(Reuters) - Hearst Corp, one of the largest U.S. publishers, has offered some of its Seattle Post-Intelligencer (P-I) staff work in an online-only version of the paper, amidst speculation that the newspaper’s print edition may be shutting down, according to media reports.
Two reporters said they received “provisional offers” and were told that they will be given formal offers if the website gets the go-ahead from Hearst’s senior management, P-I reported on its website late on Thursday.
Hector Castro, a general assignment reporter, told P-I that he turned down the offer.
According to Castro, Hearst executive Ken Riddick said the publisher plans to start the site the day after the paper quits publishing. The Wall Street Journal and New York Times also reported that the Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper is advancing plans to turn into an online-only publication.
It is unclear how many employees would remain if the paper becomes a standalone website, the Journal said.
No one at Hearst was immediately available for comment.
Hearst said on January 9 that it would try to sell P-I and might shut down the newspaper or pursue other options, including publishing the newspaper only on the Internet, if it could not find a buyer in 60 days.
No buyer has emerged and an announcement is expected next week, the New York Times said.
A number of high-profile U.S. newspaper chains have filed for bankruptcy or taken steps to preserve their bottom lines by cutting costs.
Last week, media conglomerate EW Scripps Co closed the Rocky Mountain News after failing to lure qualified buyers.
Reporting by Ajay Kamalakaran in Bangalore; Editing by Lincoln Feast