Seattle Post-Intelligencer halts print edition

The 146-year-old newspaper will continue publishing online.

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SEATTLE (CNN) -- The Hearst Corp. announced Monday it will publish its last print edition of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer on Tuesday and shift the operation of Seattle's oldest business wholly to the Internet.

"Tonight we'll be putting the paper to bed for the last time," Editor and Publisher Roger Oglesby told a silent newsroom in Seattle, Washington, Monday morning, according to a posting on its Web site. "But the bloodline will live on."

The newspaper said delivery would be halted to more than 117,600 weekday readers.

"The company, however, said it will maintain seattlepi.com, making it the nation's largest daily newspaper to shift to an entirely digital news product," it said.

The New York-based Hearst had put the Seattle P-I up for sale in early January, when it said the paper would stop printing if no buyer was found within 60 days.

"Despite community concern, no buyer emerged," the paper said, adding that it lost $14 million last year.

It was not clear how many of the paper's 150 employees would lose their jobs. But columnist Mike Lewis told CNN over the weekend that he was not among those who was asked last week to remain.

"The mood has been lousy in the newsroom," said the 20-year P-I employee. "It's one thing to lose your job; it's another thing to lose a group of friends who you have worked with very closely for a long period of time and it's still another to lose an institution that's mattered in Seattle since the Civil War."

The 146-year-old newspaper is the latest to take drastic steps in the face of declining readership and advertising revenue.

Last month, the Rocky Mountain News in Denver, Colorado, published its final edition after nearly 150 years.

The dramatic decline in advertising dollars in a brutal economy has led some newspapers to cut costs by firing cartoonists, columnists and others, leaving many of them searching for jobs in a struggling industry.

The News' closure left Denver - like most American cities - with one daily newspaper, the Denver Post.

That will now be the case with Seattle, where daily newspaper readers will have only the P-I's rival and business partner The Seattle Times.

CNN's Patrick Oppmann contributed to this report. To top of page

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