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The Rocky Mountain News, the daily tabloid which put itself up for sale in early December, could not find a buyer, and will close tomorrow (Feb. 27), owner E.W. Scripps announced today (Feb. 26). This leaves Denver with one paper, the Denver Post, owned by financially-ailing MediaNews, once considered in the running to buy the Union-Tribune, which put itself up for sale in July. The Rocky Mountain News was only two months away from its 150th anniversary. Scripps said that one possible buyer emerged, but was "unable to present a viable plan" for the paper.

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toldyouso Feb. 26, 2009 @ 12:51 p.m.

The demise of American newspapers is shameful. An ignorant American populace will be sorry some day. Or maybe not, if you've seen the movie IDIOCRACY. I was always a huge fan of your columns, back in the 1980's when I lived in San Diego, because you spoke common sense, not talking points, as are so common today. I thought you must have had some salacious info on someone, or you would have been canned.

I doubt that you remember me, but I ran for Congress in San Diego in the 1988 Republican primary against Bill Lowery, because I saw waste and fraud at General Dynamics and wanted to save all of us some money, and knew how to do it. The San Diego Union said that I was not a "serious candidate" because I had not raised gazillions of dollars. Bill Lowery was re-elected that year, but eventually thrown out for his shenanigans. But, unless people want to hear the truth, nothing will change. And, last I heard, Lowery was a millionaire lobbyist.

And now, I am sorry to say, in the same way the San Diego Union said that I wasn't a serious candidate, daily newspapers must not be serious media like the web sites that link to them. The papers cannot sell enough papers or ads, and cannot make enough money to succeed, so they must not be serious purveyors or information.

Of course, this is ludicrous. Without newspapers and their investigations, we are in trouble. I fear the day that my Chicago Sun Times crashes and burns, though it will soon, because that is the day that the crooked politicians like Mayor Daley, and unnamed others, will celebrate, even more than now.

Abraham Lincoln isn't spinning in his grave. Mike Royko is.


toldyouso Feb. 26, 2009 @ 1:12 p.m.

Quick question, since you are an expert on tne economy and a journalist.

I say that newspapers can get us through a time of bad banks better than bad banks can get us through a time of no newspapers.

What say you?


Don Bauder Feb. 26, 2009 @ 1:33 p.m.

Response to post #1: As I recall, all I did was quote William Dean Singleton, whose MediaNews owns the Denver Post. He said that Denver could not support two papers. Neither can Seattle, so I would wager that the Post-Intelligencer, which went up for sale last month, will be next to go. San Francisco Chronicle could be next, although at least one paper in Philadelphia is likely to die fairly soon, I would guess. Minneapolis Star-Tribune, which is in bankruptcy, could go; there is a competitor near there in St. Paul. San Diego? The Union-Tribune continues to tighten up financially. There is one bit of fragmentary hearsay that the Black Press Ltd. deal is off the table for now, but I don't know if that has any validity. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder Feb. 26, 2009 @ 1:42 p.m.

Response to post #2: Lowery got into trouble for writing bad checks and taking a lot of grease from S&L swinger Don Dixon. After redistricting, he lost his post to Duke Cunningham, now sitting in the slammer, justifiably. Lowery went into lobbying and has gotten into trouble for his coziness with a Riverside County congressman. I fear you and your fellow Chicagoans will lose the Sun-Times. Of course, the Tribune's debt-sated parent is in bankruptcy, but that doesn't mean the paper will folk. Nothing is certain, however. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder Feb. 26, 2009 @ 1:46 p.m.

Response to post #3: The banking and newspaper industries are in a race for the bottom. The banks will be bailed out. Newspapers won't. Society could survive better with a lot fewer banks than a lot fewer newspapers. However, because of those damned derivatives held by banks, the government will try to keep them alive. Best, Don Bauder


toldyouso Feb. 26, 2009 @ 2:01 p.m.

Your key words were "will try". We all know we are squandering our money on slow motion deaths of some of the banks. It's time for euthanasia on Wall Street, because the Geithner/Summers way is billion and trillioning us to death. Too bad we have all the money to prop up gamblers, but nothing for the First Amendment.

Our only hope is that we miss newspapers when they are gone, but I doubt it.


Don Bauder Feb. 26, 2009 @ 9:14 p.m.

Response to post #7: I don't disagree. We should not try to keep zombie banks alive. But there is a reason we are doing so: if they die, so do financial institutions all around the world -- the ones on the other end of derivatives held by the zombies, particularly the credit default swaps. If we could figure out a way to zap those damned things, we could kill the institutions that were dumb and corrupt enough to get tied up in them. But the best and the brightest are still pondering how to get us off the horns of this dilemma. Best, Don Bauder


Ponzi Feb. 27, 2009 @ 6:05 a.m.

Don, are there newspaper failures occurring in other countries?


Don Bauder Feb. 27, 2009 @ 7:16 a.m.

Response to post #9: I read a weekly report on the global newspaper industry. There don't appear to be significant failures overseas, although there are surely some. It would make an interesting study, because the number of failures may correlate with the sophistication of the Internet in various countries. Best, Don Bauder


SurfPuppy619 Feb. 27, 2009 @ 1:28 p.m.

I don't see how newspapers overseas could not be having the exact same identical problems as we are having in the US.

Newspapers are losing the news war because of the internet. The internet is everywhere.


Don Bauder Feb. 27, 2009 @ 3:09 p.m.

Response to post #11: Advertising in U.K. papers was down 13.2 percent last year -- not as high as U.S.'s 14-15-16 percent., but almost as bad. Australia ads down, there are some media sales in various countries, but I didn't see any closures or threatened closures in the last edition of my source on global media. Best, Don Bauder


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