East Valley Tribune Web Site Goes Dark as Domain Expires

It looks like someone forgot to pay the bill.

The East Valley Tribune Web site died this morning, one day after the registration on its domain expired.

The Trib's IT folks will probably have the site up and running soon -- maybe even today. We're pretty sure we'd have heard if the whole company was shutting down. But this public screw-up seems like another chapter of the newspaper's Decline and Fall.

When we checked in this morning with the Trib, we saw this instead of local news:

Annoying. Pathetic.

Of course, it's hard to get too worked up about being denied something of minimal value that has no cost. But with the Tribune cutting its subscription service, shrinking its coverage area and printing on three days instead of seven, the Web site is supposed to fill in the gaps.

You'd think the Trib's parent company, Freedom Communications, could find a way to pay its domain registration bill before something like this happens.

The annual renewal fee is only nine bucks.