One of Seattle Weekly’s “Best of Seattle” issues from Aug. 2016.

One of Seattle Weekly’s “Best of Seattle” issues from Aug. 2016.

Seattle Weekly’s last print edition is Feb. 27

Message to readers from Josh O’Connor, president of Sound Publishing

After more than 42 years, Seattle Weekly will print its final edition Feb. 27.

The paper was founded in 1976 by local journalism legend David Brewster. Early in its life, Seattle Weekly hit the sweet spot. The paper celebrated Seattle at a time when Seattle was still an underappreciated gem. It was written and edited by educated urban professionals who understood the kind of arts, politics, and commentary that would engage other urban professionals. As an early player in a market with a lot of upside, Seattle Weekly was able to achieve a big footprint in the market with both the newspaper and its guidebooks.

A series of ownership changes — including Village Voice Media and Voice Media Group — left Seattle Weekly on shaky financial footing by the time Sound Publishing acquired it in 2013. Under Sound Publishing, Seattle Weekly tried to continue an emphasis on features and lifestyle topics that would appeal to younger readers, but this, unfortunately, came right at a time when “younger” readers were abandoning print.

In 2017, Sound Publishing relaunched Seattle Weekly as more of a community paper, but the relaunch did not achieve that all-important clear sense of purpose. A successful newspaper needs a clear sense of purpose that answers the questions: Who are we trying to engage? Where do we want to be positioned in the market? What are the paper’s unique offerings?

At this point, we are unable to identify a promising target audience. And we are facing significant costs, including newsprint, distribution, and escalating wage costs.

Amid the changing nature of Seattle, it remains difficult to define a “clear sense of purpose” that would attract new readers, or even lure non-print consumers back to a printed product.

The passion and ambition necessary to invest in a reinvention of Seattle Weekly is more likely to come from an outside buyer. In the meantime, Seattle Weekly will move forward as a web-only product featuring news from Sound Publishing’s titles across the region and state.

Thank you to all the readers, advertisers, and journalists who have shared this journey with us.

Sincerely,

Josh O’Connor

President/Publisher

Sound Publishing, Inc.

More in News

Bellevue residents file for November 2019 general election

Residents in the City of Bellevue and the Bellevue School District have… Continue reading

Bellevue College student arrested in Duvall for allegedly sending threatening email

The school evacuated the afternoon of May 16 and remained closed the rest of the day.

AG Ferguson announces historic Tribal Consent and Consultation policy

The policy is the first of its kind in Washington state.

Zuolie Deng, a Seattle artist, created a Chinese version of a pig at his studio in Seattle’s Chinatown-International District. Photo courtesy of Market Foundation Twitter page.
Bellevue celebrates year of the pig with statue

A “sister” to Rachel, the Pike Place Market pig, Zhuzhu will be on display at city hall May 20-June 30.

Study shows accessibility issues for diversity groups

Resources are available through city, but access is limited by cost and availability.

Ashley Hiruko/illustration
Susan’s quest for ‘justice’ and the civil legal system dilemma

Susan Chen’s story begins as a criminal matter. In 2013 she paid… Continue reading

King County Councilman Reagan Dunn sent a letter to the FBI asking for them to help investigate Allan Thomas (pictured), who is under investigation for stealing more than $400,000 of public funds and skirting election laws in an Enumclaw drainage district. Screenshot from King 5 report
King County Council requests report on special districts in wake of fraud allegations

Small, local special districts will face more scrutiny following Enumclaw drainage district case.

Bellevue will repave 40 miles of roadway in 2019

Bellevue will take on double their average amount of road repaving projects in 2019.

Most Read