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.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@covingtonreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.covingtonreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in News

Teaser
King County approves emergency grant after U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade

Washington is expecting an influx of people seeking abortions from out of state.

Fedor Osipov, 15, flips into Steel Lake in Federal Way during last year's heatwave on June 28, 2021. Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing
Heatwave expected to hit King County

Temperatures will likely reach 90 degrees Fahrenheit on Sunday, June 26, and Monday, June 27.

Judged by XII: A King County Local Dive podcast. The hands shown here belong to Auburn Police Officer Jeffrey Nelson, who has been charged with homicide in the 2019 death of Jesse Sarey.
JUDGED BY XII: Examining Auburn police officer’s grim tattoos

Episode 5 in special podcast series that explores Jeffrey Nelson’s role in the death of Jesse Sarey.

Photo courtesy of King County.
Officials urge caution when swimming this summer

Cold spring temperatures and larger than normal snowpack have created dangerous conditions

File photo
Fireworks ban takes effect this year in unincorporated King County

The new law does not extend to cities, which each have their own regulations around fireworks.

A semiautomatic handgun with a safety cable lock that prevents loading ammunition. (Sound Publishing file photo)
Large-capacity ammo magazine sales ban starts soon in Washington

Starting July 1, a 10-round capacity becomes the limit for sales. Meanwhile, “there is a rush on magazine purchasing.”

At Dash Point on June 16, 2022. Henry Stewart-Wood/Sound Publishing
All that the tides reveal: Puget Sound’s hidden intertidal world

Exploring King County beaches during the lowest tide in the last 13 years.

Main Street Bridge. Courtesy of WSDOT.
Full closure of I-405 set for Father’s Day weekend in Bellevue

Signs with detour routes will be available; closure will take place from June 17-20 to demolish Main Street Bridge.

Most Read