Rocky Mountain News Shuts Down, Final Edition Friday

For the past 38 years, I've read the Rocky Mountain News daily. Tomorrow will be the last day. The paper will cease publishing Friday.

Maybe I shouldn't have stopped my subscription and read it solely online the past five years. Or maybe Denver doesn't need two dailies. [More...]

The writing has been on the wall for a while. For years, the Denver Post was the afternoon paper and the Rocky the morning one. Then the Post also went to mornings. Then they formed a joint publishing arrangement with the Rocky taking Saturdays and the Post Sundays.

While I like the Denver Post, I'm sorry to see the Rocky shut down. It had good reporters and a lot of employees will be out of a job.

Sad economic times indeed. President Obama says we will recover. I wonder when.

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    Denver is a growing city (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by andgarden on Thu Feb 26, 2009 at 07:15:39 PM EST
    so if the the RMN can't make it, it think it's frankly just the canary in the coal mine. My Philly Inky, anemic after years of shrinking staff, can't be far from death.

    That's how I fell about my area paper (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Lil on Thu Feb 26, 2009 at 07:25:29 PM EST
    The Bergen Record. I think it's just a matter of time before it's gone. I barely read it myself anymore. Being from the NY area, I remember thinking the name of the Rocky Mountain News was a cool name for a paper (I was very young then); and growing up listening to John Denver and all. I was a big sports fan and would read about the Nuggets, who were fairly decent back then, as I remember. Still, I used to be an avid Daily News reader to check in on the Mets and do the crossword puzzle. Those days are done; all internet now.

    Inquirer and Daily News (none / 0) (#6)
    by joanneleon on Thu Feb 26, 2009 at 07:35:20 PM EST
    declared bankruptcy the other day.  I really hope they successfully recover... again.  It would be a terrible loss.  Can you imagine Phila. with no major newspapers?

    Yup, I can (none / 0) (#7)
    by andgarden on Thu Feb 26, 2009 at 07:40:45 PM EST
    Remember when every city had an afternoon paper? I don't: they were all dead before I could read.

    I remember the Bulletin (none / 0) (#8)
    by joanneleon on Thu Feb 26, 2009 at 07:44:13 PM EST
    being delivered by the paper boy, but barely.  We still have the Courier Post here in South Jersey but it's a Gannett paper now and pretty lame.  I rarely read it.

    I think the newspaper business (none / 0) (#9)
    by andgarden on Thu Feb 26, 2009 at 07:46:32 PM EST
    is probably now unsustainable.

    I grew up in a newspaper family. (5.00 / 2) (#10)
    by caseyOR on Thu Feb 26, 2009 at 08:25:09 PM EST
    My dad was a reporter for our local paper. He taught me to read with the Sunday funnies. I have always, no matter where I was living, been a subscriber to the local paper. And in high school, college and for a time in my early 20s, I worked for various newspapers.

    It makes me so sad. I like the tactile experience of reading a "paper" newspaper. I can't picture trying to read an online paper while on the bus or the train. I can't figure out how to fold my laptop into quarters. :)

    Maybe I am living in the past, refusing to accept the inevitable, but I think we will come to regret the demise of the newspaper.

    How about a poll. How many (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by oculus on Thu Feb 26, 2009 at 11:42:50 PM EST
    commenters at Talk Left pay for a subscription to a daily newspaper?

    I do (none / 0) (#14)
    by ruffian on Fri Feb 27, 2009 at 12:25:42 AM EST
    I just have to have that paper to read with breakfast. Not sure I could eat without it.

    I was a Rocky Mountain News subscriber for 14 yrs when I lived in Castle Rock CO until 3 years ago and I'm really sorry to see it end. The writing was on the wall a few years ago when they merged management. I didn't think the News would even survive as long as it did. I liked it a lot better than the Denver Post - it just seemed to have more real stories, and less crap.

    Now I get the Orlando Sentinel.  It has pretty good local coverage, but I can read the whole thing in 20 minutes. Pretty sad.

    I miss the L.A. Times of the 70's and 80's when I lived out there. Even the weekday editions took a good hour to read. I've heard it has gone downhill since then.

    I'm probably one of the dinosaurs who will always want a daily paper showing up in my driveway, even though I get most of my real news online.


    I subscribed to my local paper (none / 0) (#17)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Fri Feb 27, 2009 at 12:31:44 AM EST
    until the sweet paper girl who delivered to my doorstep with a smile was replaced by a car delivery that delivered my paper to the water ditch at the bottom of my driveway.

