Publisher John Kirkpatrick told staffers the Web site, PennLive, will merge with the print operation and will be updated around the clock. Kirkpatrick said those getting the print edition will have about as many pages of newsprint as they did in seven days.
The Patriot-News, now owned by the Newhouse company, Advance Newspapers, was founded in 1854, although it traces its history back to 1820 when a weekly, The Pennsylvania Intelligencer, began publishing in Harrisburg. The newspaper won a Pulitzer Prize for local reporting in April for its coverage of the Jerry Sandusky football scandal at Penn State University.
Kirkpatrick said the newspaper is on a course that is "not for the faint of heart."
"We're doing this to secure our future," he told employees. "This gives us the chance to prosper."
Daily print circulation has dropped from 176,000 to 118,000 in the past 20 years. But the Web site has grown, driven by continuous coverage of high-profile stories like the Sandusky scandal, a battle over the state budget and disastrous flooding in Pennsylvania.
The paper has not said which days a week it will publish -- although there will definitely be a Sunday paper -- or how much it will charge for the print edition. Kirkpatrick said there are no plans to start charging for online news.
Another Newhouse paper, The Times-Picayune of New Orleans, has also announced plans to stop daily print publication.