Colorado Springs’ Sixty35 Media, a relatively new entity that includes the Colorado Springs Independent, Colorado Springs Business Journal, the Pikes Peak Bulletin and several other publications, laid off half its staff – 15 positions – after it discovered $300,000 in unaccounted for debt that carried over from its formation.
If you see a 9News reporter today, give them a hug. The deal by hedge fund Standard General to acquire 9News parent company TEGNA for $24/share is falling apart due to concerns from regulators. As a result, TEGNA stock is currently fighting to stay above $15/share.
Hardcore gym bros are eating dog food to get the protein that is apparently lacking from people food.
Spain’s Secretary of Transportation and the head of the state rail company resigned after they authorized a $270 million deal to build dozens of new trains that are too wide to fit through some tunnels in the country.
Los Angeles County agreed to pay the family of the late Kobe Bryant $29 million to settle allegations that fire and sheriff’s department employees shared gruesome photos of the helicopter crash in which he died. The family said it would donate the money to its foundation.
A U.S. Customs and Border Protection agent who estimates he has deported thousands of undocumented immigrants learned that his U.S. birth certificate is fraudulent and he’s actually a Mexican citizen.
Greek authorities released audio recordings that show a train conductor had been told by his bosses to ignore red track lights when it was involved in a head-on crash that killed 57.
Denver’s mayoral election is just weeks away, and the latest poll indicates none of the 17 candidates has more than 5% support. 58% of voters remain undecided.
So, who won the week?
United Airlinesnamed Oscar The Grouch as its first Chief Trash Officer. Maybe Delta will respond by appointing the Count as its CFO.
The Denver Post announced it would drop the comic strip Dilbert after creator Scott Adams made racist comments about Black people last week. The Denver Post’s decision follows similar moves by other publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the USA Today Network, The Boston Globe and others. Dilbert’s distributor also announced this weekend that it would no longer work with Adams due to his comments.
While many of those other publications issued formal statements announcing their decisions and the rationales, The Denver Post’s announcement came in the form of two sentences added to the end of a 10-paragraph Associated Press article on page A4 of Sunday’s edition: “The Denver Post is in the process of ending its publication of Dilbert. Today’s comics section was printed in advance.” I would link to it, but that article is not available on The Denver Post’s website.
Expect a flurry of chaos as the Denver mayoral election approaches. Ballots will be mailed in less than three weeks and a recent bipartisan poll found that 59% of voters are undecided and that only three of the 17 candidates – Kelly Brough, Leslie Herod and Mike Johnston – are polling higher than the 4.8% margin of error.
Facing a recommendation from the superintendent to close three schools due to budget shortfalls and low enrollment, the Denver Public Schools board tabled a separate motion that would have raised their pay by 366%.
The Mormon Church has agreed to pay a $5 million fine after the SEC accused it of hiding $32 billion in assets.
Florida beach communities are preparing for an invasion of seawood this summer that one official likened to “a Stephen King movie.” The seawood washes ashore, covering beaches and making swimming next to impossible.
Officials at Vanderbilt University apologized for for using OpenAI’s ChatGPT to write an email to students in the aftermath of the shooting at Michigan State University.
The superintendent of a Texas school district resigned after a third grader found his gun unattended in a school bathroom.
Passengers aboard an Air New Zealand flight from Auckland to New York Citytraveled 16 hours to reach … Auckland. A power outage shut down JFK and there wasn’t enough space at other airports to accommodate all the inbound international flights, so the Air New Zealand jet turned around eight hours into its flight.
A woman at a Miami art exhibit couldn’t believe how much a Jeff Koons porcelain sculpture looked like the kind of twisted balloon animal you’d get at a kid’s birthday party, so she tapped on it, causing the $42,000 piece to fall and shatter.
Justin Wingerter at BusinessDen: “Two prominent Denver public relations firms are entangled in a public dispute over their relations. At issue are bold claims of incompetence, bad faith and disparaging political remarks. At stake are hard-earned reputations and hundreds of thousands of dollars. … Details of their doomed plan to merge are spelled out in Denver District Court documents.”
“In late 2020, (Novitas’ Michelle) Lyng and Wendy Aiello met to discuss the idea of Novitas buying Aiello PR, so Aiello could retire. Novitas claims that a purchase agreement was approved verbally; Aiello PR denies that. Regardless, the two began working together as a joint venture. … After Southlands Mall, an Aiello client, was transferred to the new joint venture, Aiello PR didn’t receive the 10-percent cut it was supposed to. The same happened after another Aiello client, Celebration Chevrolet in Aurora, was transferred to the joint venture.”
“Worse yet, Novitas’ ‘poor work, lack of resources and lack of experienced employees’ led the car dealership to fire them both, according to Aiello PR. For its part, Novitas claims it was Aiello PR that ‘missed calls with clients and, when attending calls, was unprepared for the call, leaning on Novitas to perform all work.’ … At times, the differing social views of Lyng and Aiello were on display, according to court documents. Aiello claims that Lyng said she ‘hated Black Lives Matter’ at a business dinner, leading Aiello to admonish her for a perceived lack of professionalism. A Novitas attorney says Lyng’s criticisms of BLM were fair and made at an internal Novitas holiday party.”
“Novitas wants a Denver jury to make Aiello PR pay $330,000, plus interest and attorney fees, for breach of contract. Aiello PR wants a jury to make Novitas pay an undetermined amount for breach of an agreement, unjust enrichment, fraudulent inducement and bad faith dealing.”
CNN morning show anchor Don Lemon was conspicuously absent from his show after he said that Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley was “not in her prime” because she isn’t in “her 20s and 30s and maybe 40s.” If you are keeping track, President Joe Biden is 80 and Republican front-runner former President Donald Trump is 76. Haley is 51.
Michigan State University students were the latest to experience a mass shooting event. It was the nation’s 71st mass shooting event of 2023, and it occurred on just the 44th day of the year.
France’s defense minister apparently does not go to movie theaters but does subscribe to Disney+. We know this because this week he formally protested the depiction of French soldiers in the hit film “Wakanda Forever.” The film hit theaters last November but started streaming on Disney+ just this month.
Xcel Energy, which is being hammered by customers, media and now elected officials for high rates, has backed off plans to ask the PUC for another rate hike.
Hoping for a state tax refund? You may be waiting a little while. Colorado is not yet accepting tax returns because the state’s processing system is not ready. The issue: new tax laws that voters passed in November haven’t been accounted for in the system. Meanwhile, the IRS is still deciding whether last year’s Colorado TABOR refunds should be taxable.
Members of the Colorado PUC may be limited in their ability to rein in Xcel Energy’s rate hikes, but their amateurishness in communicating what they are doing and why is exacerbating an already frustrating situation. Even worse for Xcel, Kyle Clark’s “Next” show has turned the company into its new RTD A Line – a nightly segment.
Warren Miller Entertainment will not film a ski movie this winter, breaking a 70-year streak. Financial challenges at its parent company, Outside Inc., are to blame.
Has Denver’s “fast casual architecture” made the city … fugly?
New York’s Empire State Building was lighted in green and white lights on Sunday night to celebrate the Philadelphia Eagles win to advance to the Super Bowl. As you might expect, New Yorkersweren’t thrilled to honor a rival.
Westword reporter extraordinaire Michael Roberts announced he is leaving, in a move that is a huge blow to the media outlet. He has spent more than 32 years at Westword, and is its most prolific reporter. His last day is today.
Seven western states including Colorado are days away from having the federal government unilaterally implement cuts to their allotment of water from the Colorado River. As one public policy advocate said, “Think of the Colorado River Basin as a slow-motion disaster. We’re really at a moment of reckoning.”
Coban Porter, the younger brother of Denver Nuggets star Michael Porter, Jr. and a member of the University of Denver basketball team, was arrested on vehicular homicide charges after a fatal accident near the DU campus.
M&M’s is trolling America by placing its “spokescandies” mascots on an “indefinite pause” and replacing them with comedienne/actress Maya Rudolph. While conservatives criticized the “woke” characters and liberals then criticized M&M’s “overreaction,” the fact is everyone is talking about M&M’s. We’ll wait for parent company Mars, Inc.’s Q1 earnings report before we decide whether M&M’s marketers are geniuses or idiots.
Meanwhile, A&W Restaurants – yes, there are still A&W Restaurants apparently – sought to steal a little of the M&M’s spotlight by announcing that its previously pants-less mascot “Rooty” would now wear them because of the current “polarizing” political environment. Winnie the Pooh, the Geico Gecko and Chester Cheetah had no comment.
There has been a lot of concern recently over alleged air quality issues caused by the Suncor refinery in Commerce City. To show they are responsive to community concerns, the company’s latest environmental accident was water based – releasing 40-80% more benzene than legally allowed in Sand Creek.
A Kansas hunter was killed when his dog stepped on and fired a rifle in the back of the pickup he was in. I guess animals stick together.
Denver mayoral candidate Lisa Calderon’s official website is being held as part of a ransomware scheme. In her defense, IT security is not listed as part of her campaign platform.
Scientists have moved the “Doomsday Clock” to 90 seconds to midnight, the closest it has ever been to the midnight metaphor for Armageddon. Presumably the war in Ukraine is responsible for the change, but I’m not sure how that is worse than the cold war and the Cuban Missile Crisis, for example. Nevertheless, you’ve got 90 seconds, people. Use that time wisely.
