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

The Snoqualmie Valley YMCA, built in 2011, could receive a 22,000 square foot expansion that would add an aquatics facility. File Photo
Snoqualmie explores expanding its community center

The project could cost between $12.5 to $16 million depending on features.

Pushing the limits of public comment; Snoqualmie council questions candidate’s methods

Donaldson uses video of his speeches during open comments for videos appearing on his website.

North Bend continues development push as water situation remains unclear

A recent decision means parcel marked for development was removed from Sallal’s service area.

Document logs highlight record requests from citizens in and around Snoqualmie

Public record request logs show what Snoqualmie residents really want to know.

King County’s Prop. 1 parks levy is passing

Initial results from the Aug. 6 primary King County Council races are also in.

King County Elections released preliminary primary election results Tuesday night. Madeline Coats/staff photo
Incumbent Ross and Armstrong lead city council race

1,429 ballots were returned out of 8,078 registered voters in Snoqualmie.

McFarland leading in the primary race for North Bend mayor

Primary results show Mary Miller and Darren Glazier likely to move on in city council race.

Dariel Norris and Gene Pollard leading in Public Hospital District 4 Pos. 2 race

Primary results show race is close between the three candidates.

A consultant working with store owner in downtown Renton. In 2018, Renton hosted a several workshops called “Creating Stellar Storefronts” funded through the Economic Development Partnership program. Courtesy of the Port of Seattle
Port of Seattle grants fund economic development across the Eastside

2019 Port of Seattle funding supports economic development projects in Eastside cities.