Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Life after Print at 'Seattle P-I' Sees Web Traffic Up and Down

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Life after Print at 'Seattle P-I' Sees Web Traffic Up and Down

Article excerpt

In the three weeks since the Seattle Post-Intelligencer dropped its print edition and went to a Web-only format, the news outlet has seen a small rise in page views, but a slightly larger decrease in unique users.

Spokesman Paul Luthringer of Hearst, which owns the online news source, calls the data "above plan," adding the company is "encouraged" by it.

The P-I's last print edition was published on March 17. In the period from March 18 to April 7, the Web site had an average of 1,253,964 daily page views, up by 1.2% over the same period in 2008, when average daily page views reached 1,238,495.

Unique users, however, dropped about 10.7% to 199,001 during the web-only period, compared to 222,937 during the same period last year.

"This shows stability," Luthringer said of the numbers. "You have to be heartened."

The Christian Science Monitor, meanwhile, went almost entirely online about 10 days later, on March 27. But Monitor officials declined to provide traffic numbers, saying it is too early to compare, but noted they had not substantially changed.

In the P-I newsroom, meanwhile, editors and reporters are seeing a welcome change in their approach. Although news staff is down to about 20 from some 165, those handling coverage say they are ready to do a lot of different things without any print deadline demands.

"There are fewer people in the room, but they really are working like a news operation," said Michelle Nicolosi, a former Web editor who takes the new title of executive producer. "It feels very familiar in a weird way."

Nicolosi says the news is still covered with beat reporters and on-scene coverage. But she says links are used more, including to the cross-town Seattle Times, and nearly everyone is taking photos and covering a variety of events.

"We have assigned our reporters for all of the beats that are important," she said. "They work in sync and they just fall in line. …

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