Former Denver Broncos player Shannon Sharpehas apologized for his ridiculous behavior at a recent L.A. Lakers game. It turns out years of being a screaming voice on a hack sports TV show may actually be detrimental to your mental health.
The University of Texas and Texas A&M are the latest universities to ban TikTok due to privacy and security concerns. The two universities join others in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Oklahoma and South Dakota that have banned the app.
Less than a week after winning the college football national championship, University of Georgia offensive lineman Devin Willock was killed in a single-car accident. He was not wearing a seat belt.
Harvard Medical School, perhaps you’ve heard of it, is the latest to withdraw from U.S. News & World Report’s ranking of best medical schools. Harvard’s dean said the “rankings cannot meaningfully reflect the high aspirations for educational excellence, graduate preparedness, and compassionate and equitable patient care.”
Boston’s new statue honoring Martin Luther King, Jr.is not exactly winning fans. “Awkward” may be the nicest adjective that has been used to describe it.
A San Francisco art gallery owner has been arrested after spraying a homeless woman with a water hose to make her move away from his gallery. Video of the incident went viral on social media.
Twitter has seen a 40% drop in revenue as more than 500 advertisers have paused spending since Elon Musk took over.
Microsoft and Google are the latest tech companies to announce massive layoffs – a combined 22,000. Microsoft gets extra credit for hosting an executive event in Davos that featured singer Sting just hours before announcing the layoffs.
So, who won the week?
Proud CSU Ram Jane Dvorak is now an adjunct professor at the University of Colorado Boulder’s College of Media, Communication and Information.
Two show pigs that were stolen as part of a truck theft near the National Western Stock Show were recovered in good condition. Given our nation’s love affair with bacon, however, they may have been safer on the run.
Amtrak passengers called police claiming they were held hostage when what was supposed to be a 17-hour trip from Virginia to Florida turned into 37 hours due to freight train derailment. “Stale air, dwindling food supplies, trash piling up in the aisles and a lack of timely information from the crew” contributed to what passengers called the “train ride from hell.”
Former Cleveland Browns QB Bernie Kosar learned about the NFL’s ambivalent relationship with sports betting the hard way. Kosar was fired by the Browns from its radio broadcast team after he placed a bet on the team to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers. This item was brought to you by Caesars Entertainment, DraftKings, FanDuel, FOX Bet, BetMGM, PointsBet, and WynnBET, all of whom are official NFL partners.
West Virginia Public Broadcasting reporter Amelia Ferrell Kniselyhad her position eliminated after defying threats to stop reporting on the state’s Department of Health and Human Resources. Gov. Jim Justice has appointed “partisan operatives” to WVPB’s board of directors.
You wouldn’t think there would be much new in the world of bowling, but newfangled bowling pins have caused a (7-10) split in that community. The new “string pins” are regular bowling pins “with long cords attached to the top and tethered to string pinsetters. The string pinsetters hoist fallen pins like marionettes and lower them into place.” A study found the new pins yield 7% fewer strikes than traditional pins.
TCU’s 65-7 drubbing by Georgia in the National Championship game was bad enough, but TCU fans endured the added insult of being rained on inside a “domed” stadium. SoFi Stadium in L.A. has a covered roof but no side walls, and heavy winds drove rain onto the upper decks that contained TCU fans.
Closer to home, the Colorado StateRams finished the college football season at #123 in The Athletic’send-of-season rankings, one spot ahead of #124 University of Colorado. The Air ForceFalcons led the state at #40.
So, who won the week?
GroundFloor Media | CenterTable promoted Becky Cole to Associate Vice President and Lauren Noser to Senior Director.
Chris Daniels at PR Week: “It’s not surprising to learn that PR pros, as a profession, are statistically more progressive than the U.S. population. Many communicators are also more liberal than the general population on issues of politics, society, economics and safety. That difference is massive, especially when it comes to political ideology.”
“Practitioners overwhelmingly self-identified as ‘progressive’ (68%), followed by ‘centrist’ (25%). Only 7% identified as ‘conservative’ when it comes to their politics. That’s a stark difference from the U.S. population. Only 26% of the general populace identifies as ‘progressive.’ More of them self-identify as ‘conservative’ (34%), 27 percentage points higher than PR practitioners.”
“’That measure on political ideology indicates the most risk for PR professionals and campaigns,’ says … Jennifer Scott, a clinical assistant professor for PR and corporate communication at NYU’s School of Professional Studies. Scott spent 17 years at Ogilvy, including in thought leadership, comms counsel and research and insights roles, and three years at Edelman. She says PR pros understand they’re operating in a politically polarized environment in the U.S., and audience research can lead them down a dangerous path.”
“’The danger is they see that Gen Z and Millennials, in particular, want brands to take a stand, and so even research into target audiences isn’t necessarily likely to temper the tendency to go very progressive,’ says Scott. ‘It may take a brand to a place that seems mainstream, but that, in fact, triggers a momentum of polarization. Then the brand is in trouble.’”
Actor Jeremy Renner was airlifted to a hospital after suffering “a traumatic injury” while plowing snow at his home near Lake Tahoe. Renner reportedly lost a significant amount of blood when his 14,000 lb. Sno-Cat ran over him.
An American Airlinesground crew worker died when he was “ingested into the engine” of an Embraer 170 aircraft at the Montgomery, Ala., airport.
Former Denver Broncos running back Peyton Hillisis in the ICU after a Florida swimming accident where he saved his children from drowning.
Radio conglomerate Bonneville International, which owns KKFN 104.3 The Fan and KEPN 1600 ESPN Denver,introduced a new “Denver Sports” brand this week whose name and logo are suspiciously similar to the existing DNVR Sports brand. Not surprisingly, DNVR Sports is threatening a lawsuit. Fun fact: Bonneville International is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Mormon Church.
The Texas A&M-University of Florida men’s basketball game was delayed when the Aggies forgot to bring their game jerseys to the arena. Trainers retrieved the jerseys from the team’s hotel, but not before the officials assessed a technical foul against A&M for delaying the start of the game.
One of the largest personal injury firms in Colorado, the Sawaya Law Firm, is now the Wilhite Law Firm. A spokeswoman said the name change was unrelated to allegations that founder Michael Sawaya sexually assaulted and sexually battered a client in his office.
Southwest Airlines is offering passengers whose flights were cancelled or delayed during the holidays 25,000 frequent flyer points. The move represents the airlines’ first tangible step toward trying to repair its reputation.
If you have a 20%-off coupon from Bed, Bath & Beyond, you might want to use it this weekend. The retailer warned that it is running out of cash and may file for bankruptcy soon.
So, who won the week?
Gil Rudawsky and Skip Thurman have been named partners at Rockford Gray.
A GoFundMe campaign by Buffalo Bills player Damar Hamlin to raise money to buy kids holiday toys has grown from less than $2,500 to nearly $8 million as fans horrified by his on-field cardiac arrest made contributions in a gesture of support.
Southwest Airlines was founded 52 years ago with the idea of democratizing air travel. It combined high reliability, low fares and a kitschy attitude to become the nation’s favorite airline. With taglines like, “You are now free to move about the country,” and its unique open seating model, Southwest projected a sense that it was different, that it had cracked the code on how to run an airline that was both fun and competent.
Boulder closed its main library after it found meth residue in its bathrooms. Officials conducted the testing because employees had exhibited “symptoms consistent with a potential exposure to meth residue or fumes.”
Boulder office building owner W.W. Reynolds Cos. says Twitter owes it nearly $200,000 in back rent. Under new owner Elon Musk, Twitter has been in cash-saving mode by not paying rents for some of its offices across the country.
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before – Wells Fargo has agreed to pay $3.7 billion to settle allegations that it charged illegal fees and interest on auto loans and mortgages, among other illegal actions.
Cherry Creek High School head football coach and KOA NewsRadio Denver Broncos announcer Dave Loganwon his fourth straight 5A state championship, giving him his 11th state title. That makes him the most accomplished high school football coach in Colorado history.
Empower Field is getting a $100 million renovation that includes a jumbo-tron that is 70% larger than the current one. That will allow fans in the stadium to see replays of all the Russell Wilson sacks with far greater clarity.
Pandemics may come and go, but there is one thing we can all count on year after year: dumb decisions that result in PR disasters.
Usually, we have to count on bureaucratic corporations to lead the way, but this year we had a number of individuals rise up to show us how to truly ruin reputations. Kanye West looked at Uber and said, “Not so fast.” Elon Musk told Facebook to hold his beer. And Will Smith, well, few corporations ever managed to ruin 35 years’ worth of hard work in five, globally televised seconds.
So, who had the biggest PR disasters in 2022?
UVALDE POLICE DEPARTMENT/TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY/U.S. BORDER PATROL The response to the Club Q shooting in Colorado Springs reminded us of the life-saving impact one or two heroic people can have. That makes the situation at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas, that much more heart-wrenching. In Uvalde, 376 Uvalde Police Department, Texas Department of Public Safety and U.S. Border Patrol officers descended on the school, and for 76 minutes not one of them did a damn thing to put an end to a shooting spree that killed 19 elementary school kids and two teachers.
ELON MUSK Riding a string of successful companies including PayPal, SpaceX and Tesla, Elon Musk was considered one of the world’s smartest business executives. Then his ego tricked him into buying Twitter for $44 billion, a price he later acknowledged was far too high. Once backed into that corner, you’d expect him to slash headcount and try to improve profitability at Twitter for a few quarters and then flip it.
