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Monday, November 3, 2008

Hell Hath Frozen at the Seattle Times

posted by on November 3 at 15:56 PM

A source at the Seattle Times says the paper’s 100 layoffs announced earlier today stem from a bleak forecast for 2009—like most daily papers. A number of people just emerged from an editorial meeting, but there are no specifics yet on who will be cut from which departments. What we have heard is that the paper will be slimming down, and the Times plans to start offering front-of-section ads on main news. How long till we see ads on the front page?

MORE: Folks at Fairview Fanny say the main news section has already consumed the business section; now they speculate that local news may get combined into the main news section, as well. They also think that the Lifestyle desk will be hit hard. NW Life and Arts & Entertainment have already been combined into one section—and the travel section may be folded in next.

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Heh. I use when I have to at least show that I "looked" for an employee, even though that employee was already chosen from within the company. Do the interviews and everything.

Posted by jerk | November 3, 2008 4:00 PM

Serves them right for opposing Mass Transit. Maybe if they were more in touch with the community....

Posted by roosting chickens | November 3, 2008 4:00 PM

Shrug. I'm sure they'll find a working buisness model or someone else will replace them.

Posted by Giffy | November 3, 2008 4:11 PM


It will be weird to get local news only from slog or some guys blog...

Posted by hhh | November 3, 2008 4:15 PM

Wow. Readership is falling and they want less news and more ads. Wow. That's just... Wow.

Posted by blank12357 | November 3, 2008 4:18 PM

Is Davis Horsey an official employee?
If so, I hope he is the first to get the boot...Yep I am a big old bitch.

Posted by Julie Russell | November 3, 2008 4:21 PM

I meant David

Posted by Julie Russell | November 3, 2008 4:22 PM

@Julie Russell: Horsey works at the PI.

Posted by Smurfs! | November 3, 2008 4:25 PM

This happened to the Baltimore Sun a while back. Although I rarely read it, it's still just a sad shell now. Ads on the freaking main page are ridiculous.

I had a professor who used to work at the Sun, and she hated it. I wonder how much those two have to do with one another.

Posted by Me | November 3, 2008 4:28 PM

blank: that's pretty dumb. if readership is falling, they HAVE TO have more ads, no matter how much the newsroom hates it. unfortunately there isn't a method by which they can be assured that tons of quality journalism focusing on local issues will equal crizazy revenue. otherwise i'm sure that's what they'd be doing.

Posted by leek | November 3, 2008 4:30 PM

I subscribe to the Times (go ahead, laugh at me) and I fail to understand how it can be "slimmed" any more that it already is, without becoming translucent. The Sunday edition yesterday was 95% ad circulars.

Posted by Just Sayin' | November 3, 2008 4:34 PM

@8..Then I feel REALLY bad for the Times employees..and wish Horsey would lose his job:)

Posted by Julie Russell | November 3, 2008 4:41 PM

but the sports section won't be touched, right? i can't live without my OKC Thunder updates!

Posted by max solomon | November 3, 2008 4:47 PM

I should point out that the Seattle Times used to offer "front of section" ads back when they were founded.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

In fact what you think of as the "look" of the Times, a suburban paper, was "invented" after the Korean War.

Which is way way way back when.

Posted by Will in Seattle | November 3, 2008 4:50 PM

Same as Leek. Sports section and crosswords fillets produced a ton of carcass.

Posted by Lloyd Clydesdale | November 3, 2008 5:27 PM

When the fuck is that shit-rag Seattle Weakly going to fail?

Or it's fuckwit, inbred, half-aborted-half-sister, "my ideas are less attractive than the alien baby from Eraserhead," Crosscut going to fail?

Posted by soy bomb | November 3, 2008 6:22 PM

Print advertising revenues are down. The cost of newsprint is up. Online ad revenue is non-existent and we are entering a terrible recession.

None of this will effect the Stranger though, right?

Posted by Jeff | November 3, 2008 7:00 PM

Right now, with this election staring me in the face all I can think of is what a crap ass smelly load of one man's propaganda the Times is.

Posted by cracked | November 3, 2008 7:32 PM

Seriously... I work for the Times, and I don't agree with the Blethens' policies on a lot of things. That doesn't mean that a locally-owned newspaper isn't a good and vital thing to have. I wish there could be a levy to support newspapers, because they've got to be at least as important as the Market (if less appealing to tourists).

Posted by festering | November 3, 2008 8:05 PM

Umm... We have a locally-owned paper that gives us news, is online and free, and isn't trying to trick people into voting for the destruction of the Seattle way of life.

The PI(a Hearst publication) can die, too! The Seattle Weakly should become the .

Posted by Treeware Hater | November 3, 2008 8:20 PM

I'm a Times worker too.

Please, remember that when you anonymously pee all over the newspaper, you're also peeing on 1,600 of your neighbors.

Like employees of many other century-old Seattle companies, we're a little bruised today.

We try to do the best we can. We work nights and weekends and holidays. And we do it not for the big bucks (no such thing), but because it's important to tell the stories about this place we call home.

We're not run by a New York corporation. When you call us with a rant, a real human at Fairview and John takes the call. And if you leave a civil message, we call you back.

We can't -- and shouldn't -- try to make everybody happy. But we do promise to keep working our tails off to make things interesting.

Thanks for listening.
Commence the mockery ...

Posted by Local News Girl | November 3, 2008 8:31 PM

Dominic --
Don't know who your source is, but you should try to find a new one. Half your info is wrong.

Posted by Jeepers | November 3, 2008 8:32 PM

Treeware, I assume you mean The Stranger. I think The Stranger is awesome, but it can't (and I don't think wants to) take the place of an entire newsroom reporting on local news throughout western WA, sports, business, etc. A bunch of people writing in and arguing with and trying to change the Times' endorsements and stances makes more sense than just abandoning the newspaper and assuming it doesn't matter.

Posted by festering | November 3, 2008 9:14 PM

We appreciate the local hard-working people at the Times, but most of you shouldn't be going away. There will be other local jobs in journalism (or administration, or whatever) and I hope you find one with a company that has adapted better to technology and social values in the region.

The Seattle Times is locally owned but in this case that's not necessarily a good thing. The editorial decisions are damaging the city and region. The endorsements of Rossi and Reichert and the opposition to Sound Transit and parks are just the latest examples that show the editorial board is completely out of touch with its readership and, really, the trends of the country at large. I mean, really, even Rossi knows that he isn't running for governor to help Seattle. If either Gregoire or Prop 1 loses, it will likely be because of the Times endorsements.

The quicker the Times dies, the better. The local owners (and editors) have doomed the paper and company. It's ridiculous that the largest local news source in Seattle keeps pushing such a socially/fiscally conservative agenda. There are very good reasons why The Stranger, for example, seems to be skyrocketing in popularity while the Seattle Times is fading away.

Posted by jrrrl | November 4, 2008 3:14 AM

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