NEWS CLUES: Like A Dying Industry Of The Truth

NEWSPAPER DEATH WATCH: Rocky Mountain News Ceases To Exist

rocky_mountain_news_sept_12_2003.jpgDENVER — The Rocky Mountain News, Colorado’s oldest newspaper and a Denver fixture since 1859, will publish its last edition Friday. Owner E.W. Scripps Co. said Thursday the newspaper lost $16 million last year and the company was unable to find a buyer. “Today the Rocky Mountain News, long the leading voice in Denver, becomes a victim of changing times in our industry and huge economic challenges,” Scripps CEO Rich Boehne said. The News is the latest _ and largest _ newspaper to fail amid a recession that has been especially brutal for the industry. Four owners of 33 U.S. daily newspapers have sought Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the past 2 1/2 months. A number of other newspapers are up for sale. People are in grief, and they’re very, very upset trying to process all the emotions that go with it and trying to recognize that we will be putting out our final edition tomorrow,” said News publisher John Temple. But that edition, he declared, is “going to be spectacular.” Friday’s newspaper will include a 52-page commemorative section, with a print run of about 350,000 copies. The News had a daily circulation of 210,000 and 457,000 on Saturdays. “It’s very rare that you get to play the music at your own funeral, so you want to make sure you do it well,” Temple said. [via ASSOCIATED PRESS]

MASTERS OF UNIVERSE PWNED: U.S. Government To Nationalize Citibank

unclesammoney_1.jpgThe Treasury Department reached a deal late Thursday to take a stake of 30 to 40 percent in Citigroup as part of a third bailout of the embattled bank, according to several people close to the deal. Vikram S. Pandit, the chief executive, will remain at the helm, but Citigroup will have to shake up its board so that it has a majority of independent directors, a move that federal regulators had already been pursuing. Under the terms of the deal, the Treasury Department has agreed to convert up to $25 billion of its preferred stock investment in Citigroup into common stock. It will convert its stake to the extent that Citigroup can persuade private investors, including several big foreign government investment funds, to do so alongside the government, two people close to the deal said. The Obama administration deliberately stopped short of securing a majority or controlling interest in Citigroup, but will probably come under intense pressure to take a much larger role in shaping the bank’s direction. Taxpayers, after pumping more than $45 billion into the bank, have become Citigroup’s single largest shareholder. The government will not put in any additional money for now, but some analysts believe Citigroup may require more down the road. [via NEW YORK TIMES]

THE NAKED AND THE DEAD: Pentagon Lifts Media Ban On Returning War Dead

deadsoldiers21_1.jpgThe Pentagon has decided to rescind a long-standing prohibition against press coverage of returning war dead, allowing families to say whether news organizations may photograph the arrivals, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said Thursday. The remains of all U.S. service members killed overseas are flown to Delaware’s Dover Air Force Base. But photographic images have been prohibited since 1991. The administration of President George W. Bush rigorously enforced the ban, preventing pictures of troops killed in Iraq and Afghanistan from appearing in news coverage. The new policy will leave it up to the families of slain service members to decide whether to allow the media to photograph the arrival of the remains in Dover. “My conclusion was, we should not presume to make the decision for the families. We should actually let them make it,” Gates said. [via LOS ANGELES TIMES]

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