Well, he did half of that. Musk cut headcount but then he took about every step he could to alienate advertisers – who provide about 90% of Twitter’s revenue – by eliminating the verified “blue-check” program and offering amnesty to hate-speech purveyors. Musk may have offered the best perspective on his Twitter strategy when he Tweeted, “How do you make a small fortune in social media? Start with a large one.”
FIFA WORLD CUP 2022 The FIFA Men’s World Cup is the largest, most-watched sporting event in the world, and the month-long tournament will deliver an estimated $7.5 billion in revenue to FIFA. It is a juggernaut, and you might expect that it would be run by savvy executives. Alas, the 2022 World Cup has been known more for self-inflicted wounds than any of the action on the pitch.
ALTITUDE SPORTS It has now been 40 months since Comcast– and DISH-subscribing fans could watch the Denver Nuggets and Colorado Avalanche in our local market. Someone needs to tell Stan Kroenke and Altitude Sports to stop the madness.
DENVER BRONCOS The 2022 Denver Broncos were a slow-motion trainwreck, and a reminder of the power of setting expectations. With a new head coach, a new offensive coordinator, a new offensive system and a new quarterback, the Broncos could have easily tried to get people excited about the progress they would make in year two. Instead, they raised fans’ hopes for year one and saw the backlash start at about minute 59 of their first game (an inexplicable 64-yard field goal attempt that missed).
No one carried the weight of the miserable season more than QB Russell Wilson, head coach Nathaniel Hackett and GM George Paton. Wilson has always been an odd duck, but that personality trait gets amplified (and mocked) when you are losing. Whether it was an oddly timed “Let’s Ride” or bragging about working out on the plane ride to London, 2022 was the year that Wilson was exposed as an average quarterback and a below-average teammate.
As bad as Wilson’s year was, it was worse for Nathaniel Hackett. The first-year head coach made so many unforced errors in his NFL debut that he may never be able to recover. Conventional wisdom quickly became that he was in over his head and rumors swirled that he would be the fifth NFL coach in history to be fired midway through his first season. Even former Denver Nuggets coach George Karl wanted him gone.
And as bad as Hackett’s season was, the Bronco who had the worst year was GM George Paton. He was the man who hired Hackett and not only traded two first round and two second round draft picks to acquire Wilson, but then signed him to a five-year, $245 million extension before he had even thrown a pass for the Broncos. That decision looks worse and worse each week.
FRANK AZAR Slip-and-fall attorney Frank Azar had quite the year. In January, he sued an accountant that he hired to correct tax returns created by a different accountant whom he had also sued. He alleged negligence in both cases. In March, Azar sued an Alabama-based law firm alleging it was stealing clients through a deceptive Google ads campaign.
DANIEL SNYDER/WASHINGTON COMMANDERS Dumpster fires would take offense at being compared to the NFL’s Washington Commanders. Since owner Daniel Snyder bought the team in 1999, it has endured losing season after losing season, but it has been a recent string of allegations related to workplace harassment, financial improprieties and targeting his fellow owners that have kept the team in the headlines.
Snyder was forced to relinquish operational control of team after a Washington Post investigation included allegations from 40 women who had been harassed or discriminated against by Snyder or other male executives. Other headlines focused on allegations that he had cheated the NFL and the IRS by underreporting ticket sales so he could keep a larger portion of the team’s money.
It was an ESPN report in October, though, that sent the future of Snyder’s ownership into a tailspin. That report said that Snyder had used private investigators to dig up dirt on his fellow owners to use against them if they tried to force him to sell the team. Confident the scheme would protect him, he reportedly told a colleague, “They can’t f— with me.”
WILL SMITH Legendary investor Warren Buffet famously said, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it,” and no one proved that adage correct more than actor Will Smith. Smith spent a career building a reputation as a charming, likeable actor who could deliver audiences to anything he starred in. Like Tom Hanks, Smith recalled the era of Jimmy Stewart, a beloved actor who had a way of playing everyman characters in compelling ways. And then the 2022 Oscars happened.
In the slap heard ‘round the world, Smith inexplicably climbed on-stage and struck host Chris Rock. It was a surreal moment that instantly redefined Smith’s image, undoing 35 years’ worth of reputation-building. Smith immediately had two projects tabled, “Fast & Loose” and “Bad Boys 4,” and the summer release of his already-completed film “Emancipation” was delayed. Meanwhile, Smith’s Q Score, – an industry metric of likeability among the general public – dropped from 39 to 24, a nearly 40% decline.
CNN+ CNN invested $300 million to launch CNN+, a subscriber-based streaming news service? Thirty-five days later, they shut it down.
BILL MURRAY Rumors of the actor’sbullying and harassing behavior have circulated for years, but it hit a tipping point in 2022 when production of the film “Being Mortal” was suspended following reports of Murray’s sexual assault against a female production assistant. That news opened a floodgate, and actors including Geena Davis, Seth Green, Lucy Liu, Anjelica Huston, Richard Dreyfuss and Sean Young all shared stories of Murray’s bullying behavior. His troubled personality hasn’t done much to slow his film career to this point, but his legacy ultimately may not be exclusively what he put on film.
BRETT FAVRE Given that Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre’s NFL playing career ended with a “d— pic” scandal, it’s hardly surprising that he’d find himself in a tough spot again. And, unfortunately for Favre, he violated Crisis Communications 101, which is to get all the bad news out at once as quickly as possible.
FTX/SAM BANKMAN-FRIED Crypto-bro and FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried was a late addition to the list, but he definitely earned his spot by losing more than $8 billion in customer funds, tanking his personal net worth from an estimated $20 billion last year to $100,000, and finally being arrested for fraud. Bankman-Fried claimed the company was the victim of changing economic conditions, but FTX’s interim CEO told lawmakers that the company collapsed because of “old fashioned embezzlement.” Either way, everyone can agree on Bankman-Fried’s general assessment: “I f—— up.“
ABC News suspended morning show “GMA3” anchors Amy Robach and T.J. Holmes after the two disclosed a romantic relationship. The pair are married to other people and the relationship is rumored to significantly predate their disclosure.
Pandemic service cuts and increasing violence has caused a 21% drop in customer satisfaction with RTD. The drop means RTD CEO Debra Johnson will receive no performance raise this year.
The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service spent $428,000 to relocate 205 prairie chickens from Kansas to Colorado in an attempt to prevent extinction, and it is not working.
Ryan Montoya, the meth-addled driver who hit and killed cyclist Gwen Inglis, was ordered to pay $353 million to Inglis’ family. The family acknowledges they will see little, if anything, of that verdict, but said they appreciate that the publicity could serve a a deterrent to other drivers.
ABC has pulled the plug on its “Christmas with the Backstreet Boys” TV special after member Nick Carter was accused of sexual battery.
Jill Petersen, the National MS Society’s Director of Employee Engagement & Communications, has joined the board of SafeHouse Denver. She joins GroundFloor Media | CenterTable’sLauren Noser, who also recently joined the board.
Residents of Craig, Alaska are grabbing free Yeti coolers that are washing up along the town’s shores. A container ship traveling from South Korea to Canada dropped 1,600 of them recently during bad weather.
CNN has begun the process of notifying hundreds of employees that they are being laid off, the result of a confluence of economic issues, including cord-cutting, a weakening global economic forecast and the network’s recent merger with Discovery.
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is playing defense after The Washington Post published a photo from 1957 that shows a then-15-year-old Jones standing behind a group of white students threatening and blocking six Black students from entering his public high school.
The Associated Press’ James LaPorta, the journalist who incorrectly reported that Russian missiles crossed into Poland killing two civilians, has been terminated. An AP spokeswomen said, “When our standards are violated, we must take the steps necessary to protect the integrity of the news report.”
A professional wrestler who travels Appalachia and southern states as “The Progressive Liberal” is shocked – SHOCKED – to find that conservative audience members try to hurt him.
Theranos founder and former CEO Elizabeth Holmes has been sentenced to 11 years in prison for her role in defrauding investors. The good news for Holmes? She has a chance of running into reality TV stars Todd and Julie Chrisley, both of whom received prison sentences this week for fraud and tax evasion charges.
The FIFA World Cup started this week and there have been some shocking results on the pitch (Saudi Arabia defeating Argentina, Japan beating Germany). However, much of the news has been about FIFA’s heavy-handed tactics to prevent host country Qatar from be embarrassed by its abysmal human rights record.
The NFL sent the Arizona Cardinals to Mexico City for its Monday night game against the San Francisco 49ers as part of the league’s efforts to export the game and its culture. The plan may have worked too well: the Cardinals fired one of its coaches, Sean Kugler, before the game for allegedly groping a woman in the Mexican capitol.
NBC News national correspondent Miguel Almaguer appears to be suspended. He has not appeared on-air since the network retracted his story that shared false information about the attack on U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s husband.
Twitter offices had to be shut down late this week amid a mass exodus of workers. Elon Musk may be proving that employees will only put up with asshole, narcissistic CEOs if there are pre-IPO stock options involved. Alas, Twitter isn’t a start-up.
Denver-area Uber and Lyft drivers are only netting about $5.50 an hour, according to a new report from Colorado Jobs With Justice. That is about one-third of what they would make if they earned minimum wage in the city.
