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Rocky Mountain News to Fold

Denver's Rocky Mountain News will print its final edition on Friday, announced its parent company E.W. Scripps. The Rocky will become the first major U.S. metro daily to fold since the Cincinnati Post - also a Scripps paper - closed down in December 2007.

Scripps CEO Rich Boehne, in announcing the closure to a stunned newsroom Thursday, cited the economic difficulties all newspapers are currently experiencing. "Denver can't support two newspapers any longer," Boehne told staffers, some of whom cried at the news. "It's certainly not good news for you, and it's certainly not good news for Denver. ... This moment is nothing like any experience any of us have had. The industry is in serious, serious trouble."

Denver Post, the other half of the joint operating agency, wasted no time in scooping up a few of the Rocky's high-profile writers and columnists, according to the internal memo sent to Post staffers. Noted editor Greg Moore:

Obviously, we have only a short window to win over the Rocky readers. These moves will help. These hires represent less than 5% of the journalists at The Rocky. I plan to do all I can to integrate them into our paper and culture as quickly as possible and I am counting on your help. This all happens at a time of great uncertainty and personal sacrifices in our business. I know. But opportunities like these do not come along very often. And neither do the challenges. It will take the effort of all of us -- those of us who have been here for a while and the newcomers -- to make a go of it. I really need you to be focused on the challenge ahead. So please, be welcoming to our new colleagues and let's roll up our sleeves and put out the best, most interesting paper possible.

In our slide show published yesterday, the Rocky was placed No. 2 among the most troubled newspapers. Its readers quickly reacted to the demise of the 150-year-old paper, until now Colorado's oldest continuing operating business.