The Rocky was founded in 1859 by William Byers, one of the most
influential figures in Colorado history. Scripps bought the paper in
1926 and immediately began a newspaper war with The Post. That fight
ebbed and flowed over the course of the rest of the 20th century,
culminating in penny-a-day subscriptions in the late ’90s.
Perhaps the most critical step for the Rocky occurred in 1942, when
then-Editor Jack Foster saved it by adopting the tabloid style it has
been known for ever since. Readers loved the change, and circulation
In the past decade, the Rocky has won four Pulitzer Prizes, more
than all but a handful of American papers. Its sports section was named
one of the 10 best in the nation this week. Its business section was
cited by the Society of American Business Editors and Writers as one of
the best in the country last year. And its photo staff is regularly
listed among the best in the nation when the top 10 photo newspapers
Staffers were told to come in Friday to collect personal effects.
“I could say stupid things like ‘I know how you feel.’ I don’t,”
Boehne said. “We are just deeply sorry. I hope you will accept that.”
Via Dan in comments. And just in case anybody’s confused, or for those of you who just got here: The “I’m killing journalism” thing is a running gag, right, but the joke isn’t that I want journalism dead. Or newspapers dead. Or even TV news dead. Or that I delight in journalism’s troubles. If anything, I want newspapers as alive and vibrant as they were two decades ago, when I first fell in love with them, and my anger at journalism today is at the squandering of resources, rampant greed, and unnecessary fatalism that has led us to this moment. Not at journalists. Not at newspapers. Not at anybody in Denver who’s hurting tonight.
I’ve closed a newspaper. It was like going to a funeral, every day, for seven months, the funeral of someone you loved dearly, every single day. And every day I got up and somebody was picking over our bones and we had no way to answer back because we didn’t have a paper anymore. We came in for some of the cruelest criticism I’ve ever been subjected to, and I’ve been told I’m a shitty writer and that people hate my ferrets, okay, so. Every day it was like going to a funeral for your best friend and hearing everybody there call that guy an asshole while you’re still trying to figure out how to live without him.
I would not wish that experience on the person I hate most in the world. There is no journalistic sin that deserves that punishment, so when I say I’m killing journalism, I’m not being cute. I’m being angry. That’s where my anger at this situation comes from. It comes from knowing that it didn’t have to be this way:
After Friday, the Denver Post will be the only newspaper in town.
Asked if pubilsher Dean Singleton now walks away with the whole pie, Boehne was blunt.
“He walks away with an unprofitable paper, $130 million in debt and
revenues that are down 15-20 percent every year,” Boehne said.
Asked if Singleton would have to pay for the presses now, Boehne
added, “We had to kill a newspaper. He can pay for the presses.”
If I yell and bitch that I’m obviously killing journalism, it’s because I want people to realize there are problems here deeper than the Internet, deeper than a few people having modest financial success in a new medium. Those problems would persist if the entire Internet disappeared tomorrow, and until we solve them, I can publish all the cat macros and Happy Obama photos and cock jokes I want, but it won’t make a damn bit of difference to Scripps’ bottom line, and the sooner everybody takes their eyes off I Can Haz Cheeseburger and starts looking at where $130 million got flushed to, the sooner I can stop reading stuff like this:
Several employees wanted to know about severance packages, or even if they could buy at discount their computers.
It’s nauseating. There aren’t words.