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SeattlePI.com’s sports department, which once also included Christian Caple and editor Gerry Spratt, is now a department of one, Nick Eaton. “I’m guessing he’s spread way too thin,” said Moore, who remains a friend of Eaton’s. “It’s a full-time job covering one team let alone five or six.”
A few pre-digital staffers remain at the P-I: Vanessa Ho, Scott Sunde, Joel Connelly. Most have duties as reporters, editors, and producers, the general term applied to those who build web content. One reporter, Casey McNerthney, covers crime; Connelly covers politics; Aubrey Cohen covers business; Amy Rolph writes the Big Blog, Guzman’s legacy.
Careful story selection, picking one’s spots, is a daily necessity. The most visible stories, like the shooting of the Lakewood police officers, get respectable treatment in the P-I; less visible stories might get ignored altogether. Such rationing is true at traditional newspapers as well.
“The name survived,” Murakami said. “The brand is more than the name. You can put Mountain Dew in Coke cans but it doesn’t take long to realize it’s no longer Coke. The brand died the day we shut down and when the staff that did the work that made the P-I the P-I were shown the door. Today, the P-I’s spirit is alive more in InvestigateWest than in SeattlePI.com.”
For now, the most famous symbol of the P-I’s legacy, the 20-foot, steel globe, remains at the paper’s former headquarters at 101 Elliott Avenue West. The 19-ton globe was built in 1948, its design adapted from the winning submission of a contest held to choose a symbol for the paper. It was built at a cost of $26,000. Vulnerable to the effects of weather, the globe was expensive to maintain. Until recently, its future, like that of the news organization it represented, was in doubt.
Earlier this month, Hearst agreed to give the globe to the Museum of History and Industry, which will refurbish it and probably move it to a location yet to be determined. One thing is certain: the globe will no longer rotate above the heads of the reporters it once represented.
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