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Thursday, February 26, 2009

 

Another Major Newspaper Closes


Graphic by TJ Sullivan
Sorry to say that our friends at the Rocky Mountain News in Denver will no longer have a newspaper after Friday's edition is put to bed.

The Rocky is closing.

From the Rocky Mountain News:
The Rocky Mountain News, less than two months away from its 150th anniversary, will be closed after a search for a buyer proved unsuccessful, the E.W. Scripps Co. announced today.

"Today the Rocky Mountain News, long the leading voice in Denver, becomes a victim of changing times in our industry and huge economic challenges," Rich Boehne, chief executive officer of Scripps, said in a prepared statement. "The Rocky is one of America’s very best examples of what local news organizations need to be in the future. Unfortunately, the partnership’s business model is locked in the past."

The Rocky has been in a joint operating agreement with The Denver Post since 2001. The arrangement approved by the U.S. Justice Department allowed the papers to share all business services, from advertising to printing, in order to preserve two editorial voices in the community.

However on December 4 Scripps announced it was putting up for sale 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.

I wish all my friends at the Rocky well and will keep them in my thoughts.

Among those I know who will lose their jobs tomorrow are several former Ventura County Star staffers: M.E. Sprengelmeyer, David Montero, Matt McLain and Chris Schneider.

Unfortunately, this is yet another sad reminder of why we need to educate people about what we're losing, and to join together in search of a solution before any more papers close. Please consider signing the petition at Know Newspapers

— TJ Sullivan in LA

*Cross posted at www.KnowNewspapersPetition.com.

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