If any press observer thought the fate of the Rocky Mountain News, which was put up for sale by E.W. Scripps almost two months ago, would remain unresolved in early February, he must have kept his opinions to himself. "I think people felt the way you did," confirms John Temple, the tabloid's editor, publisher and president. However, he says, "You never know how this stuff will work out." Even so, he senses that we'll have a much better idea about the paper's future by Valentine's Day.
"The pressure, the intensity of the situation is mounting, obviously," he notes, "and I hope that we hear something either by the end of this week or into the following week." That doesn't mean we'll receive the final verdict on the paper by then, he emphasizes -- just that a significant update of some type will arrive. He adds, "If we get to the end of next week and we haven't heard anything, that would surprise me."
Temple told Rocky troops at a regular staff meeing last Thursday (held prior to a candlelight "migil" held to show support for the paper) that they shouldn't spend their weekend worrying and plan on coming to work as usual on Monday because "nothing would happen" before then. "I keep reminding people that this is a very deliberate and thoughtful process," he goes on, "and certainly Scripps is acting that way."
Early on, most prognosticators saw no chance that the Rocky would survive long enough to celebrate its 150th anniversary, which takes place on April 23. Now that no longer seems like an impossibility -- but Temple doesn't think this benchmark is a factor in the delay. "I bet if you called them, they wouldn't even be able to tell you what the anniversary date is," he says. In the meantime, he declares, with a wry tone in his voice, "we're having our February party, and we're getting ready for our March party."
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Get those sheetcakes ready.