As by now everyone knows, the Rocky Mountain News has been put on the block, This at a time when the Tribune Company has filed forChapter 11, when over 30 papers are for sale nationwide, and there don't seem to be any buyers for large-market papers.
The business reasons for this have been chewed over ad infinitum, but the chief culprit is declining ad revenue, which only looks to get worse. (I'd also suggest brand equity; the Rocky used to win the lion's share of the journalism awards, but the Post had a better brand, in part because broadsheets seem to carry greater credibility.)
Editorially, this is an opportunity.
It's an opportunity for center-right bloggers, who will now be able to go after the Post as it inevitably spins off to the left, becoming our version of the "Strib" (Minneapolis Star-Tribune).
It's an opportunity for us in the Colorado blogosphere to do more original reporting, since it's possible the Rocky won't be there to do it.
It may be a big opportunity for the Examiner, which may try to pick up some of the loose talent soon to be running around Denver looking for work. The online paper is based here in town, and could rapidly turn its local edition into the flagship for the country.
It's also an opportunity for the talent at the Rocky, who could try the same thing on their own. Shed the national reporting, bring in some entrepreneurial-minded management, ditch the printing presses and expensive delivery system, and turn the paper into an online, state- and local-oriented newspaper. Charge a nominal fee for a subscription, and go back to a no-holds-barred style, that takes on the Post directly.