Thursday, January 22, 2009

April 13, 1942: To get bigger, Rocky shrinks

As Denver entered the 1940s, the Rocky was in decline. Circulation had slipped to barely 30,000. Owner Scripps-Howard vowed something had to be done to make it bigger.

The answer was to make it smaller.

Jack Howard, son of board chairman Roy Howard, convinced the company to give him one chance to save Colorado's oldest newspaper. He named Jack Foster editor. Foster printed more popular comics, added features such as complete radio listings and directed the staff to report local stories more aggressively.

Then H.W. "Bill" Hailey, who was named the paper's business manager in 1941, had an idea: change the size of the paper to a smaller tabloid. His reasoning was it would be easier for readers to handle, advertisers would receive better display on the smaller pages and, with the war-time paper shortage, it would use less newsprint.

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