According to a report from KING 5 news, a source close to the deal told reporter Linda Byron that the paper's owner, Hearst Corporation, will announce shortly that it's putting the P-I up for sale. Under the joint operating agreement (JOA) between the P-I and The Seattle Times, the P-I must be offered for sale for at least 30 days before it can be closed down.
The JOA was put into effect in 1983 in an effort to keep both papers financially viable. The P-I was originally granted a monopoly on morning publication, but in 1999 the agreement was modified to allow the Times to publish in the morning as well. Critics predicted that would eventually lead to the demise of the P-I.
Reportedly, Hearst doesn't expect any buyers to step forward, clearing the path for the P.I. to be shut down.