    I got tired of calling and complaining, only to have my paper re-delivered to the ditch.  I cancelled my paper.

    Prior to the advent of "do-not-call" I was constantly solicited to resubscribe.

    The conversation would go like so:
    "Would you like to subscribe to the Seattle Times?" they'd say.
    "No, they deliver my paper to a watery ditch," I'd reply.
    "Then would you like to subscribe to the PI?"
    I'd hang up the phone

    This happened over and over again.

    Bring back the paper kids or at least doorstep delivery, and I'd happily and lovingly subscribe again.  Nothing replaces the tactile satisfaction of a real newspaper.


    That tactile feel (none / 0) (#18)
    by ruffian on Fri Feb 27, 2009 at 12:52:21 AM EST
    definitely loses a lot when the paper is a soggy mess! I can't blame you. I do wish they would throw it closer to the door. I usually grab it from the sidewalk when I walk the dogs, but on the rare mornings I don't walk, I hate to walk all the way down the driveway in my robe. If they even got it mostly to the door it would be fine - and my driveway is only like 25 ft long. It's hardly a palatial estate.

    Two. (none / 0) (#36)
    by Cream City on Fri Feb 27, 2009 at 11:07:30 AM EST
    Don't like a lot of the online layouts, miss too many stories because computer science graduates don't know page design and how to adapt it.

    They also sure don't know that what makes any media succeed is consistency, not constant fooling around with websites for the fun for computer science graduates, not readers.

    Sparing you my rant about journalism graduates, but those problems exist both on paper and online.

    Worst, of course, are the business school graduates.  They are really the ones who are running -- and ruining -- newspapers.  


    Three (none / 0) (#20)
    by easilydistracted on Fri Feb 27, 2009 at 07:42:44 AM EST
    I pay for three: NYTimes home delivery, and Fort Worth Star Tribune and Dallas Morning News

    Telegram (none / 0) (#21)
    by easilydistracted on Fri Feb 27, 2009 at 07:43:58 AM EST
    Forth Worth Star Telegram, I meant to say.

    I do and wouldn't be without it. (none / 0) (#25)
    by DFLer on Fri Feb 27, 2009 at 09:35:26 AM EST
    Mpls. Star Tribune

    and in the past the St. Paul Pioneer Press, cause I like the name, but the Strib is a better paper.

    Strib is currently in chapter whatever bankruptcy.


    Yep (none / 0) (#30)
    by CST on Fri Feb 27, 2009 at 09:55:54 AM EST
    Still get the Boston Globe every day.  Although I don't always get through all of it.

    To be honest, I am more likely to read the Metro (front to back) every day - since it is free and available at the train.  I wonder what they will do if all these papers close.  Most of their articles are just re-prints or "quotes" from other papers.


    No subscription... (none / 0) (#31)
    by kdog on Fri Feb 27, 2009 at 10:00:00 AM EST
    but I buy two papers at the deli every morning.

    Encouraging results. (none / 0) (#32)
    by oculus on Fri Feb 27, 2009 at 10:01:49 AM EST
    Do I subscribe?  Yes:  NYT.  Do I read it?  Not always.  San Diego UT:  can't subscribe or read it.  

    The Seattle P.I. is going away too (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by shoephone on Fri Feb 27, 2009 at 12:28:07 AM EST
    I think they have about two more weeks to find a buyer or it's "adieu", at least in print form. Hearst (which owns the P.I.) says it's a losing operation and they want to dump the paper pronto. The P.I. has already laid off a bunch of staffers and the only viable option is to go to a totally online platform. But even that's not a sure thing.

    It's really a shame because between the P.I. and the Times, the P.I. is, by far, the better paper. Kristin Millares Young deserves a Peabody for all the great reporting she's done on the deep and wide corruption at the Port of Seattle.

    Now the Times is hinting they might go out of business too, which would make Seattle the first big city in America without even one newspaper.

    Scary days.

    As for our NW bloggers, they are not very high-quality. So we are prety much up a creek if both papers fold.

    It will be awful to have both papers (none / 0) (#22)
    by Inspector Gadget on Fri Feb 27, 2009 at 07:55:46 AM EST
    go under.

    Maybe a group of the reporters will start a new blog and up the quality of local news significantly.


