26 February 2009

Last Rocky Mountain News Tomorrow

The last edition of the Rocky Mountain News is tomorrow (citing the Rocky Mountain News). The paper was owned by E. W. Scripps Co. Denver will now be a one [major] newspaper town.

[C.E.O. of Scripps Rich] Boehne said there was an out-of-state nibble from only one potential buyer, who withdrew after realizing that it would cost as much as $100 million "just to stay in the game."

Scripps said it will now offer for sale the masthead, archives and Web site of the Rocky, separate from its interest in the newspaper agency. . . . Staffers were told to come in Friday to collect personal effects.

Readers: This may impact links in this blog. Beyond my control. Sorry.

The closure was done in bad form.

The closure took place just a few weeks before the symbolically important 150th anniversary of the paper this April.

Scripps isn't even finishing out a complete week, leaving the city with no one running any newspaper on Saturday, unless the Denver Post creates a Saturday edition for the day after tomorrow on an emergency basis. Do the guys at Scripps even realize that?

There was also no advanced communications to hundreds of thousands of subscribers who have partially paid subscriptions and they have had no opportunity to make alternate newspaper arrangements.

Finally, the timing indicates a deep and unfounded lack of trust from management towards a loyal group of newsroom staff would run the paper responsibily with advanced notice of a closure, in order to preserve their own reputations.

I would think that E.W. Scripps, as a newspaper company continuing to do business in other markets, would ahve more self respect.

UPDATE: The Denver Post is starting a Saturday edition starting this week, and Rocky Mountain News subscribers will get the Denver Post whether they want it or not. Most advertisers will pay the same rates, but not necessarily all of them. From Elevated Voices (the 5280 blog). The Denver Post has also hired a number of the "stars" from the Rocky Mountain News, mostly columnists.


Dave Barnes said...

So sad as the better paper dies.
If Scripps had held out for 4 more months, they would have force Dinky Singleton to declare bankruptcy first.
As a subscriber of both papers, I find this very depressing. More depressing that it is the Rocky and not the Post.

Andrew Oh-Willeke said...

UPDATE: The archives will be transferred to the Denver Public Library and Colorado State Archives.