“The Olympian” continues slow slide to obscurity

October 11th, 2008 by Ken

News that The Olympian would soon be published at The (Tacoma) News Tribune  should have come as no surprise for readers of this web page.  I said four months ago that the paper would soon be published out of Tacoma.  Some said I was crazy, but that’s beside the point.

McClatchy is consolidating all of its newspapers of which The Olympian  and The Tribune are two.  The move will mean the loss of at least eight jobs.

 In addition The Olympian recently reported that it offered buyouts to 38 of its newsroom staff and was taken up on the offer by four of them.  Hours for the remaining employees will be cut.

What the newspaper didn’t report, is that for the eighth consecutive year, the paid circulation of The Olympian has declined.   It is required by law, the first week in October of every year, that newspapers, magazines and other publications that use the U.S. mail must publish a “Statement of Ownership, Management and Circulation.”

Last October The Olympian  reported a paid circulation of 32,708.  This year that figure has dropped to 31,538, a decline of more than a thousand paid subscribers in just one year.  The peak year for the local newspaper was in 1998 when it reported a paid circulation of 40,485.

What’s ahead for our local paper?   I still think that all news will eventually come out of Tacoma and that the Olympia staff will be reduced to a handful of reporters who primarily cover state government.  

Posted in Business, History, The Real News

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