Multiple inside sources say that the Denver Post has interviewed numerous Rocky Mountain News staffers with an eye toward bringing a handful of Rocky types aboard when and if the tabloid stops publishing. No names have been confirmed at this writing.
This development is especially intriguing given the layoff yesterday of six supervisors at the Post, including managing editor Gary Clark. One theory: By making the cuts, the Post freed up cash for new hires, much as an NFL team does when it releases a high-salaried veteran like the Denver Broncos' Dre Bly.
Such a move makes sense from a marketing standpoint. "Five Rocky Stars Who Could Be Going Up," a sidebar to our feature article about E.W. Scripps putting the paper up for sale in December, noted that subscribers to a closed paper don't automatically sign up with its surviving rival. The Houston Chronicle saw a 32-percent circulation gain after the Houston Post closed -- among the highest switchover rates on record. However, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch's circulation only grew by 16 percent after the shuttering of the St. Louis Globe-Democrat.
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To maximize its opportunity in the event that its longtime competitor falters, the Post needs to give Rocky loyalists a reason to stick with print -- and arguably the best way to do so would be to sign up prominent journalists whose work they've enjoyed and trusted over the years. The ongoing interviewing process suggests that executives at the Post agree.