So, it’s been a week since we learned that Scripps would shut the Rocky Mountain News down. The most recent developments:
E.W. Scripps CEO Rich Boehne popped out of his hole this morning and saw his shadow, which means six more weeks of excruciating limbo for Rocky Mountain News employees. If I were Boehne, the first thing I would do, aside from using my bonus money to short Scripps stock, would be to hire David Milstead to calculate how much it would cost to shut down the Rocky, since apparently even 10 weeks after stating his intention to sell or shutter the paper he still has no idea how much it would cost to actually close it down. Ten weeks. Seriously. Oh, and Scripps employees nationwide will see pay cuts of 3-5 percent.
Late February is rapidly approaching, and still no word on the fate of the Rocky Mountain News. Your best next chance to hear any updates will be on Scripps’ Q4 2008 earnings call tomorrow morning at 7 a.m. MST. You can listen in by dialing 1-800-230-1074, but if you want to ask a question you will need to pretend to be someone such as Stephanie Clifford of the New York Times. If you miss the live call, you can listen to a replay starting at 9 a.m. MST at 1-800-475-6701.
With “mid-January” officially upon us, Scripps officials said attempts to sell the Rocky Mountain News could extend into next week or even next month as “there’s no specific timetable” for evaluating bids. David Milstead and Jeff Smith at the Rocky have the details.
Things aren’t looking good on Colfax, if you believe the rumors (from very connected people). Word on the street is that Scripps continues to shop the Rocky Mountain News, and that it will shut it down if a buyer isn’t found by mid-January.
UPDATE: Mark Harden at the Denver Business Journal has the details.
Rocky Mountain News parent company E.W. Scripps Co. officially separated into two companies: a “struggling” one holding its newspaper properties and a “more successful” one for its cable TV and online holdings. The rumor going around town all spring and summer has been that the Rocky will drop the printing presses and transition to a Web-only product following the DNC in August, but we bet that instead it will do what the Denver Post is doing –– slowly eliminating pages until the print product essentially serves only as an advertising vehicle to get people to the Web site.