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 Rocky Mountain News Is Shutting Down

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PostSubject: Rocky Mountain News Is Shutting Down   2/26/2009, 4:06 pm

The Rocky Mountain News in Denver will cease publication on Friday.

E.W. Scripps, which owns newspaper, known locally as The Rocky, announced Thursday that it had failed to find a buyer for the daily. Scripps’s chief executive, Rich Boehne, said in a statement that The Rocky was “a victim of changing times in our industry and huge economic challenges.” Scripps said the newspaper lost $16 million last year.

The Rocky is one of several big-city newspapers that lost tens of millions of dollars in the last few years. Those papers now face a precarious future. Hearst, for example, said last week that it was considering selling or closing The San Francisco Chronicle, and it plans to close The Seattle Post-Intelligencer if it finds no buyer for that paper.

Changing readership habits and increasing competition from the Internet have hit the newspaper industry especially hard, cutting overall circulation sharply over the last decade. Those forces, and the severe downturn, have significantly eroded advertising, the primary revenue source for newspapers.

The Rocky has about 230 reporters, editors and other employees in its newsroom. It will close just two months short of its 150th anniversary.

Scripps said only one potential buyer had looked at the newspaper but did not offer a viable plan for taking it over.

Since 2001, The Rocky has shared business operations in a joint operating agreement with The Denver Post, which is owned by William Dean Singleton’s MediaNews Group.

“Denver can’t support two newspapers anymore,” Mr. Boehne told The Rocky’s staffers on Thursday during an emotional meeting in the newsroom, the newspaper reported on its Web site. He added, “The industry is in serious, serious trouble.”

http://dealbook.blogs.nytimes.com

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