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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, March 18, 2010

Seattle Web site celebrates first year

By George Tibbits
Associated Press

SEATTLE Seattlepi .com, the online successor to the print version of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, celebrates its first birthday today with music and free cupcakes.

For a Web-only publication that launched in the depths of the Great Recession, just sticking around 12 months may be reason enough to party.

Seattlepi.com formally launched March 18, 2009, a day after the nearly 146-year-old P-I published its last edition on newsprint, leaving The Seattle Times as the city's only newspaper printed daily. The P-I's owner, New York-based Hearst Corp., had been losing money on the newspaper for years and hopes the online version will change that.

"The site is doing really well," said www.Seattlepi.com's executive producer, Michelle Nicolosi. She said about 4 million people are visiting the Web site each month, about the same as were visiting the Post-Intelligencer's site before the print version ceased publication.

"It's gratifying that people are still finding value in what we do," she said.

While readership may be stable, whether there's enough money to be made on the Internet is still an open question.

"Overall they are a journalistic success and a financial work in progress," said industry analyst Ken Doctor of Outsell Inc. in Burlingame, Calif.