paidContent.org - End Of The Line For Rocky Mountain News; Misses 150th Birthday By Two Months
Friday, February 27, 2009; 1:07 AM
Just two months shy of its 150th birthday, EW Scripps (NYSE: SSP) will close Denver's Rocky Mountain News, the paper reported (via Romenesko). In December, Scripps said it would fold the paper unless it could find a buyer. Considering the woeful state of the newspaper market in general these days?and Scripps' $16 million losses at The Rocky last year? closure seemed almost inevitable. In mid-January, hopes were raised at the paper when an potential buyer expressed interest. But it was not to be. The buyer was turned away for what Scripps said was the inability of the proposed purchaser to offer a "viable plan." About 400 staffers will lose their jobs as a result. More after the jump
The Rocky has been part of a joint operating agreement with MediaNews Group's Denver Post for about eight years. The deal, sanctioned by the U.S. Justice Dept., allowed the two rivals to co-exist by sharing back-office services. As part of that deal, Scripps had a 50 percent stake in the Denver Newspaper Agency, the entity that was formed to manage those operations. Scripps still has its 50-50 ownership split with MediaNews on Boulder's Daily Camera and several other small Colorado papers.
The demise of one of Denver's two daily newspapers comes as other major cities are facing the prospect of being able to only support a single metro paper. Hearst has just put the sell or die threat to San Francisco Chronicle and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer; the latter could also be spared by turning into a web-only product. A decision on the Seattle P-I is expected by the second week in March.
?Denver Post hires Rocky reporters: At least some Rocky journos will still have a job after Friday. A memo posted on Romenesko from Greg Moore, editor of the DP, hopes to win over its former rival's readers by hiring about a half dozen Rocky reporters. The hires represent about 5 percent of the Scripps' paper's workforce.