ROCKY KEPT SWINGING UNTIL THE VERY END
"It came into being on a dark night two years before the Civil War's first gunshots, survived a flood that washed away its press and countless threats to its very existence, then enjoyed, in the twilight of it's life, recognition as one of the best newspapers in the country."
Gov. Bill Ritter called it "a very, very sad day."
Ritter was speaking to newspaper executives at a luncheon today at the Governor's Mansion when the news came. Someone in the audience stood and said it was official: The Rocky Mountain News was closing.
"We're losing a Colorado icon," Ritter said of the nearly 150-year-old newspaper. "We're losing a newspaper that has helped create history."
The first owner and publisher of the Rocky Mountain News, William Byers, who founded the paper on the second floor of a saloon, decided early on that Eastern moneyed investors would want Denver to have good steamboat access — a profoundly unrealistic prospect on the High Plains. So he simply invented it. Shipping news, complete with the made-up names of arriving and departing vessels, heading out on the South Platte River, bound east with made-up loads of freight, became a fictional staple.