'Rocky Mountain News' closing after Friday edition

ByABC News
February 26, 2009, 11:25 PM

DENVER -- The company says its search for a buyer for Colorado's first newspaper was unsuccessful. The newspaper is closing just two months short of its 150th anniversary.

Scripps bought the News in 1926.

Scripps CEO Rich Boehne said in a statement that the newspaper is "a victim of changing times in our industry and huge economic challenges." Scripps says the paper lost $16 million last year.

The News has 230 editorial employees, who Scripps says will remain on the Scripps payroll through April 28.

The newspaper's other assets, including the name, masthead, archives and website, are for sale, Scripps says.

Since 2001, the News has shared business operations with The Denver Post in a joint operating agreement an antitrust exemption that is aimed at keeping failing newspapers alive.

William Dean Singleton, publisher of The Post and chief executive officer of its parent, MediaNews Group, did not immediately return a call.

Singleton is also chairman of the board of The Associated Press.

According to the News website, total paid circulation at the Rocky Mountain News fell 6.6%, to 210,281 in the six months ended in September, vs. a year ago. And circulation at The Denver Post dropped by the same percentage, to 210,586.