll off of the presses. If you aren’t aware, their owner, the Hearst Corporation, has decided to finally pull the plug on the printing and go to an online-only format with a much reduced staff.
The paper has a long history, and it’s sad to see it go. No matter how much news/info is available online, I believe there is still a very strong place for printed news. It’s sad that the P-I couldn’t figure out a model that worked before it was too late (they were unprofitable like 6 years in a row or something, and lost $14M in 2008).
As for myself, I definitely have a soft spot for the P-I. After starting out blogging at Seattlest.com, I approached a few editors at the P-I to push the idea of getting more craft beer content (especially local) included in their print paper. They were very gung-ho about the idea, and they allowed me to start off by putting together a “Summer Six-Pack of Local Craft Beer” for print on the front page of the Entertainment & Lifestyle section. They received such good feedback after that, they offered to allow me to do a bi-weekly beer review every other Monday on the back page of the section and I also started my “What’s On Tap – A Guide to Seattle Suds” blog on their website. These allowed me to also do several more feature articles for the paper.
This has been a great tool for me to help push local and national craft beer, and I really enjoyed hearing feedback from local brewers after a bar/restaurant had read about their beer and called to order a keg. It really made me feel like I was a part of this great beer community. Over the almost two years that I wrote for them, they printed 5 feature articles that hit the front page of the section (3 in the last 4 months of 2008, right before the bad news came), and 42 individual beer reviews for the back page. It’s been a great run that also led to me writing for the NW Brewing News bi-monthly paper, and several other freelance opportunities. Without my start at the Seattle P-I, I definitely wouldn’t have ever started this website.
My last beer review, for the Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA, printed yesterday in the P-I. As I said, they are going to continue with the P-I online. I have the option to stick around with my blog on their website, but I’m not sure what kind of opportunities there might be for any feature content/regular reviews online. We’ll see what happens…
Thanks for the opportunities and memories, Seattle P-I.
My Printed Feature Articles in the Seattle P-I:
Summer Six Pack – July 2007
“A Fine Beer is the Toast of the Evening” – December (NYE) 2007
“Trolling for Fall’s Seasonal Beers” - September 2008
“Are Big Brewers’ New Craft Beers Any Good? We Taste and Find Out” – November 2008
“Winter Brings a Big Selection of Seasonal Brews” – December 2008