Rocky Mountain News
February 27, 2009
The Rocky Mountain News publishes its last paper tomorrow.
Rich Boehne, chief executive officer of Rocky-owner Scripps, broke the news to the staff at noon today, ending nearly three months of speculation over the paper’s future.
“People are in grief,” Editor John Temple said a noon news conference.
But he was intent on making sure the Rocky’s final edition, which would include a 52-page wraparound section, was as special as the paper itself.
“This is our last shot at this,” Temple said at a second afternoon gathering at the newsroom. “This morning (someone) said it’s like playing music at your own funeral. It’s an opportunity to make really sweet sounds or blow it. I’d like to go out really proud.”
Boehne told staffers that the Rocky was the victim of a terrible economy and an upheaval in the newspaper industry.
“Denver can’t support two newspapers any longer,” Boehne told staffers, some of whom cried at the news. “It’s certainly not good news for you, and it’s certainly not good news for Denver.”
Tensions were higher at the second staff meeting, held to update additional employees who couldn¹t attend the hastily called noon press conference.