FIFA selected Qatar to host the World Cup 12 years ago, and today – two days before the 2022 FIFA World Cup starts – Qatar announced that it is going back on its agreement and will ban alcohol sales at stadiums. Budweiser has to be thrilled about its $75 million sponsorship of the tournament.
The Great American Family network, a start-up competitor to the Hallmark Channel, announced it will not feature gay and lesbian couples as part of its line-up of Christmas movies. I’m guessing you can expect a lot of Hobby Lobby and Chick-fil-A commercials, and not many others.
Mercurial tennis star Nick Kyrgiosapologized and reached a financial settlement with a fan he accused of being “drunk out of her mind” during a Wimbledon Men’s Final match. Kyrgios agreed to donate $22,000 to the Great Ormond Street Hospital Charity, a charity chosen by the fan.
Yale University is under fire for its policy requiring suicidal students to withdraw and later reapply for re-admission. Mental health advocates warn that is a policy that encourages students to hide mental health struggles.
Lisa Cutter, a longtime member of Denver’s PR community, defeated developer Tim Walsh last night in the race for the Colorado Senate District 20. Cutter previously represented Colorado House District 25 until redistricting shuffled the legislative map. During her tenure in the House, one of her signature causes was media literacy, and she was successful in funding a Media Literacy Advisory Committee to help schools better educate students on policies and curriculum.
Outside Magazine is out with its 2022 list of the 50 Best Places to Work, and once again Colorado has dominated the list. Twenty-five businesses based in Colorado made the top 50, while California was next with just six. Interestingly, Boulder-based companies represented 12 of the 50 winners (clearly, cost of living wasn’t one of the criteria)
The Colorado communications, digital marketing and advertising companies that made Outside’s 2022 list were:
NBA superstar Kyrie Irving looked at Kanye West’s last month and said, “Hold my beer.”
TikTok star Katie Sigmond is facing charges after hitting a golf ball into the Grand Canyon. That stunt follows others she has done, including bowling with a pumpkin and throwing a fake cinder block at cars.
Wolves have started to make a comeback in Colorado, but it won’t last long if they can’t learn to stay on our side of the Colorado-Wyoming border.
After recent cheating scandals in professional chess and fishing, it looked like we had hit rock bottom. But now we learn that the world of professional cornhole is under investigation. The allegation: illegal beanbags.
Denver Public Schools is now feuding with the Denver Housing Authority over a plan to close a school in the Sun Valley neighborhood. DPS says not enough kids are enrolled, but DHS is investing $4 million in housing projects that it says will significantly increase the number of kids in the neighborhood starting next year.
Qatar is so concerned about being exposed as a terrible host city for the 2022 FIFA World Cup that it is offering soccer influencers free airfare, game tickets, hotel rooms and spending money in exchange for positive social media posts.
Bradley Chubb not only exited the dumpster fire that is the 2022 Denver Broncos after being traded to the Miami Dolphins, he received a $110 million contract extension from the Dolphins for his trouble.
All of us. The midterm election happens Tuesday, which means the end of all the political ads.
This year’s snow crab season in Alaska has been cancelled following the unexplained disappearance of an estimated 1 billion crabs. If you have seen the missing 1 billion crabs, you are asked to please contact the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation.
So Many Roads, a Grateful Dead-themed brewery in the Baker neighborhood, took its theme a little too literally. It has been ordered to close for the month of November after an employee was allegedly caught selling cocaine from a back room.
Lara Logan’s career descent continues. A decade ago, she was a high-profile reporter for “60 Minutes.” This week, she was banned from one of the last networks to welcome her – Newsmax – after she told host Eric Bolling that “the open border is Satan’s way of taking control of the world,” and added that the world’s elites “want us eating insects [and] cockroaches” while they “dine on the blood of children.”
University of Colorado Regent Glen Gallegos is facing an unprecedented censure for violating policies barring the mistreatment of university employees. Gallegos thoughtfully responded to the threat by saying, “A censure, it’s not good,” while also noting that he “can burn a little hot at times.”
The owners of a Richard Crowther-designed house in Cherry Creek are trying to stop efforts to “Tom’s Diner” them by securing landmark status on the house they want to tear down. Among those leading the effort to secure historic status is Tom Hart, the husband of DeeDee LeGrand Hart, the founder of the eponymous PR firm that has since shut down.
The feds say Liberty Globalowes $284 million in back taxes and penalties because a scheme the company used – code named Project Soy – was not legitimate. Liberty’s accountants at Deloitte first approached the company about exploiting what it said was a loophole in the tax code.
The union representing RTD operators blames poor design for the recent derailment on the R Line. Video of the incident indicates that speeding and inattentiveness might have had something to do with it.
Sandy Hook-denier Alex Jones was ordered to pay $965 million for his lies and conspiracy theories that harmed families of the children who were murdered.
Fox Business News contributor Scott Martin tried to illustrate the impact of inflation by sharing that his recent Taco Bell lunch order cost $28. That claim sent the Twitterverse scrambling to research how anyone could spend that much at Taco Bell and even caused Fox host Neil Cavuto to ask in disbelief, “Wait a minute, you spent $28 at Taco Bell for just yourself?”
Mike Chambers, The Denver Post hockey reporter, quietly left the paper shortly after a photo appeared on social media of him hoisting the Stanley Cup while celebrating with Colorado Avalanche players. At the time, the photo raised questions as to whether he could cover the team objectively. Chambers says his departure is unrelated to the photo.
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before – Kanye West was suspended from Instagram and Twitter for violating the platforms’ policies. This time, it was antisemitism.
The hits to Gannett publications keep coming. The largest newspaper publisher in the country and the publisher of the Fort Collins Coloradoan and the Pueblo Chieftain, announced widespread cost-cutting efforts that will affect newsrooms, including mandatory unpaid vacations and voluntary buyouts. The move follows 400 layoffs the company made two months ago.
Colorado resorts have enjoyed an unexpected late summer/early fall jump in bookings, which is giving them optimism for a successful 2022-2023 ski season.
Six Colorado towns are on the list of Country Living’s “40 Prettiest Towns in America to Visit in Winter:” Glenwood Springs (5), Dunton (7), Telluride (18), Crested Butte (25), Steamboat Springs (31) and Ouray (39). All of them are beautiful, but there is no way that is the correct order.
The Colorado Rockiesfinished the 2022 season 68-94, a record that leaves them in last place in the division. In the 30 years the Rockies have existed, they have zero division titles and only nine winning seasons.
The Denver Broncos … WTF? They are starting to make the Rockies look like a competent organization.
Authorities said 125 people were trampled to death and another 320 were injured after police fired tear gas into the stands in an attempt to stop fans from coming onto the field following an Indonesian soccer match. Nearly three dozen children were among the dead.
A Boulder man was arrested for allegedly stealing a fire truck. Firefighters were on-scene assisting with a medical call when they noticed someone driving their fire truck away. Someone should start a GoFundMe to buy a couple dozen XXL The Club steering wheel locks for the BFD.
The body of Colorado’s Hilaree Nelson, a legend in the ski climber community, was found by Nepalese searchers on Mount Manaslu. She apparently was caught in an avalanche as she scaled the mountain in an attempt to then ski down it.
Former NFL QB Brett Favre‘s troubles continue. After reports surfaced that he helped steer $5 million in welfare funds to build a volleyball stadium at his alma mater, he has now been dropped by SiriusXM and ESPN Milwaukee as they seek to distance themselves from him.
Speaking of the NFL, the Miami Dolphins are under intense scrutiny for letting QB Tua Tagovailoa play Thursday night after he appeared to suffer a concussion four days earlier in last Sunday’s game. In Thursday’s game, Tagovailoa was again slammed to the ground and this time he had to be carted off the field on a stretcher.
The CEO of Clearwater, Fla.-based PostcardMania held a staff meeting to encourage employees to defy Hurricane Ian evacuation orders and instead remain at work because, “It’s not going to be that bad.” Following a social media backlash, the company said the CEO’s remarks – delivered at a staff meeting – were “personal opinions” that did not reflect “an official PostcardMania position in any way.”
So, who won the week?
John Hall has launched Hallway Communications, a Denver-based agency focusing on wireless and future-of-work clients. Hall previously worked at DishNetwork, CenturyLink and Clear Channel Radio.
Jon Ekstrom of Deft Communications and the “Jon of All Trades” Podcast has partnered to create the “Happy Friday” podcast, a new weekly show “focusing on cool stuff to do around Colorado, good vibes, and fun banter.”
The University of Oregon apologized to BYU after students chanted “F— the Mormons” at last week’s football game, And in one of the swiftest examples of karma, Oregon was hosting one of its top QB recruits at the game, a Mormon who left at halftime because of the chants.
Phil Washington, the CEO of DIA and President Biden’s nominee to lead the FAA, was the subject of a search warrant related to alleged corruption at the L.A. Metropolitan Transportation Authority when he led that organization. I’d expect Washington to quietly withdraw from consideration for the FAA position in the coming weeks (Friday afternoon news dump?).
Barney Fife apparently transferred from Mayberry to Platteville. The Colorado Bureau of Investigation is investigating a Platteville Police officer who placed a woman under arrest in the back of his cruiser that he parked on top of railroad tracks. As he helped other officers search her car, a freight train hit his cruiser, seriously injuring the woman.
