The Rocky Mountain News closed its doors just 55 days shy of its 150th year in business. In his announcement to the staff, Richard Boehma, CEO of E.W. Scripps Co. the Rocky’s parent company, cited annual multi-million dollar losses as the reason for the company’s decision to close the paper.

Today, TIME Magazine released a list of the nation’s 10 most endangered newspapers:

  • The Philadelphia Daily News
  • The Minneapolis Star Tribune
  • The Miami Herald
  • The Detroit News
  • The Boston Globe
  • The San Francisco Chronicle
  • The Chicago Sun-Times
  • The New York Daily News
  • The Fort Worth Star-Telegram
  • The Cleveland Plain Dealer

The New York Times Co. (NYT), in an effort to pay off debt, just completed a deal to sell and lease back the 21 floors it occupies in its midtown Manhattan headquarters, and The Christian Science Monitor has unveiled plans to shut down its 100-year-old print edition in 2009. Thirteen newspapers in Connecticut will shut down this year, and by the end of 2009, Gannett, the nation’s largest newspaper company, will have laid off more than 20% of their staff.

“So what?” – Most of us may say. After all, journalism has been dead for years, maybe it is high time we put the medium to rest. We have the Internet, we have round the clock cable news, we have bloggers.

We have so much technology…who needs newspapers?

They are as useless and outdated as the phone book.

The problem is that every other medium feeds off the work of the newspaper reporter, it all starts with a guy chasing down a story, and rushing it to print.

Techies point to a future where the newspaper will reinvent itself, and be delivered to your Kindle. Indeed, you can already have a number of the papers listed in that TIMES article delivered right to your Kindle 2, and we can all enjoy pretending that we’re Jean-Luc Picard, and that out morning commute is taking us where no man has gone before.

But it won’t feel right to those of us who grew up feeling the texture of paper, and smelling that comforting smell. The Kindle will never replace the feel of walking out to your driveway on a Sunday morning to pick up that massive bundle of news, ads, and funnies, knowing that you have nothing more to do than sip your morning coffee, and relax with the local rag.

The kids can’t run off with the Sunday funnies when the Sunday funnies are Kindled, and you can’t split the three pounds of print with your significant other, while you share that second pot of Chock full o’Nuts, a toasted everything bagel, and the comfortable silent spaces of a Sunday morning at home with The Daily News…or The Herald…or The Globe.

And you can’t do the crossword puzzle when you Kindle.