    I felt bad when I heard this too (none / 0) (#1)
    by Lil on Thu Feb 26, 2009 at 07:06:27 PM EST
    I lived in Ft.Collins for a year and made a point of reading that paper everyday, back then. '86

    It's the homogenization of news (none / 0) (#2)
    by magster on Thu Feb 26, 2009 at 07:13:48 PM EST
    as news agencies were owned by fewer and fewer mega-corporations spitting out biased tripe pedaled as objectivity (hello AP).  The worst thing about this is the loss of local and sports news. Maybe its time for squarestate, colorado confidential, and 5280 blogs to take a chance on filling this void by becoming a wide ranging Colorado daily internet news dissemenator.  See if they can get some now unemployed reporters to serve as regular contributors and try to draw local advertisers to buy space on these blogs.

    As for the Post, I wonder if they should ditch the AP and high priced syndicated articles, and subscribe to blogs for their opinion pieces.  Kos has been doing it for Newsweek and Politico, and now it looks like TPM and Firedoglake are going to be regular guests on Shuster's show. I bet Kos and TPM are pennies on the dollar compared to the George Will's and Maureen Dowd's of the world.

    I doubt they pay bloggers to (none / 0) (#4)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Feb 26, 2009 at 07:16:54 PM EST
    give on air opinions. If there's no chiron under their name, like "MSNBC analyst" or "CNN contributor", they are not being paid at all.

    Hopefully we'll start seeing those chirons. Bloggers should get paid for their work just like other pundits.


    Hopefully (none / 0) (#23)
    by jbindc on Fri Feb 27, 2009 at 08:34:25 AM EST
    We'd actually get more news coverage and fewer pundits on air. I don't see that happening, but on-air punditry is taken by the masses as "news", when it's really just mostly spin and opinion. Most casual observers (those who don't read blogs, but instead watch the evening news and maybe read their daily local newspaper) think that Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann and Bill O'Reilly (and their guests) are actually telling us the truth!

    Since so many of the newspaper articles (none / 0) (#26)
    by ding7777 on Fri Feb 27, 2009 at 09:40:54 AM EST
    are just a cut/paste of the AP feed, does any city really need more than one newspaper?

    It's nice (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by jbindc on Fri Feb 27, 2009 at 11:31:28 AM EST
    To have papers that have differing editorial pages.  Then you can read more than one perspective about events and politics and make up your own mind.

    The NY Daily News... (none / 0) (#38)
    by kdog on Fri Feb 27, 2009 at 01:16:10 PM EST
    does a good job of mixing it up I think with their editorial section...some written by staff writers, some by nationally syndicated columnists, some by guest editorial writers....left, right, and center.

    Also, the best letters to the editor section of any paper I've ever read..."Voice of The People".


    Isn't the Rocky Mountain News (none / 0) (#11)
    by Radiowalla on Thu Feb 26, 2009 at 10:49:56 PM EST
    a right wing rag?

    Not that it matters.  The death of a newspaper is always sad.

    Here in the SF Bay Area, all the talk is about the impending demise of the SF Chronicle.  Our newspapers are in jeopardy and we have done them in all by ourselves, having forsaken print in favor of electronic media.

    Maybe now is the time for everyone to pony up and subscribe to their local rag.

    No, it's not (none / 0) (#12)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Feb 26, 2009 at 11:02:01 PM EST
    Its editorial board leans right but its reporters are not and don't have any perceived bias, in my opinion.

    I agree Jeralyn (none / 0) (#16)
    by ruffian on Fri Feb 27, 2009 at 12:30:26 AM EST
    I always heard that it was the right leaning paper, but I didnt' read the editorials anyway, and found the reporting very fair. And Mike Littwin was one of the best columnists around. Not exactly a right winger.

    It is still disconcerning... (none / 0) (#28)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Fri Feb 27, 2009 at 09:44:02 AM EST
    ...that people like Vincent Carrol are moving over to the Post.  

    I'm sure Governor Ritter is none too happy about this--what with Singleton being one of his biggest detractors.  

    But, at least the Post is getting the much better comics section.  


    re cheering the demise (none / 0) (#29)
    by DFLer on Fri Feb 27, 2009 at 09:47:37 AM EST
    of newspapers, right or left:

    Debra J. Saunders: A dying paper is nothing to crow about

    Liberal or otherwise, newspapers have standards that the Internet lacks.

