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June 15, 2012 at 1:13 PM

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Crosscut.com on summer hours; online-only news sites struggle

Within the last few months, two online Seattle news websites that specialize in politics and local issues have run into hard economic times. The latest is Crosscut.com, which on Friday announced it would temporarily go on summer hours and reduce staff and budgets during a period of re-grouping and re-purposing.

Here is an excerpt from a piece headlined, "How's Crosscut doing?" by David Brewster:

"Several factors have caused us to tap on the brakes over the summer. Three major grants to Crosscut all expire this year, producing our own kind of "fiscal cliff." Crosscut Public Media, the nonprofit institution that publishes Crosscut.com, is in the midst of succession planning that will allow me to scale back my involvement and put the leadership of the venture in dynamic new hands. This new phase of Crosscut will raise significant funds around the new vision and leadership team, but it has taken longer than expected. We concluded that it makes sense to spend more time on forging this new plan right now, diverting some time and effort from just putting out each day's edition. I am very involved in helping this transition and expect to continue to be involved in the organization going forward''.

Crosscut celebrated its fifth anniversary this year, and briefly hired two writers from PubliCola, an online news site that went dark in early May.

Writers Josh Feit and Erica Barnett turned up at Crosscut for several weeks until they posted their last item several days ago that said they had "gone fishing.''


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