February 27, 2009
The final edition of the Rocky Mountain News, Feb. 27, 2009

The final edition of the Rocky Mountain News, Feb. 27, 2009

Rocky Mountain News Stops the Presses

Just two months shy of its 150th anniversary, the Rocky Mountain News published its last edition on Feb. 27, 2009.

Colorado’s oldest newspaper, known by locals as simply "The Rocky," is the latest newspaper to fall victim to changes in the news marketplace and a struggling economy.

The Rocky’s final front-page headline read "Goodbye, Colorado."

The newspaper, owned by media company E.W. Scripps, lost $16 million last year and was put up for sale in December. Rich Boehne, chief executive officer of Scripps, said that despite a three-month search, his company failed to find a buyer.

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

Like other newspapers, the Rocky Mountain News saw circulation and advertising revenue drop in the wake of competition from the Internet.

Hearst announced recently that it is putting two of its papers, the San Francisco Chronicle and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, up for sale. Gannett said it will cease publication of the Tucson (Ariz.) Citizen in March if it cannot find a buyer.

The Denver Post, which becomes the city’s only major newspaper, will hire some reporters from the Rocky Mountain News, but more than 200 newsroom employees will lose their jobs.

The Rocky was first published in 1859 and was purchased by E.W. Scripps in 1926. In 2000, the newspaper won the Pulitzer Prize for breaking news photography for coverage of the Columbine High School shootings. The newspaper won again in 2003 for breaking news photography for coverage of the Colarado wildfires. It picked up two more Pulitzers in 2006 for feature writing and feature photography -- both for a series on Colorado Marines who had fought and died in Iraq.

Those photos can be seen in the Newseum’s Pulitzer Prize Photographs Gallery.

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