    Cleveland lost its second paper (none / 0) (#19)
    by Fabian on Fri Feb 27, 2009 at 03:29:11 AM EST
    decades ago, about the time the formerly great industrial region became what is now called the Rust Belt.  Long before the infotainment news on television and long before blogs existed.  

    Nowadays, it's likely the economy plus other influences.  

    It was death by a thousand small cuts. (none / 0) (#24)
    by JSN on Fri Feb 27, 2009 at 09:04:47 AM EST
    What Gannet did was to cut staff and convert news pages into advertising page to improve their profit. It worked for awhile and now they are losing money and probably will not survive. The sportswriters will turn off the lights when they leave.

    Newspapers are in many cases victimes of (none / 0) (#27)
    by DFLer on Fri Feb 27, 2009 at 09:43:19 AM EST
    Wall Street mentality. The trend over the last decades has been to move from family ownership to corporate entities. Even though the papers were profitable, they just weren't profitable enough for Wall street.

    Of late, the loss of advertising revenue has been the big problem, especially the classifieds. That business has disappeared to the nets.

    What kills me is, how will all the nets and cable new get "their news" after newspapers and their reporters disappear? Half the content (maybe more) on the news blogs and cable news is derived from newspaper stories? Sheesh!

    Just like music, even though people don't want to pay for it, it still costs money to produce.

    If the newspapers go under, (none / 0) (#33)
    by oculus on Fri Feb 27, 2009 at 10:04:36 AM EST
    including on line versions, to what will the bloggers link?

    that's what I'm saying! (none / 0) (#34)
    by DFLer on Fri Feb 27, 2009 at 10:21:30 AM EST
    Soy Ink (none / 0) (#35)
    by DaleA on Fri Feb 27, 2009 at 10:47:34 AM EST
    used by the now bankrupt LA Times is something I am unable to read. For those of us who have color blindness issues, soy ink is a disaster. We literally can not see the print. On line, we have options and can set the screen to present the news in ways it is actually viewable. Regarding the RMN, an editorial board of right wing crazies is now unemployed. Hopefully Cliff Mays is among them.

    Newspaper editors cancel convention (none / 0) (#39)
    by DFLer on Fri Feb 27, 2009 at 06:42:01 PM EST
    An annual convention of newspaper editors has been canceled for the first time since World War II, undone by the worst economic crisis since that harrowing era.

    The American Society of Newspapers Editors' decision to skip this year's meeting was announced Friday, coinciding with the final edition of the Rocky Mountain News -- the largest daily U.S. newspaper to shut down so far during a steep two-year slide in advertising revenue that's draining the life out of the industry.


    Everybody needs two dailys (none / 0) (#40)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Feb 27, 2009 at 07:41:28 PM EST
    Bad idea only have one daily voice out there.  Sad event.....I praise Rocky Mtn News for being one of the first to have a journalist in Iraq that first year and reporting on the Fort Carson soldiers.  Sometimes their words were the only thing I had to fill the voids of spousal silence in my life.

    Dailys Are Dead (none / 0) (#41)
    by squeaky on Fri Feb 27, 2009 at 09:25:46 PM EST
    It is all moving toward the internet and internet tv.

    Most young people are not getting their news from paper.


    I wonder why the internet isn't working (none / 0) (#42)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Feb 28, 2009 at 01:08:04 PM EST
    for the newspapers?  You can get most of them online.

    Ad Income (none / 0) (#43)
    by squeaky on Sat Feb 28, 2009 at 01:22:35 PM EST
    Doesn't cover the expenses. Here is a interesting opinion about the future of newspapers.

    A very cool opinion that I can relate to (none / 0) (#44)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Feb 28, 2009 at 01:28:51 PM EST
    With both sets of my grandparents gone I can see how newspapers lost their habitual readers.  When we were still in Colorado I would have coffee in the morning with my grandparents after taking my daughter to school before I had to head to work.  Their newspaper was delivered to their porch and was part of a waking up ritual that never gravitated to my own house.  It was fun to go see them though and participate with them because it was part of my childhood.

    lol (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by squeaky on Sat Feb 28, 2009 at 02:59:40 PM EST
    I had the same ritual for years with the NYT, until Judith Miller took over the front page with WMD warmongering lies, courtesy BushCo.

    I cancelled my subscription and have been online since then. Still do not check the times on a daily basis unless I encounter a link or am searching for something they have.