The story of the rise and fall of the legendary Rocky Mountain News is indeed a very tearful one, and also yet another lesson that nothing lasts forever. For a company that has gone through the hard punch of war, survived natural disasters like floods and numerous barrages over the years, to bow out 150 years later is not a joyful experience. The worsening state of the economy undoubtedly played a vital role in the unraveling of the Rocky Mountain News.
The closing of the Rocky Mountain News is indeed a harrowing experience for all, from the owners and executives, to the workers and loyal Denver readers who have been enthusiastically reading the words of the Rocky for 150 years – words that will be the remnant of a century and a half of an media icon that was dedicated to providing quality news. The Rocky Mountain News has been a major part of Denver’s culture since they started press in 1859. The Rocky had been owned by the Scripps Company since 1920. The founders were L. Dailey, Dr. Monell, William Byers, and Thomas Gibson on April 23, 1859. Since the Rocky came into existence, it has won the prestigious Pulitzer Award. The first issues were printed from the Omaha, Nebraska printing press at the dawn of the Colorado gold rush.
One of the notable deeds of the newspaper was its stand against the crime don Jefferson Randolph Smith also known as Soapy Smith. The power of media was used as a tool to fight this criminal enigma. The then editor John Artkins allowed rude comments about the king pin wife’s name to be published in the Rocky Mountain News.
Merging with a Rival
Were it not for the timely intervention of a competitor, which sought to save the legacy of the Rocky Mountain News, the end would have been much sooner. Merging with its age old rival The Denver Post in early 2000 prolonged the inevitable.
The Sad End
Rumors about the closing of the Rocky Mountain News began to surface when Scripps offered the company up for sale in 2007. Unable to interest any buyers, the Rocky couldn’t hold up any longer. News of the closing of the Rocky Mountain News shocked the Denver metro area when it was finally announced by Rich Boehne on February 27, 2009.