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Media Meltdown

In the Puget Sound alone, we've seen 5 news outlets either close or begin to make moves to downsize over the last 30 days. Say goodbye NWCN; hello to the next KOMO and Seattle Times which are both reducing reporting staffers; vote with your dollars to keep UW's Seattle Globalist alive - because they won't; and be aware that NBC has shuttered its breaking news unit.

In most cases, the cause of these changes is a reduction in advertising revenue, especially when it comes to print and TV.

In case you've been asleep the last 15 years, news is everywhere. It's in your internet browser when you want to do a search, it's at your fingertips through a plethora of apps and, as always, you can get it in print, from TV or radio.

Maybe we did the right thing 18 years ago when we wrote our business plans for several online magazines. We wanted to focus on areas where others didn't online and concentrate on those facets only.

Sure, we could have come up with a lifestyle magazine about Seattle, but instead we decided to focus on dining in and out of the home with a local focus. 18 years later we continue to do that with seattledining.com.

In 1999, we saw what was happening with print motorcycles magazines, with few of them ready to jump the print ship and move to online. Who wanted to give up those print rates in advertising anyhow? With only one publication offering a local focus on the Pacific Northwest, the time was right to launch an online magazine for motorcyclists living in and visiting the Pacific Northwest. And so we launched soundrider.com.

In the case of The Seattle Times, they enjoy revenue from two angles. You can pay to be a subscriber which gets you the print and online access. And after you've paid your money, be prepared to be bombarded by ads, because your subscription alone isn't enough to fund the overhead.

Say hello to ad blockers.

Our online publications are solely funded by advertising revenues and have been for 18 years. No one has ever paid to be a subscriber.

So if you use an ad blocker, please white list us and allow the ads to show. You'll note almost every ad is for a local business. Your support of them is what keeps us in business.

Our ad system is only loaded with businesses that pay quarterly or annually to be there. We don't run just anybody's ad. We have to believe a business is good for our readers, or we don't even entertain allowing them onto the site.

Have you noticed how fast our sites load? When you read our online magazines, there is no robot slipping cookies into your machine so it can feed you ads based on your recent searches. It's all organic and maintained right here in-house and we don't poke around in your computer during a visit to our sites. Take note of the ads and support these entities when you can.

Subscription is still the best way to stay in touch with what's going on editorially. That's free to do using the link at the top of this page. Sure, you can have news spoon fed to you by Google or Bing, but it's spotty at best. We spent a good chunk of time in December trying to crack the code on how to get our pieces listed in the big guys' feeds. Turns out they have all sorts of criteria that's quite hard to overcome, and since they change the rules monthly, there's never a guarantee what we publish will arrive in a news feed, so subscribe free to our newsletter, if you haven't already.

Now, you might wonder, with all the recent shake-ups, what is the fate of seattledining.com and soundrider.com in the coming year? The connection between lack of ad revenues and media outlets going down is clear. Thanks to the continued support of local businesses supporting our local business, we're on target to continue just as we have been for the last 18 years. With your support of them and us, we will continue to feed you the news you want.

                            

Tom Mehren, Connie Adams/January 2017


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