Final Edition: The Rocky Mountain News Closes

The final front page

The final front page

Goodbye Colorado

Rocky Kept Swinging Until the End

Denver Post: Rocky’s last run; Some staff will join Post

Poynter: Why the Rocky Closed and What It Means


“They quit on us.” A video on the closing, produced by the News.


Kramer: Relaunch the new biz — learn from online news providers like Politico, Marketwatch — and build around the content they cover, not the format in which they deliver the news

Think Tank: France’s terrible idea to bail out newspapers

Newsday plans to charge for online content; Ailing SF Chron, too

Unconventional? Yes. Wisdom? Probably Not.

The aforementioned “Unconventional Wisdom” episode here. (And here.) Again, it’s myself, Zack Stovall, David Kinkade and host David Sanders talking politics, blogging and journalism. Fittingly, we’re at the end of the show, when most viewers have changed channels or fallen asleep! But hey, Kinkade for one is just happy to be there, or anywhere for that matter.

At the top of the half-hour: Mike Masterson, columnist with the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Masterson talks about news from the Great Northwest (Arkansas), including the economy, the legislature and the country’s ailing newspapers.

Rocky Mountain News to Publish Final Edition on Friday

On the News' Web site today

On the News' Web site today

Just shy of its 150th anniversary, the Rocky Mountain News will publish its final edition on Friday. This, after owner E.W. Scripps failed to find a buyer.

From the newspaper today:

“Today the Rocky Mountain News, long the leading voice in Denver, becomes a victim of changing times in our industry and huge economic challenges,” Rich Boehne, chief executive officer of Scripps, said in a prepared statement. “The Rocky is one of America’s very best examples of what local news organizations need to be in the future. Unfortunately, the partnership’s business model is locked in the past.”

The closure of the Rocky will mean Denver will have just one major newspaper, like the vast majority of American cities today.

Scripps said it will now offer for sale the masthead, archives and Web site of the Rocky, separate from its interest in the newspaper agency.

In Denver, the Post still stands. It had co-existed with the News under a joint operating agreement.


Scripps news release

Liveblogging (?) the announcement

Readers react

Denver Post: Rocky Mountain News to end

Gawker: A Major Paper finally dies, forever


Arkansas Democrat-Gazette lays off 50-60, keeps 401(k) going

Hungry in Little Rock? Try Soirée Recommends

It’s time for some shameless self-promotion to tell your about our continuing series of restaurant videos at and, Soirée Recommends.

The video series is based on Soiree magazine’s monthly round-up of the best in central Arkansas restaurants, as chosen by the magazine’s editors. So far, we’ve profiled 15 excellent eateries with many more on the way. This week, our newest addition, Loca Luna, hosted by the Steve Bardwell family, who are big fans.

You can see the complete series here, as well as on YouTube at

USA Today on Arkansas ‘Stable’ Economy

Arkansas gets the front-page treatment in today’s USA Today newspaper, with an article talking about how the Natural State is among the few in the country with a relatively stable economy and low metropolitan unemployment.

The explanation is one we’ve heard many times before: We missed the highs of the bubble economy, so we’ve also been spared the crushing lows of the recession:

Layoffs and foreclosures are on the rise and some business investments are on hold, but unemployment rates remain well below the national level in Arkansas and several other states, including Wyoming, North Dakota, Wisconsin and West Virginia. New companies are moving in and some are expanding, adding a few hundred jobs here and a few hundred there.

In December, Forbes named Little Rock one of the best middle-class housing markets because median home prices were rising while the national market was plummeting.

Those small successes are magnified in a dismal economic climate, especially when they play out in states that have never been economic high-flyers or big population gainers. “Arkansas never really experienced extreme highs or extreme lows,” says Jim Youngquist, director of The Institute for Economic Advancement at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

But USA Today also notes that cutbacks are still taking place here. It points to that recent layoff by LM Glasfiber and a $20 million revenue drop in Arkansas’ December revenue report. That gives Gov. Mike Beebe an opening to talk about the importance of workforce education in retraining workers with new skills for work in other sectors.

See the full article here.

(A version of this post also appears on’s Scanner blog.)

Media Notes: DG Discontinues 401(k) Match, SF Chron on the Brink

Bad: After a round of layoffs, publisher Walter Hussman says the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette will discontinue its 401(k) match program for employees. They were able to fully fund in 2008 however.*

Broken Hearts in San Francisco: Heart says it will sell or close the San Francisco Chronicle. Meanwhile, a Chronicle competitor is mum on whether he’d buy the paper.

Fewer Times: The New York Times cuts the frequency of its T fashion magazine.

Post Up: The Washington Post’s quarterly print advertising numbers are bad, but online ads are up, though growth is slowing.

The Dark Ages: Just what did people do on the Web in 1996?

It’s Ok If You’re Impressed: The Think Tank on the “strange resilience” of the local TV news personality.

Unkindest Cut: Newspaper and TV station owner Gannett cuts its dividend by 90 percent. Investors will make their opinions known today.

*Corrected from an earlier version, which had the item exactly backward!

I Was Kidnapped by the Conservative Media Mafia

Blogging was light today in light of my abduction by a trio of mysteriously well-dressed conservative media mafia types, David Sanders, David Kinkade and Zack Stovall. Long story short: They tossed me in the trunk of Sanders’ Cadillac (yes of course he drives a Cadillac) and smuggled me onto the set of AETN’s “Unconventional Wisdom” to record a show that’s so good they’re only going to show it online. Or at least that’s what they told Sanders.*

At any rate, I’m back — a little dazed but in relatively good shape. We’ll post a link to video of the show should it ever surface.

* It’s going to air on real TV after all! Though not at its regular time. 6:30 p.m. Friday, and again on Sunday evening. Warm up the DVRs.**

** Pre-empted by Steve Barnes! Online only! Just like we originally said!