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Rocky Mountain News doesn't downplay for-sale story

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There was plenty of incentive for the Rocky Mountain News to soft-pedal the decision of its parent company, E.W. Scripps, to put the tabloid up for sale on the cusp of its 150th anniversary. But to the paper's credit, editors put the story front and center. As seen here, the cover shot features John Temple, the Rocky's editor, publisher and presidsent, speaking with depressed staffers about the development, and the lion's share of a larger-than-normal business section is devoted to the topic. Moreover, the majority of the pieces -- sample three of them here, here and here -- eschew sunshiny predictions of a quick purchase and a rosy future. Granted, there's at least one notable exception -- a sidebar in which Scripps executives insist that the Rocky is a bargain. (Cue peals of laughter.) And some readers may find Temple's own piece, "We're Still Here for You," overly optimistic, too. However, I was struck by Temple's closing lines, which feel unexpectedly gloomy. "These are trying times for many," he writes. "Now they are trying times for us."

Hard to argue with that. -- Michael Roberts

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