"If you're not experimenting, then I think you're in trouble," said Temple, who also held the titles of publisher and president.
The E.W. Scripps Co., which owns the News, announced Thursday that the Friday edition would be the newspaper's last after nearly 150 years in business.
"Goodbye, Colorado," read the headline on a 52-page commemorative edition wrapping the regular newspaper Friday. "STOP THE PRESSES," read the front-page headline inside.
Mike Simonton, a bond analyst at Fitch Ratings, said a number of other newspapers could close by the end of 2010, and those that survive will be focused on local news with smaller staffs and less printed content.
Four owners of 33 U.S. daily newspapers have sought Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the past 2 1/2 months, and a number of other newspapers are up for sale.
"We think this downturn is incremental to a very severe longer-term pressure from the Internet," Simonton said. "Many of the newspaper groups are in dire financial situations. We believe there will be more newspaper group bankruptcies and more newspapers closing over the next two years."
Scripps said the News lost $16 million last year. In December, the company put the News up for sale, along with its 50 percent stake in the Denver Newspaper Agency, which handled business operations for the News and its rival, The Denver Post, under a joint operating agreement. No viable buyer came forward.
Under the JOA, approved in 2001, the newspapers shared business operations while keeping their newsrooms separate. Both papers published every weekday. The Post, owned by MediaNews Group Inc., published Sunday editions while the News handled the Saturday edition.
On Friday, The Post prepared to publish a Saturday print edition for its readers and for News subscribers, who will now get The Post for the length of their subscriptions.
Post Editor Greg Moore said his newspaper didn't consider an online-only edition for the first Saturday. After Scripps' Dec. 4 announcement that the News was for sale, he said, "we knew this might happen. ... So I've had a lot of time to prepare for this."
William Dean Singleton, chairman and publisher of The Post and CEO of MediaNews, has said he would like to keep at least 80 percent of News subscribers. Simonton said that was a realistic goal since those subscribers have shown they value a printed product.
The Post has hired 10 News staffers, including columnists, and is picking up features and comics that the News published.