Rocky Mountain News shuts down this week

by Catherine Tsai, AP

The Rocky Mountain News (Denver) will publish its last edition Friday.

Owner E.W. Scripps Co. announced on the newspaper's Web site Thursday that its search for a buyer for the paper was unsuccessful.

"Today the Rocky Mountain News, long the leading voice in Denver, becomes a victim of changing times in our industry and huge economic challenges," Scripps CEO Rich Boehne said.

Scripps said the paper lost $16 million last year.

Boehne said the paper's 230 editorial employees would be paid through April 28.

Scripps announced on Dec. 4 it would try to sell the paper. Only one potential buyer came forward, "and that party was unable to present a viable plan," the company said.

Scripps has owned the News since 1926. The paper will close just two months short of its 150th anniversary.

Since 2001, the News has shared business operations with The Denver Post in a joint operating agreement. William Dean Singleton, publisher of The Post and chief executive officer of its parent, MediaNews Group Inc., did not immediately return a call.

Singleton is also chairman of the board of The Associated Press.

Scripps said it has been working with MediaNews on "a plan to unwind the partnership" since mid-January, the deadline for offers.

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The media's job is to interest the public in the public interest. -John Dewey