The Seattle-based political news site PubliCola is closing, despite strong readership. As founder Josh Feit describes in a post, the site is quite popular, with “more than 400,000 monthly page views during the election season and currently more than 10,000 Facebook and Twitter followers.” But that doesn’t always equal commensurate returns. Feit writes, “We haven’t been successful as a business. Advertising revenue has been limited and inconsistent.”
But PubliCola isn’t completely disappearing—the for-profit site will be folding into the nonprofit Seattle news site Crosscut. PubliCola will be “squatting” in CrossCut’s offices, and Feit writes that, starting Monday, Crosscut will feature PubliCola’s Morning Buzz and Afternoon Jolt columns.
PubliCola was the first online-only news source to receive media credentials to cover Washington’s state capital, and it’s great that their political reporting seems to have found a new home. “Local online pioneer Crosscut.com has some exciting expansion plans—and PubliCola’s voice and daily reporting figures prominently in their new vision,” writes Feit.
The end of PubliCola as an independent entity comes almost a year after fellow startup, Seattle PostGlobe, went out of business. The PostGlobe began in 2009 as a way to fill the void left behind when Hearst closed the 146-year-old newspaper, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. At one point, PostGlobe had a part-time staff of 30 former P-I staffers. Lacking a long-term sustainability strategy, the site ended less than two years after its launch.