The End of the Rocky Mountain News

February 27 2009, 8:42 AM

Just 55 days shy of reaching its 150th anniversary, the Rocky Mountain News' last edition hit porches, news racks--and, in a sign of changing times, the Internet--early this morning, brimming with stories that highlight the good times and expressing, as the lead story states, "great sadness." E.W. Scripps CEO Richard Boehne says the newspaper simply couldn't survive the deepening recession and "sharp drop" in advertising revenue at a time when readers' habits for receiving the news are changing. Publisher and chief editor John Temple writes that the decline of classified advertising alone was a $100 million whammy. The Rocky has won four Pulitzer Prizes since 2000, including in 2006 when writer Jim Sheeler and photographer Todd Heisler teamed up for "Final Salute", a chronicle of Marines and their families mourning the loss of comrades who died in combat. As for long-haired columnist Mike Littwin, a guy who doesn't own a suit, he points out that newsroom employees aren't like businessmen. "We talk in terms of stories," he writes. Now Denver will have fewer stories. Other employees struggled to encapsulate their feelings in a few paragraphs, including sports writer B.G. Brooks, who spent 31 years with the newspaper. He remembers a bow-and-arrow fish shoot and then writes, "Goodbye, Rocky readers. Goodbye, Rocky colleagues. It's been a privilege." The Rocky Mountain News chronicles the newspaper's last days with video.