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MADELEINE BRAND, host:

From NPR News, it's Day to Day. You've probably been hearing a lot about how America's newspapers are in serious trouble in this economy. Well, today, one of them has actually gone under. Colorado's oldest newspaper, the Rocky Mountain News, published its last paper today, less than two months before its 150th birthday. Gil Rudawsky is deputy metro editor of the Rocky Mountain News. He's on the line now, and Gil, what's it like in the office today?

Mr. GIL RUDAWSKY (Deputy Metro-Business Editor, Rocky Mountain News): Madeleine, I haven't made it into the office yet today, but still recovering from last night. We were told that we can come in today; it's going to be odd. I have never really gone into the office on a day where I didn't have to put out a newspaper. I'm sure it's going to be very sad, but we'll have a lot of camaraderie.

BRAND: And you know, a lot of us, and especially you in the newspaper business, have been worrying about the state of newspapers for a long time and have been kind of preparing for this eventuality, but what was it like yesterday when you actually heard the news that your paper was shutting down?

Mr. RUDAWSKY: You know, it started probably Monday. You knew something was going to happen. For me, it was just focusing on trying to get out the paper. I mean, that kept me busy. I mean, if you get caught into the rumors and caught into everything else, you get nothing done.

BRAND: What is the paper today? What this front page?

Mr. RUDAWSKY: We took a copy of the first edition of the paper that we did 150 years ago and peeled out the middle and left the old masthead and did a note to our readers, thanking them for a 150 years. And I worked on it last night, and by the time I was done with it, I was sick of it. And got up this morning and got the paper out, and I started crying at the breakfast table. It was just so sad to see it and the work that we've done with it. It was a sad day, but I'm very proud of what we did today.

BRAND: How long have you worked there?

Mr. RUDAWSKY: About 10 years. And when I first started at the Rocky Mountain News, my mom said, you know, when you were four years old, you were in the Rocky Mountain News. So, I remembered that yesterday. So, I went to the stacks, which is, like, the old photos and the old archives, and looked up my name and found, you know, there was a Rudawsky there and I pulled it out, and it was photo of me when I was four years old standing in front of a display that said - you know, it was about the Munich Olympics, and it said, little Gil Rudawsky is too young to understand, you know, the implications of the Munich Olympics, but someday he will. It was just there. It was just - you know, it kind of brought the whole thing full circle. I think I'm going to take that photo with me.

BRAND: So, what's next for you? There is another paper in town, the Denver Post.

Mr. RUDAWSKY: Yes. You know, they're struggling. They're struggling. You know, they're going to have a tough go of it. That's the big question, Madeleine, of what's next for me. I mean, I've got a ton of skills and good communication skills, but you know, I love what I do; I love what I've done. You know, putting on a daily paper is what I've done. It's, you know, it's been ingrained in my blood for, you know, the last 20 years. It's, you know, it's a hard question. I don't know. I mean, I've got skills; some of it applies to other things; some of it applies to newspapers. I just - you know, I just don't know. You know, I figure I'm going to take a little time to figure out what we - what I can do and just to mourn the paper a little bit.

BRAND: Gil, thank you very much, and best of luck to you in your future.

Mr. RUDAWSKY: Thank you, Madeleine.

BRAND: Gil Rudawsky is the deputy metro editor of the Rocky Mountain News. The Rocky Mountain News published its last edition today.

(Soundbite of music)

BRAND: Stay with us. NPR's Day to Day continues.

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