I've got a serious afternoon Jolt: PubliCola is going out of business. Sort of.
While PubliCola has been successful producing influential, must-read news coverage and building a loyal readership (more than 400,000 monthly page views during the election season and currently more than 10,000 Facebook and Twitter followers), we haven't been successful as a business. Advertising revenue has been limited and inconsistent.[pullquote]Starting soon, you can read our Morning Fizz and Afternoon Jolt columns on Crosscut.com.[/pullquote]
Thankfully for local political news junkies, Crosscut.com, the local news site started by David Brewster, the founder and publisher-editor of Seattle Weekly for 21 years and the the founder of Town Hall, believes PubliCola's reporting is invaluable for this city's civic and political life. He wants to do everything he can to keep our reporting alive. During the last several weeks, we've been exploring ways to collaborate. (In fact, we're currently squatting in Crosscut's awesome Pioneer Square offices, having boxed up and left our one-room Cola HQ in Belltown for good last week.)
In addition to being gracious enough to host us physically, Crosscut.com has offered to keep us going for now digitally as well. So I know this is a little abrupt, but starting soon, you can read our Morning Fizz and Afternoon Jolt columns on Crosscut.com.
They've actually got more than three people on staff, a coffee break room, and a printer. How civilized.
We don't know where this Crosscut PubliCorner, if you will, is going to lead. But there do seem to be some exciting possibilities: A combo of these two prominent local news sites—with Crosscut's in-depth, analytical weekly articles and PubliCola's on-the-ground, breaking news—could be awesome. And we're considering it. Plus we could use their infrastructure, editors, and copy editing (they've got all that too). And they could use our younger readers and progressive voice. This could end up being a real win for the community.
But it's also a big loss right now. And a hard one for us personally. PubliCola, an idea I hatched back in 2008, has been a wonderful obsession that's defined my life for more than three-and-a-half years since becoming the first on-line-only news site to be credentialed to cover the state legislature.
Erica and me and, our partners Greg Smith and Raj Singh, and co-founder Sandeep Kaushik, while trying to think big about 21st Century media, were at core banking on age-old news traditions—breaking stories, holding politicians accountable, creating a platform to debate and vet pressing issues—to establish PubliCola as a permanent and essential part of Seattle's civic life. We're proud of the work we've done, and we're honored that so many of you have been reading us over the years.