The Wall Street Journal wrote about growth in Colorado Springs, but many readers couldn’t get past the third paragraph when the Portland-based reporter described the city as a “bedroom community of Denver.”
I don’t know what the problem is with ants, but they are underperforming. A report this week estimates there are 20 quadrillion ants in the world – that’s 20,000 trillion, or 2.5 million ants for each human on earth. And yet they haven’t taken over anything but the occasional picnic.
It was a tough week for Denver radio. Four popular KUVO radio hosts have been fired or pushed out as the station and its listeners engage in a debate about what the jazz station should be. And sports radio station 104.3 The Fancut a number of hosts this week, including longtime favorite Sandy Clough.
College graduates who majored in the English Lit, foreign languages, communications, philosophy and religious studies have the highest unemployment rate. Education, health, transportation and agriculture majors have the lowest rate of unemployment.
Football in Colorado is abysmal. The CU Buffs, CSU Rams and Denver Broncos are a combined 0-5, and collectively have been outscored 181-65.
Speaking of football, it took 59 minutes into the first game for media and Denver Broncos fans to officially turn on new head coach Nathaniel Hackett. His decision to attempt a 64-yard field goal is being derided as a Top 10 all-time screw-up.
Brett Favre is the PR disaster gift that keeps giving. This time he is alleged to have conspired with the former governor of Mississippi to divert $5 million in welfare funds to build a volleyball stadium at his alma mater.
According to climate scientists (who may be delusional), climate change could make Colorado less popular with those relocating and make colder regions like Buffalo, Cleveland and Detroitthe hottest real-estate markets.
LIV Golf, a Saudi-backed golf tour designed to help repair the country’s image in the face of ongoing human rights abuses and the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, still cannot find a TV partner in the U.S. Those who have declined so far: ESPN, CBS, NBC, FOX, Amazon and Apple.
Chris Daniels at PRWeek: “The PR function has never been in a better position to flex its influence across multiple facets of an organization. That’s the big headline from the most comprehensive annual review of the industry, back for its fifth year. The 2022 PRWeek/Boston University Communications Bellwether Survey offers a wealth of data-supported insights to inform this hypothesis, from in-house comms functions, PR agencies, educators and tech suppliers.” …
“PR pros report feeling valued, both by their organization and executive leadership (4.03 and 4.04, respectively, on a 5-point scale). Two out of three participants agreed the comms function is involved in important business decisions. An almost equal amount, 65%, said their advice was valued in making these decisions.”
“’The function capitalized on the pivotal moment the pandemic provided in 2020,’ says Arunima Krishna, assistant professor of PR at Boston University’s College of Communication. ‘The latest results show comms has continued to grow in importance, and this gives a strong indication that its influence is here to stay.’”
Denver Public Schools board member Auon’tai “Tay” Anderson was ticketed for speeding in a DPS school zone when he was running late to greet students on the first day of classes.
Speaking of DPS, Denver students have enjoyed snow days forever, but now they are getting “heat days.” This week, 31 DPS schools were put on alert to close early due to temperatures approaching 100 degrees. Forty-eight DPS schools still do not have air conditioning.Juul
Miles Robinson, a member of the U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team that will compete in the FIFA World Cup in a few months, was arrested at an Atlanta bar when he swiped a shot off of a drink tray and refused multiple times to pay $5 for it.
The Pentagon has halted deliveries of the F-35 fighter jet because Lockheed Martinsourced a part from China, violating federal defense acquisition rules.
It was a tough week for journalists – former CNN anchor Bernard Shaw and NPR correspondent Anne Garrels both died, and Las Vegas Review-Journal investigative reporter Jeff German was murdered, allegedly by a county administrator who had been the subject of several of German’s articles.
Denver Public Schools board member Tay Anderson didn’t even make it to the start of the first day of classes in the 2022-2023 school year before creating a new controversy – he was ticketed for speeding outside Montbello High School on his way to welcome students on their first day of school.
Credit to Tay – the guy knows how to stick to his messaging. Instead of accepting blame for speeding and quietly paying the $285 ticket, his statement to media focused on police brutality and criticism of the police for “being visible outside the school building on the first day of school.”
Caitlin Oprysko at Politico: “Ukraine’s Ministry of Culture and Information Policy has enlisted the help of several American and European PR firms to launch a campaign aimed at attracting businesses and investors to the war-torn country, according to an outline of the effort filed with the Justice Department this week. Although the British conglomerate WPP announced the partnership with Ukraine’s ministry of culture in June, the DOJ filings this week offer more insight into who will be involved in the initiative as well as its general scope. GroupM Poland is coordinating the effort, but the firm’s U.S. arm as well as several other WPP subsidiaries including Ogilvy, Hill + Knowlton Strategies and Hogarth, will work on the multi-pronged and global initiative to signal that ‘Ukraine is still open for business and has the potential to be a key cultural and digital technology European hub,’ according to the documents.”
Embattled Denver Police Chief Paul Pazen will step down next month in a move that did not feel like his choice. Crime in the city continues to increase and the recent LoDo shooting by officers that hurt six bystanders may have been the final straw.
Denver drivers can expect to pay 20-30 cents more per gallon for gas starting in 2024. That is when the EPA will require gas stations to sell reformulated fuel intended to help improve air quality that is not meeting federal standards.
Witnesses are blaming former Denver Bronco Aqib Talibfor inciting the brawl at a youth football game in which his brother allegedly shot and killed a man. Amazon, which has hired Talib as an analyst for its new NFL Thursday Night Football package, has been verrrrrrrrry quiet about the incident so far, but I’d imagine it will quietly drop him before the season starts.
A federal judge ordered Walmart, CVS and Walgreens to pay $651 million in damages to two Ohio counties for their roles in the opioid crisis.
People named “Issac” and “Chole” lead the list of those who file with the Social Security Administration to change their names. Not surprisingly, the two most common new names: “Isaac” and “Chloe.” Apparently, a shocking number of new moms and dads misspell baby names on birth certificates.
Congratulations to former Denver Broncos VP of Public Relations Jim Saccomano, who is the recipient of an inaugural Pro Football Hall of Fame “Award of Excellence” for his contributions to the NFL. Jim was recently profiled by his alma mater, MSU Denver, where he discussed the honor and his thoughts on the current and former Broncos teams.
“Boasting a combined following of over 51 million, the group of 70 TikTok creators says that the campaign, called the ‘People Over Prime Pledge,’ is designed to pressure Amazon to meet the requests of its workers, which include a $30 minimum wage, increased paid time off and halting activities the group considers ‘union busting.’ “
Fans of Casa Bonita are sweating new reports that the restaurant still doesn’t know when it will re-open. New owners Trey Parker and Matt Stone of South park fame. The two told The Denver Post they “had no clue what they were getting themselves into when they picked up the landmark.”
Author Salman Rushdie was stabbed in the neck at a lecture event, 33 years after the late Iranian leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a religious decree calling for Rushdie’s death for writing a novel considered blasphemous.
Pete Rose to a female reporter declining to address allegations that he had a sexual relationship with a minor in the 1970s. In court filings, Rose has acknowledged the relationship, but said he thought she was 16, the age of consent in Ohio.
What’s to blame for downtown Denver’s increased violence? Food trucks!
The U.S. Forest Service halted construction on a Keystone chairlift that would access a new 555-acre, 16-trail expansion. That action was in response to the resort mistakenly building a temporary construction road in protected alpine tundra.
Jeff Bezos’ $500 million unfinished yacht was towed from its Rotterdam shipyard in the middle of the night because officials refused to allow him to partially disassemble a bridge that it would be too tall to clear once finished. Outraged at the request, locals had threatened to pelt the yacht with eggs and tomatoes when it passed the historic bridge.
Warner Bros. spent $90 million to make the movie “Batgirl,” but the result was so bad that the studio has completely shelved it – it won’t appear in theaters or on streaming services.
After more than 14,000 episodes, NBC has relegated “Days of Our Lives” to its Peacock streaming service, ending the soap opera’s 57-year run on broadcast TV.
Restaurants are tough businesses to start with, and now a review scam is making life even more difficult. Scammers are leaving one-star reviews and then demanding a ransom to remove them.
Applebee’s has introduced Saucy Gloss, a line of chicken wing-flavored lip glosses. The collection includes four different flavors, including Get Me Hot Buffalo, Sweet Chile Kiss, Be My Honey Pepper, and Honey BBQ-T, “each with their own taste and hue.”
Want to take a leisurely stroll through a former Superfund clean-up site? Good news! An appeals court gave its approval to continue constructing trails at the site of the former Rocky Flats Nuclear Weapons Plant.
A chess-playing robot broke a 7-year-old opponent’s finger during the “Moscow Open.” In understated fashion, the president of the Moscow Chess Federation noted, “The robot broke the child’s finger. This is, of course, bad.”
Deranged-billionaire-mad-scientist-frenemy Elon Musk made headlines this week for an alleged affair with the wife of Google co-founder Sergey Brin that ended their friendship and led to Brin’s divorce.
The Denver Broncosstarted training camp this week, ensuring that 90% of Denver’s sports media coverage will focus on them. The upside? You don’t have to hear about how our last-place Colorado Rockies are doing anymore.
