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Breaking News- Rocky Mountain News to close, publish final edition Friday

I expect more to follow. From the Rocky Mountain News-

The Rocky Mountain News publishes its last paper tomorrow.

Rich Boehne, chief executive officer of Scripps, broke the news to the Rocky staff at noon today, ending nearly three months of speculation over the paper's future. He called the paper a victim of a terrible economy and an upheaval in the newspaper industry.

"Denver can't support two newspapers anymore," Boehne told staffers, some of whom cried at the news.

On Dec. 4, Boehne announced that Scripps was looking for a buyer for the Rocky and its 50 percent interest in the Denver Newspaper Agency, the company that handles business matters for the papers, because it couldn't continue to sustain its financial losses in Denver. Scripps said the Rocky lost $16 million in 2008.

"This moment is nothing like any experience any of us have had," Boehne said. "The industry is in serious, serious trouble."

The RMN isn't the first major newspaper to fold in the United States, just the biggest in at least a decade. Here is a link(I will admit the list is inadequate and omits quite a few newspapers but it serves to tell us this is not a new phenomenon) to a list of defunct newspapers. Anyone remember the ashington Star, Miami News, The New York Herald-Tribune? I read a book about the life and death of the last. It's still on my bookshelf here at home.

As I said yesterday, "We should mourn the death of a major daily newspaper, not celebrate it."

Hat tip- Doug at Below the Beltway who writes- "The Rocky Mountain News had circulation of roughly 255,000 people as of 2006, and had been in continuous operation since April 23, 1859.

Tomorrow -- 149 years, 10 months, and 4 days later -- it will cease to exist."


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Comments (11)

I'm still waiting on the NY... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

I'm still waiting on the NYT's.

This is my paper but as bug... (Below threshold)
Kat:

This is my paper but as buggy whip manufacturers went out of business, so will they.

"We should mourn the dea... (Below threshold)
Clay:

"We should mourn the death of a major daily newspaper, not celebrate it."

Whatever. They're called rags for a reason.

For what it's worth, I just... (Below threshold)

For what it's worth, I just read through their recent editorials and looked at their lineup of columnists. Their editorials ran right down the middle as a whole - some tilted a bit left, some right. They have a decent group of conservative columnists and some others look like they're on the left.

I don't know if any locals can shed any more light on the paper, but they look pretty moderate to me, which for a paper is pretty right. Based on their editorials I'd be thrilled to see them replace the people writing the editorials in my papers.

For what it's worth, I j... (Below threshold)
Clay:

For what it's worth, I just read through their recent editorials and looked at their lineup of columnists.

It's not the columnists that concern me. I expect them to editorialize. It's the editorializing of the news that upsets me. I believe it's the journalist's artistic license that has much to do with the demise of many newspapers. They quit being journalists a long time ago.

Falze, the RMN ran a very m... (Below threshold)
Tim:

Falze, the RMN ran a very moving and well done series on Casualty Notification. From doing a quick Google search I also found some very respectful articles about several fallen heros from Colorado.


http://www.rockymountainnews.com/special-reports/final-salute/

http://www.rockymountainnews.com/news/2009/jan/20/hundreds-show-berthoud-soldiers-funeral/

http://www.rockymountainnews.com/news/2008/mar/23/profiles-colorado-soldiers-killed-iraq/

It's a Pulitzer-prize winni... (Below threshold)
James H:

It's a Pulitzer-prize winning newsroom, and I'm sorry to see them go. That said, most towns, and even a number of cities, can really support only one daily general-interest newspaper. Larger communities can, of course, support more (witness, for ex., the papers in NYC), but that's a rarity.

I doubt there has e... (Below threshold)
irongrampa:


I doubt there has ever been a newspaper that couldn't be called biased.

This in itself is not objectionable.

When the bias creeps out of the OpEd section into the hard news is when the red flag goes up. Unfortunately , this is seems to be all too common lately.

I'm from MD and remember th... (Below threshold)

I'm from MD and remember the Evening Star. The Post came out in the morning, and the Star got delivered to homes in the afternoon.

But the Post eventually swallowed the Star.

clay: I just figured I'd se... (Below threshold)

clay: I just figured I'd see which way they leaned - the editorials are usually the easiest way to judge that.

The Rocky is or was the fai... (Below threshold)
Kat:

The Rocky is or was the fairest of the two papers in Denver. The Denver Post leans more left in every regard.




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