Thursday, February 19, 2009

Not far out

Rocky Mountain News owner E.W. Scripps Co. said today that a decision on the struggling newspaper's future is "not too far out."

Scripps reported in an earnings release that the News lost $16 million last year and that Scripps has written down the value of its Colorado newspaper operations by $10.9 million. . . .

Cincinnati-based Scripps has not disclosed if any credible offers to buy the News have been received, nor has it said how it would plan to exit from the joint operating agreement in which it shares business operations with The Denver Post. The two newspapers jointly hold about $130 million in debt.

Scripps owns newspapers and television stations across the country. It reported today a fourth-quarter loss of $19.4 million compared to a gain of $44.7 million in the same period last year, largely because of weakness in newspaper advertising.

"It became apparent toward the end of the year there's nowhere left to hide from the national economic crisis," Boehne said. "We're feeling the pain as the recession rolls its way through our local markets and media businesses."

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