Is this D-week for the Rocky Mountain News?
Rumors are rife at the Rocky Mountain News that representatives from E.W. Scripps, the tabloid's owner, will come to Denver this week to announce that a buyer for the paper has not been found. Why? Scripps CEO Rich Boehne told Westword and other news agencies that his firm would consider its options, including a possible closure of the paper, if a deal to sell the Rocky wasn't in place by the middle of January -- and Friday represents that midpoint.
During a January 7 interview for a blog about a column by media critic Jason Salzman that ran on his own website after his editors spiked it, Rocky editor/publisher/president John Temple acknowledged hearing this buzz -- but he insisted that he had no further information about the possibility of an impending Scripps drop-by. "I don't know why anybody would say or believe that other than that they said they would speak about the issue again in the middle of January -- and that's a pretty vague time period," Temple pointed out. He added, "I personally have no knowledge of any planned visit or return by Scripps executives" -- a point he reiterated at a newsroom meeting the following day, as noted in Patricia Calhoun's Wake-Up Call blog this morning.
Temple's reassurances have in no way eased the anxiety in the Rocky newsroom. Each day that passes without word of rescue by a newspaper angel ratchets up the tension. That Rocky scribes have been doing such a solid job during the past several weeks despite these concerns is a tribute to the professionalism of all involved. -- Michael Roberts