Erik Wemple at The Washington Post: “One line in Bloomberg News’ Wednesday story about the ongoing lawsuit Dominion Voting Systems v. Fox News was unimpeachable: ‘Fox … didn’t immediately respond to a message seeking comment on the filing. ‘Immediately,’ in this case, meant 18 minutes, according to a Fox News spokesperson.”
“That’s how long Bloomberg News reporter Erik Larson gave Fox News to comment for an article alleging that Dominion ‘said some executives and hosts at the network still haven’t handed over any records related to its coverage.’ The headline: ‘Fox Executives in $1.6 Billion Lawsuit Haven’t Handed Over Records, Dominion Says.’ Larson cited a July 18 court filing for the scoop.”
“As it turned out, that July 18 filing was actually the public version of a document filed a month earlier on June 17 relating to a discovery dispute between the two parties. Fox News secured an extension until July 1 to turn over certain documents.After Larson’s initial story was published, Fox News told Bloomberg News that it had met that deadline. Had Bloomberg waited for that comment, it would have avoided some trouble. ‘Eighteen minutes doesn’t sound like fair to me even in this day and age,’ says Leonard Downie Jr., a former executive editor of The Post.”
How much faith does Cadillac have in its new Lyriq electric SUV? It’ll give you a $5,500 discount on your purchase if you agree to sign a non-disclosure agreement that prohibits you “from discussing with any parties outside of GM your experience of owning or driving” it.
Biotech company Biogenpaid $900 million to settle a suit that alleged it paid doctors for speaking and consulting services as part of a scam that actually was intended to provide kickbacks to doctors who prescribed the company’s drugs.
Meanwhile, car manufacturers are looking at subscription services offered by tech companies like Microsoft and Adobe with quite a bit of jealousy. How do I know? BMW has just put heated seats on a subscription plan that costs $17/month.
A second round of mediation between Comcast and Altitude Sports failed to end the stalemate that has prevented a vast majority of Coloradans from watching the Denver Nuggets and Colorado Avalanche over the past three years. So what have you missed? In those three years, the Nuggets have made the playoffs three times and seen center Nikola Jokić win the NBA MVP award twice. And the Avs, you may have heard, won the Stanley Cup.
The Timberline Steaks & Grille restaurant at DIA is the highest-grossing restaurant in all of Colorado, but competitors will have a chance to take its crown – if only briefly – while it has its liquor license suspended for 30 days(it served a minor). The restaurant has appealed the decision that could cost it hundreds of thousands of dollars. Records show that 35-40% of the restaurant’s $6.3 million in sales are alcohol.
“The two-story 2323 Delgany St. building is about 85,000 square feet, according to property records. It was originally built as a warehouse, but repositioned as an office building several years ago. The property is in the Denargo Market area of Five Points and the RiNo Arts District.” …
“The move will represent the first major real estate shake-up in two decades among Denver’s primary TV stations, which are all clustered within a mile of each other south of downtown. The last change occurred in 2000, when KDVR/Fox31 moved into its building at 100 Speer, across the street from Denver7.”
Associated Press: “As Uber aggressively pushed into markets around the world, the ride-sharing service lobbied political leaders to relax labor and taxi laws, used a ‘kill switch’ to thwart regulators and law enforcement, channeled money through Bermuda and other tax havens and considered portraying violence against its drivers as a way to gain public sympathy, according to a report released Sunday.
“The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, a nonprofit network of investigative reporters, scoured internal Uber texts, emails, invoices and other documents to deliver what it called ‘an unprecedented look into the ways Uber defied taxi laws and upended workers’ rights.'”
“In a written statement, Uber spokesperson Jill Hazelbaker acknowledged ‘mistakes’ in the past and said CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, hired in 2017, had been ‘tasked with transforming every aspect of how Uber operates … When we say Uber is a different company today, we mean it literally: 90% of current Uber employees joined after Dara became CEO.'”
A driver caught on I-70 transporting a record 114 pounds of pure fentanyl powder cut a deal to continue his journey to Indiana to lead DEA agents to the drug “kingpins.” He immediately ditched the tracking device placed in his car and hasn’t been seen since.
With mortgage interest rates climbing, many experts expect the housing market to cool. And that includes Denver-based Re/Max, which announced it will lay off 17% of its workforce by the end of the year.
Tyler Tysdal, husband of former Fox31 anchor Natalie Tysdal, was sentenced to six years in prison for defrauding investors in what prosecutors said was a Ponzi scheme. In June, Tysdal sold the family’s $3.1 million home to help pay back investors. The terms of his sentencing agreement shaved years off his prison sentence based on the amount of restitution he made.
The annual Investigative Reporters & Editors (IRE) conference was held in Denver last week, and things may not be going well for those who attended. Amid reports of a widespread COVID outbreak, the conference organizers issued a post-event alert suggesting attendees be vigilant about symptoms.
An employee at an Atlanta-area Subway was shot and killed after putting too much mayo on a customer’s sandwich.
Independence Day marks roughly half way through the MLB baseball season, which is a good time to evaluate how the Colorado Rockies are doing. A quick check of the standings shows they currently are in last place in the NL West. Safe to say, the Monforts are not the Kroenkes.
A bar-hopping Japanese IT consultant overindulged and lost a flash drive that held the birth dates, addresses, bank account numbers and tax details of all 465,000 residents of the city of Amagasaki.
The Colorado Avalanche won the Stanley Cup for the first time in 21 years. And Denver fans largely managed not to riot afterward.
A Denver couple had the Stanley Cup delivered to their home after a mix-up with Avs captain Gabe Landeskog’s address.
The Avs completed the 2022 championship sweep – the Denver East Angels won the high school national hockey championship and the University of Denver Pioneers won the NCAA hockey championship.
Windsor native Sophia Smith was triumphant in her return to Colorado as part of the U.S. women’s national soccer team. She scored two goals in the team’s 3-0 win over Colombia at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
Chris Daniels at PRWeek: “Employees have been calling the shots in the PR job market, as demand for talent escalated last year and maintained a furious pace. The all-out war to attract and keep talent led to double-digit pay raises, enhanced benefits packages, signing bonuses and staff dictating where and how they want to work. That was then. Now economic factors are turning the job market into one favoring employers. … According to industry recruiters, the PR job market is showing signs of, if not a downturn, at least the fear of one.
“’Employment contracts are taking a little longer to get approved,’ notes Larry Brantley, president of executive search firm Chaloner. ‘Procurement and leadership are watching spending on new hires a lot more closely than last year. They are concerned a recession is around the corner, so organizations are being a lot more measured and cautious. They don’t want to hire too fast and have to make adjustments and downsize later.’”
The Colorado Avalanche could only post the second-highest post-season winning percentage (.800) on their way to winning the NHL championship last night, but they did set one new record: fastest team to damage the Stanley Cup. Phil Pritchard, the so-called “Keeper of the Cup” who works for the Hockey Hall of Fame, said the Avs managed to dent the trophy just five minutes after receiving it, which he said was “a new record.“
The Colorado PUC ruled that customers are on the hook for $500 million in inflated costs for natural gas that Xcel secured during a record-breaking cold snap in February 2021. Each Xcel customer in Colorado can expect to pay an additional $213 spread out over the next 30 months.
Routt County is bracing itself to play host to the annual Rainbow Family gathering. Local and federal authorities are scrambling to prepare for the 10,000-person, month-long event, which has historically led to traffic, trash and environmental issues.
The Cherry Cricket in Cherry Creek North is the latest “old Denver” restaurant to be involved in a real-estate transaction. The lot on which the restaurant sits sold for $25.2 million. Unlike the Bonnie Brae Tavern, though, the Cherry Cricket is expected to remain open.
Netflixlaid off another 300 employees, the second time in as many months that is has downsized as it adjusts to an avalanche of subscribers cancelling their service. It’s stock price has fallen 70% this year.
Denver was not selected by FIFA to host World Cup matches in 2026. An expert speculated that other cities’ willingness to offer city- and state-backed financial incentive packages when Denver’s bid had none likely hurt Denver’s chances.
Colorado kids are in crisis, according to a recent survey by the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment. The survey of middle- and high-school students found 40% experienced feelings of depression in the prior year, up from 35% since the last poll in 2019, and more than half of respondents said they experienced stress on a daily basis.
WWE Chairman and CEO Vince McMahonhas stepped down while the company’s board investigates whether he used $3 million in company money to cover up an alleged affair with a former employee.
Golfer Phil Mickelson recently played in his first Saudi-backed LIV golf tournament despite acknowledging that the Saudis are “scary sons of bitches” who killed Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi. This week, he played in his first U.S. tournament since the comments, the U.S. Open, and shot an abysmal eight-over 78.
O’Dwyer’s: “Profitability was up last year for North American PR agencies, according to an annual industry survey conducted by PR merger and acquisition advisory firm Gould+Partners. Gould+Partners’ latest Benchmarking report, which analyzes key factors affecting PR firm profitability, found that North American PR agencies witnessed operating profits averaging 19.7 percent of net revenues (calculated as fee billings plus markups) in 2021, up from 18.2 percent in 2020 and a 2.3 percent increase from pre-COVID 2019’s 17.4 percent.
“ ‘19.7 percent average operating profit is an incredible comeback for the PR industry,’ Gould+Partners’ Managing Partner Rick Gould told O’Dwyer’s.”
