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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