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

City council position 3 candidates talk affordability and growth

The Bellevue Reporter reached out to council candidates to share who they are and what they value.

King County Correctional Facility is located at 500 5th Ave., Seattle. File photo
King County jail’s leaky pipes have national implications

Lawsuit filed in King County Superior Court alleges Aquatherm has been selling faulty pipes.

Council candidates for Position 1 speak to level of service, growth, and homelessness

The candidates are incumbent John Stokes, Holly Zhang and Martin Acevedo.

VoteWA is a $9.5 million program that came online last May and is meant to unify all 39 county voting systems in the state into a single entity. Courtesy image
WA’s new voting system concerns county elections officials

VoteWA has run into some problems in recent months as the Aug. 6 primary election draws closer.

Bellevue PD: 153 firework reports made on temporary heat map tool

Improvements to be made, tool expected to return next year

Islamic Center Approved to Rebuild on Damaged Building’s Footprint

After being hit by two arsons since 2017, the Islamic Center of Eastside is on its way to a rebuild

From left, JD Yu, Janice Zahn, Mark Wilson
City Council candidate profiles, Pos. 5

Mark Wilson, incumbent Janice Zahn, and JD Yu.

From left, candidate Margie Ye, Jennifer Robertson and James Bible. Courtesy photos
City Council candidate profiles, Pos. 7

James Bible, incumbent Jennifer Robertson, and Margie Ye.

Most Read