Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Hearst staffers still sleepless in Seattle

Reporters at Hearst's Seattle Post-Intelligencer are trying to figure out when their employer will shut down the paper. Hearst said in January that it would put the paper up for sale for 60 days, and then, if no buyer surfaced, close the P-I. The 60-day milestone arrived Tuesday and Hearst spokesman Paul Luthringer said the company hasn't decided how to proceed.

"We are still evaluating our options," Luthringer said in an e-mail. "Timing of the decision is uncertain."

When asked what decision he was referring to, he responded, "These options exist: 1) Seek buyer. If no buyer, then 2) Go digital, or 3) Close. No decision has been made."

Meanwhile, the P-I reports:
    Staff members learned Tuesday afternoon that boxes and bins are scheduled to be delivered to the newsroom later this week -- some for materials to be taken home, others for notes that require shredding.

    Employees were told to file promptly to be reimbursed for their expenses. And they were told they can retain their cell phone numbers if they wish.
Last week, Hearst extended offers to some 20 staff members for positions with an online-only operation.

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