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Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

March 26, 2009 at 1:12 PM

SeattlePI.com starting from behind, or behinds?

Media oracle Alan Mutter posted a thoughtful analysis of the Seattle P-I’s chances as an online-only publication.

Mutter is dissecting what is, for now, Seattle’s highest profile Web startup.

At best, the site may bring in $7 million a year, he wrote in a post headlined “SeattlePI.Com, starting up from behind.”

“Because initial sales will be nowhere near that theoretical number, the Hearst Corp. almost certainly will face multimillion-dollar losses in the early days of an experiment being monitored by publishers eager to learn if life after print will be worth living.”

Hate to be catty, but the P-I site’s been starting with behinds for some time now — lots of them.

It consistently devotes the best real estate on its home page — top of page near the center, the equivalent of its A1 banner headline — to galleries of sexy fashion show and cheerleader photos, including an outrageous 72-pager on the second day of this grand experiment in online journalism. (The Sounders’ opening merited 20 pages).

If the P-I survives online, will other newspapers and online media sites emulate this traffic-boosting trick?

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Comments | More in | Topics: Digital media, newspapers, SeattlePI

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