The prospects of Scripps Howard finding a buyer for The Rocky Mountain News by the Jan. 16 deadline are fading fast.
Our colleague Tracy Dingman at the New Mexico Independent offers some been-there, done-that reminiscing of the closing of The Albuquerque Tribune, another Scripps paper with a JOA (joint operating agreement) albatross hanging from its neck.
Anyone else feeling deja vu?
Because that’s exactly what played out earlier this year with the Albuquerque Tribune, an afternoon paper also owned by E. W. Scripps. After publishing the Trib for more than 75 years, Scripps closed the paper Feb. 28 when no buyer came forward by the seven-month, Scripps-imposed deadline.
I was working at The Albuquerque Journal at the time of the pending closure and remember jumping out of my skin at the lack of media coverage of the entire situation.
There was no real explanation of exactly how the Tribune was linked to the Journal through their Joint Operating Agreement, which was supposed to run for several more years and involved profit-sharing and much more. And there was certainly no honest admission of the fact that finding a buyer for the beloved (but very-low circulation) Tribune was highly unlikely, mostly because Scripps was not going to sell its share in the JOA.
Take heart, Rocky brethren, your Albuquerque brothers and sisters feel your pain.
Read the entire commentary, Circling the Drain, at the New Mexico Independent.