Rocky Mountain News’ final publisher, John Temple, broke down the challenges the newspaper was dealing with before finally closing its doors yesterday.
1. Even with subscription costs below national averages, they couldn’t retain subscribers.
2. Advertisers kept leaving. Especially in classifieds.
3. Advertisers who stuck around were paying less than at comparable papers around the country.
That doesn’t sound very sustainable.
It doesn’t say much about the quality of the reporting done by the paper, which is something I think if often overlooked. Just because people spend their valuable time digging up stories that should be told doesn’t mean there is a market for them. Especially one based on the delivery of those stories alongside ink-based ads delivered by carbon belching trucks.
Below is a list of the advertisers who had full-page ads in the final edition of the Rocky Mountain News. Note that almost half of these advertisers didn’t include website URLs in their ads. This may help explain why they were still around on the paper’s final day.