“The survey’s findings discovered that profitability was especially high at the largest firms: PR agencies with revenues in excess of $25 million netted average operating profits of 21.3 percent in 2021—up from 20.2 percent in 2020—indicating both increased organic growth as well as growth via acquisition. Firms with between $10 million and $25 million in revenues netted 20.1 percent profitability last year, up from 17 percent in 2020. Firms accounting for between $3 million and $10 million in revenues netted profitability of 19.5 percent profitability, up from 18.1 percent, while the smallest firms—those with under $3 million in revenues—netted the smallest profitability, 15.8 percent, flat from 2020.”
Brad Bawmann was a force of nature. Not like a tornado or a hurricane, but more like the tides – quiet, measured and calm, yet undeniably important and impactful. He built his firm, The Bawmann Group, into one of Denver’s most-respected, capturing a who’s who of clients, particularly in the healthcare and nonprofit industries.
But work was just a piece of Brad’s life. He was always concerned with issues bigger than himself, and that was demonstrated yet again when he traveled to Krakow, Poland, earlier this year to help refugees from Ukraine. And you couldn’t have drinks or lunch with him without seeing him beam with pride as he shared stories about his wife, Wendy, and his kids, Phoebe and Oliver.
Brad passed away unexpectedly this weekend from complications of pneumonia. He was 59.
Ewan Larkin at PRWeek: “Edelman’s multicultural practice has grown 68% since its launch in November 2020, executives at the firm said this week. Following the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery two years ago, Edelman felt the need to formalize and accelerate its involvement in multicultural communications. The agency began by establishing a racial justice comms taskforce, then expanded by building a U.S. multicultural practice that operates across its sectors.” The practice is on track to amass $8.2 million in revenue by the end of the fiscal year.
In 1998, John Elway declined an offer from Pat Bowlen to buy 20% of the Denver Broncos for $36 million. That stake would be worth $930 million today, based on Walmart heir Rob Walton’s bid for the team.
Wells Fargo suspended its hiring policy requiring that diverse candidates be interviewed for upper-level positions after managers were found to have conducted sham interviews to meet the policy requirements.
PRWeek: “Ever wanted your nails to smell like you dipped them in a vat of Velveeta cheese? Nails Inc. and Velveeta have made that dream into a reality with the launch of a nail polish collection called Velveeta Pinkies Out Polish, which includes a nail polish duo and nail stickers.”
Walmart heir Rob Walton’s successful $4.65 billion bid for the Denver Broncos means that each of the seven Bowlen kids will net approximately $518 million. Not bad considering Pat Bowlen bought the Broncos for $78 million in 1984 ($217 million adjusted for inflation).
Emily Flitter with The New York Times: “Wells Fargo is temporarily suspending a hiring policy that led some managers to conduct sham interviews of nonwhite and female candidates following a report by The New York Times highlighting the practice, the bank’s chief executive, Charles W. Scharf, told employees in a letter on Monday. Instituted in 2020, the bank’s ‘diverse slate’ policy stipulated that at least half the candidates interviewed for open positions paying $100,000 or more in annual salary needed to be ‘diverse’ — a catchall term for racial minorities, women and members of other disadvantaged groups.” …
“The Times reported (recently) that a former employee in the bank’s wealth management business had complained that he was being forced by his bosses to interview people for jobs that had already been promised to others, just to meet the ‘diverse slate’ requirement.”
Wells Fargo has a history of diversity issues. You may recall that in 2020, Scharf apologized after blaming the bank’s lack of diversity on “a very limited pool of Black talent to recruit from.”
Linhart Public Relations hired Mallory West as a senior account executive and Josh Gaydos as an account executive. West joins Linhart from Golin in Chicago and she will will handle local and national media relations, content development and digital marketing, along with other communications activities, for several clients including the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, Graebel Companies; Know Labs; Safe Rx; and Spire Storage. Gaydos previously was Director of Principal Operations for the Jaime Harrison for U.S. Senate Campaign in South Carolina. He will support clients such as Black Hills Energy, Graebel Companies and Transitional Energy.
Linhart also promoted Sari Winston to account executive. She will continue to support a variety of clients, including Chocolove and Safe Rx, with media relations, research, social media, digital marketing and graphic design services.
Congratulations to Laura Ledermann and the team at Denver’s Scream Agency, which is celebrating the agency’s 25th anniversary.
“Scream Agency could never have reached where we are today without our dedicated team and supportive clients who have helped us reach our goals and continue to push us to do better and be better,” says Ledermann, founder of Scream Agency. “It has been a privilege to work with a variety of brands to serve our communities and the planet through our core values.”
Colorado home values are inflated by 38.5% above the expected trend line, indicating that our housing market is the most overpriced it has been in three decades. For context, the housing bubble that burst in 2008 was only 20% above the expected trend line. Pop!
Denver landlords have no legal requirement to disclose lead pipes to their renters. Denver’s Department of Public Health & Environment requires landlords to inform renters about peeling or deteriorating lead paint, but not about lead pipes.
Southwest Airlines is suing the state of Colorado over the “Colorado Healthy Families and Workplace Act,” a move that could reduce sick leave benefits for all Coloradans. The Act establishes sick leave standards that are in conflict with what Southwest currently offers, and Southwest has already been fined more than $1 million for violations of the Act.
Two workers died when a coal pile collapsed at Xcel’s Comanche power plant in Pueblo.
Swedish people were roasted this week after a Reddit post claimed that many refuse to feed guests. The post claimed that some Swedish families do not invite their children’s visiting friends to eat with them at mealtime, leaving them instead to play alone while the family eats.
Tom Cruise was adamant that “Top Gun: Maverick,” which was ready to premiere in theaters two years ago, should not be dumped on a streaming platform during the pandemic, and that stubbornness is being rewarded. Cruise saw his film deliver the first $100M+ opening weekend of his career.
The Ukrainian men’s national soccer team‘s attempt to qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup was delayed until this week due to the invasion by Russia. The team defeated Scotland 3-1 on Wednesday and will face Wales on Sunday. The winner of that game qualifies for the World Cup.
Jon Schleuss, the president of the largest union of journalists, is calling for the the Biden Administration to urge the FCC to reject an attempt by hedge funds Apollo Global Management and Standard General to acquire TEGNA, the parent company of 9News:
“I urge you to call on the Federal Communications Commission to block the takeover of TEGNA, one of the largest local broadcasting television station groups, by Wall Street mega-funds Apollo Global Management and Standard General. This proposed transaction would kill journalism jobs, undermine local news and raise prices for American families”
“Wall Street firms behind this transaction secured billions of dollars in financing by apparently planning to cut journalism jobs. In addition to forcing dedicated local reporters to take ‘the longest walk a parent has to make’ to tell their children that mom or dad lost their job, such brutal cuts also would undermine local news. With less local news, communities will suffer from lower voter participation, higher taxes, more corruption and increased partisanship.”
Michael Roberts at Westword: “Denver TV stations have long experienced significant turnover, with reporters and anchors typically leaving one outlet in favor of another. But over the past year-plus, the pace of such departures has increased markedly, and many of those moving on have done so not to climb the broadcast-journalism ladder but to start over in entirely new careers. This phenomenon is epitomized by the action at affiliated stations Fox31 and KWGN/Channel 2.”
Those of us who have been in Denver for more than a couple of decades remember when the Rocky Mountain News’ Dusty Saunders was one of the most-read columnists at the paper. He passed away this weekend at the age of 90.
For more than 25 years, the ineffective investigation into the tragic murder of JonBenèt Ramsey has been a stain on the reputation of the Boulder Police Department. Now. Gov. Jared Polis says he will petition to have the state take over the case.
Geoff Morrell, the chief corporate affairs officer for The Walt Disney Co., is leaving after just three months on the job “to pursue other opportunities.” His departure follows the recent, high-profile fight between Disney and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis over the state’s “Don’t Say Gay” legislation.
The possibly misnamed Rock & Roll Hall of Fame announced its 2022 class, and it includes Duran Duran, Eminem, Dolly Parton, Carly Simon, Lionel Richie, the Eurythmics and Pat Benatar.
The famous axe from the movie “The Shining” will soon take up residence at Estes Park’s Stanley Hotel, which was the inspiration for the Stephen King thriller. An anonymous donor purchased the axe at auction and has loaned it to the hotel’s new movie-memorabilia museum and film center.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has declared Colorado a “primary natural disaster area” due to our decades-long drought. The move “qualifies farmers and ranchers for emergency loans to recover damages from the ongoing megadrought.”
Allegations of inappropriate behavior against actor Bill Murray have shut down production on the film “Being Mortal” starring Murray, Aziz Ansari and Seth Rogen. Murray has a long history of allegedly abusive behavior on-set.
Lawyers for the L.A. Times accused L.A. County Sheriff Alex Villanueva of “abusing his official position” when he publicly alleged that one of its reporters was under criminal investigation for her coverage of a police brutality incident. Villanueva quickly backtracked and claimed he didn’t make the allegation despite video of the press conference during which he said it.
After a press conference this week by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), media briefly reported that radiation levels at the Chernobylnuclear site were “abnormal.” That was concerning given the recent occupation of the facility by Russian military forces. However, media almost immediately corrected those reports to say that the official who provided the information actually said – with a heavy Argentinean accent – that conditions were “at normal.”
