After Almost 150 Years, Denver’s Rocky Mountain News Says Goodbye
On Thursday, the executives from E.W. Scripps Co., the corporate owner of Denver’s Rocky Mountain News, announced their decision in the 150-year-old newspaper’s newsroom to close the Rocky Mountain News. The announcement came as metropolitan newspapers and major newspaper companies all across the country find themselves reeling, with plummeting advertising revenues and dramatically diminished share prices. Earlier this week, Hearst, owner of the San Francisco Chronicle, announced that unless it was able to make immediate and steep expense cuts, it would be forced to put the paper up for sale and possibly close it. Two other major newspapers publishing with joint operating agreements, one in Seattle and the other in Tucson, are facing closure in coming weeks.
The Rocky Mountain News was founded in 1859 by William Byers, one of the most influential figures in Colorado history. Scripps bought the newspaper in 1926 and immediately began a longtime newspaper battle with The Denver Post. That fight ebbed and flowed over the course of the rest of the 20th century, at one point resulting in penny-a-day subscriptions in the late ’90s. Perhaps the most critical step for the Rocky Mountain News occurred in 1942, when then-Editor Jack Foster saved it by adopting the tabloid style for which it has been known ever since. Readers loved the change, and circulation took off.
During the past decade, the Rocky Mountain News has won four Pulitzer Prizes, more than all but a handful of American newspapers. Its Sports Section was named one of the 10 best in the nation just this week. Last year, its Business Section was cited by the Society of American Business Editors and Writers as one of the best in the country. And its photography staff is regularly listed among the best in the nation when the top photo newspapers are judged.
The closure of the Rocky Mountain News means that like the vast majority of larger American cities today, Denver now is left with only one major newspaper, The Denver Post.
Readers can read the “Farewell Editorial” from Friday’s edition of the Rocky Mountain News here.
Final Edition: Denver’s Rocky Mountain News Says Goodbye
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