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The parent company of the Denver Post disputed a report Thursday afternoon that followed Moody's Investors Services downgrade of its credit rating to one suggesting "a substantial risk" of default. An Editor & Publisher article noted that MediaNews Group's debt-to-earning ratio was almost as high as that carried by the Tribune Co., which filed to reorganize under Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Monday, but the privately held MediaNews Group said the comparison failed to take numerous factors into account and insisted the company wasn't in danger.
The owner of the Rocky Mountain News notified the owner of the Denver Post it "planned to close the Rocky Mountain News as soon as practical" more than two weeks ago, The Post's owner, Dean Singleton, wrote in a memo on Thursday. Earlier that day, the Rocky's owner, E.W. Scripps Co., announced its newspaper was for sale. "As you know," Singleton wrote in the memo, "an announced sale is usually the first step leading to a failing newspaper’s closure."
Denver's oldest newspaper — and Colorado's oldest continually operating business — is up for sale, the parent company of the Rocky Mountain News announced Thursday. "The decision to seek a buyer for the Rocky would have been unthinkable until very recently," EW Scripps Co. CEO Rich Boehne said in a statement, pointing to a worsening economic climate that has led to $11 million in losses so far this year.
The editor of the fledgling Vail Mountaineer resigned in a huff Monday, sending out a mass e-mail questioning the “journalistic standards, ethics and principles” of publisher Jim Pavelich, who also owns the Denver Daily News and several California papers.
Veteran Denver TV anchorman Ernie Bjorkman will get the chance to move into his next career as a veterinary assistant a few years sooner than planned after getting a pink slip a few weeks after signing a quarter-million-dollar contract in October. The New York Times wistfully reported Sunday the decline of big-money local anchors as the economy socks an industry already hit with big drops in viewers.
In the five years since I first became a reporter, I have worked for two established print weeklies, both of which have gone out of business. Most recently, I was working for an award-winning online news site financially supported by a nonprofit organization, before nearly two-thirds of the staff were abruptly laid off after the election. For young reporters like me, the Internet is the primary medium for news content, and it is already leading to a new and inclusive form of journalism rooted in public participation. Although cynics like to say that the craft is a dead end for both young reporters and veteran writers alike, I think it’s an exciting time to be a journalist.
Media writer Mike Roberts over at Westword frequently delivers good nuggets, like his report today about how staffers at the Longmont Times-Call recently were invited to pick up some extra cash by working as valets at a Christmas party for the newspaper’s owners. And two staffers, Roberts noted, have already taken them up on the offer.
In yet another sign of just how tough things are in the newspaper industry these days, even community publications — once nearly unassailable in terms of financial viability — are getting the axe.