It is with a heavy heart that we must say goodbye to Publicola, for three years the go-to site for insider wonk-knowledge about Seattle political minutae.
Josh Feit and Erica C. Barnett studiously roved the corridors of City Hall and associated parties, fundraisers, caucus meetings, and planning conferences, always coming back with clear, engaging reports.
But, as we previously noted in regards to the equally ambitious SportsPress Northwest, local content sites just can’t make in on banner ads alone.
Goodness knows, Feit and Barnett did all they could.
They added arts and entertainment reviewers (officially billed on-site as the “Nerds”), then dropped them when their contributions didn’t lead to added revenue.
Later they did the same with veteran crime reporter Jonah Spangenthal-Lee.
More lately, their initial financial backers pulled out. Feit and Barnett asked for donations from readers to keep the site going. That helped them to meet an immediate cash shortage.
But Feit, Barnett, and their initial backers knew the site’s long-term prospects as a for-profit, stand-alone entity were poor.
So Publicola, as its own thing, is shutting down.
But Crosscut.com, Seattle Weekly founder David Brewster’s nonprofit local commentary/analysis site, is bringing Feit and Barnett on board. Their coverage will continue at Crosscut in twice-daily installments. Brewster and co. will stage a fund drive to support permanent employment for the two.