Actor Jason Sudeikis is distancing himself from a process server who handed his ex-wife, actress Olivia Wilde, lawsuit papers while she was onstage at a CinemaCon event. A Sudeikis spokesperson said the “Ted Lasso” star actor “had no prior knowledge” that his ex-wife would be served there, and that “he would never condone her being served in such an inappropriate manner.”
Novitas Communications has acquired the CCO-CMO Roundtable from Westmeath Global Communications and 6×6 Careers. The roundtable is a quarterly, off-the-record gathering for senior marketing and communications professionals in Colorado, and membership is by invitation only.
Steve Barrett at PRWeek: “BCW calls it earned plus, Edelman dubs it earned creative, Weber Shandwick goes beyond public relations into marketing solutions, Ketchum talks about full-service marketing and communications, FleishmanHillard pitches full-service creative, Lippe Taylor proselytizes earned marketing. As PRWeek prepares to publish its seminal annual deep dive into the agency sector it seems everybody’s talking about this modern take on PR without actually calling it PR.”
“Peruse the websites of these august firms and you’ll struggle to find the phrase PR amid all the talk of ‘solutions,’ ‘synergizing,’ ‘holistic perspectives,’ ‘transformative outcomes,’ ‘pursuit of excellence’ and ‘human-centered thinking.’ But, however it is described, the Agency Business Report 2022 will show that whatever PR has morphed into is extraordinarily compelling and crucial for brands, corporations and organizations of all types. And … it has moved way beyond straight media relations.”
D’Evelyn Jr./Sr. High School named a man convicted of domestic violence as the sole finalist for its principal position. He quickly withdrew from consideration when media coverage caused a public backlash.
The Vail town council said it was “ready to go to war with Vail Resorts” over a proposed affordable housing project in the town and then voted to condemn the land to prevent construction.
With several key players injured, no one expected the Denver Nuggets to make a deep playoff run, but what has emerged has been a worst-case scenario: down 3-0 to the Golden State Warriors and at risk of being swept out of the playoffs in embarrassing fashion.
The world’s No. 2 men’s tennis player, Russia’s Daniil Medvedev, and the world’s No. 4 women’s player, Belarus’ Aryna Sabalenka, will not be allowed to compete in Wimbledon this year due to Russia’s attack on Ukraine, the tournament’s organizers announced this week.
Former Denver Bronco Von Milleris facing a “revenge porn” lawsuit alleging he distributed a sexually explicit photo of a former girlfriend to “two well-known celebrities.”
A Kentucky business that was asked by an employee with extreme anxiety not to throw him a birthday party did just that and now has been ordered to pay him $450,000.
It was a tough week for streaming services and shows:
Jon Stewart’s Apple TV+ show, “The Problem with Jon Stewart,” saw its audience drop 78% from its first to its fifth episode. The show now averages about 40,000 viewers, which is less than 5% of John Oliver’s similar HBO show.
Netflix lost 200,000 subscribers in the first quarter of 2022 and expects to lose another 2 million in the second quarter. Its stock has dropped nearly 70% over the past four months.
The director of “The Chosen,” an online series about Jesus, has apologized for a marketing ploy that intentionally defaced billboards for the show. Supporters of the series blamed “everyone from Starbucks to ‘Democratic Satanists'” for the apparent vandalism.
Lucky Charms … they’re magically litigious? The cereal manufacturer likely will soon be the target of a class-action lawsuit after dozens of consumers reported becoming ill after eating the breakfast cereal.
“Warner Bros. Discovery has suspended all external marketing spend for CNN+ and has laid off CNN’s longtime chief financial officer as it weighs what to do with the subscription streaming service moving forward,” Axios reports.
Arianna MacNeill at the Boston Globe: “A new study from Harvard Business School suggests that when it comes to hybrid work, just one to two days in the office, on a flexible schedule, creates the best outcomes for employees and businesses alike. … The study found that not only were the workers creating more work products, they also showed ‘greater satisfaction,’ and ‘less isolation,'” according to Prithwiraj Choudhury, an associate professor of business administration at Harvard Business School.
Journalists responded to 3.37% of pitches sent by PR professionals in Q1 2022, according to a study from Propel. That is a single-digit decline from the 3.53% of pitches journalists responded to in 2021.
Propel recommends sending emails with subject lines no longer than five words and keeping the pitch between 50 and 79 words. And, while I’m not a journalist, I’m pretty sure they would recommend making sure the beat they cover is relevant to your pitch and to stop following up with variations of, “Just wanted to make sure you got my previous email.”
Syracuse University has finally extricated itself from one of the worst stadium naming rights agreements ever made. As bad as it was, the question is whether it was worse than the current Colorado Rockies’ deal.
The sports business publication Sportico reported, “Syracuse University’s iconic Carrier Dome is no more. The school has reached a settlement with Carrier Global Corp. to end the company’s perpetual naming rights deal for the football and basketball venue. … Thus ends one of the longest running and most sponsor-friendly naming rights agreements in sports history. Carrier gave the school a $2.75 million gift back in 1979 during construction of the building, securing naming rights for the lifetime of the venue. Forty-three years later, the Carrier Dome is among the most recognizable buildings in college basketball and college football. … The dome would likely command upwards of $3.25 million per year on the open market.”
Meanwhile, Denverites may recall that Coors got a sweetheart deal when it received the permanent naming rights to the Rockies’ stadium when it invested $30 million in the ownership group back in 1991. Coors later sold that ownership stake in 2013 for an estimated $75 million, but that transaction did not affect the naming rights agreement. So, Coors actually made $45 million “buying” the permanent naming rights to Coors Field.
My back-of-the-envelope calculations say that Syracuse left about $45-50 million on the table with its deal, while the Rockies have missed out on about $35 million. However, Syracuse’s deal has now expired while the Rockies’ continues. With naming rights valued at about $4 million per year (the Pepsi Center’s deal is for $3.4 million annually while Empower Field is $6 million per year), the Rockies will officially become the worse deal in 2025.
Meanwhile, Denver was ranked as one of the five least affordable cities in the country, behind only San Francisco, San Diego, Los Angeles and Miami. That clicking sound you hear is millions of local millennial and Gen-Z renters Googling “trendy, affordable cities.”
The organizers of the Cherry Creek Sneak, one of the metro area’s oldest and largest running events, announced this will be its final year. Event director Pat Downing said registration numbers “fell off a cliff” following the pandemic.
The Colorado Rockies’ commitment to owning fourth place in its five-team division is impressive. An analysis of the values of MLB teams was released this week, and the Rockies placed fourth in the NL West at $1.4 billion, ahead of only the Arizona Diamondbacks.
And, this week, Thrillistranked the food at all 30 MLB ballparks, and the Rockies once again placed fourth, this time behind the L.A. Dodgers. The publication noted the stadium’s Rocky Mountain Oysters, plentiful microbrews and the Helton burger as the best options available.
NFL quarterback Cam Newton has a history of making ill-advised comments, and he stayed on-brand this week when he complained in an interview about women “who can’t cook” and who “don’t know when to be quiet.”
Amazon announced it is adding a 5% “fuel and inflation surcharge” for third-party sellers who use the site. For those keeping track, the online retailer reported profits of $33.4 billion in 2021.
Shortly after NFL legend Tom Brady announced his retirement in February, an anonymous bidder won an auction for the football that Brady threw for his final touchdown pass. Twenty-four hours later, Brady unretired. This week, the auction house announced that it has voided the auction and the “winner” doesn’t have to pay the $518,000 bid afterall.
Four members of the Secret Servicehave been put on leave following the FBI’s arrest of two men now charged with impersonating federal law enforcement in a scheme to get closer to the Secret Service detail protecting First Lady Dr. Jill Biden.
The Colorado Rockies may be an inept dumpster fire that owns fourth place in our five-team division, but one day a year optimism reigns: Opening Day. Everyone is a Rockies fan today.
If you are a fan of road rage, good news! A new state law that allows bicycliststo roll through stop signs will no doubt further anger a subset of drivers convinced that bikes are the root of all road evils.
Facebook may have rebranded as Meta, but some things never change. The Washington Post outed the company this week as being responsible for a behind-the-scenes smear campaign against competitor TikTok. The details are wide-ranging, but the bottom line is that Facebook/Meta remains evil.
The City of Denver seems to have some ambivalence about “the Mayor of Pickleball.” Denver Parks & Rec filed a complaint with the Denver Police Department, and DPD arrested the 71-year-old man on charges of vandalism causing damage in excess of $10,000. The Denver District Attorney’s Office, however, is refusing to file charges and is encouraging mediation to resolve the issue.
Perhaps more embarrassing than the $14 million judgement itself was the Denver Police union’s response. President Nick Rogers, literally wearing camouflage cargo shorts and a beard bundled up in rubber bands, held a “press conference” alleging that downtown Denver would have been destroyed like Kyiv, Ukraine, if not for the heroic actions of officers.
The Will Smith-Chris Rock “Slap Heard ‘Round the World” was an embarrassing situation on all fronts, and there were three clear losers: Smith never should have gone on stage to confront Rock; Rock never should have made a joke about someone’s medical condition; and the Academy never should have allowed a comedian to mock one of its members live from the stage.
If you had any doubts that wildfire season in Colorado has expanded to year-round, the December and now March fires in Boulder County and Estes Park should put that to rest. Can’t say I’m excited about what July will bring.
The St. Peter’s Peacocks were the Cinderella of the NCAA March Madness basketball tournament, but one week after losing to the University of North Carolina in the Elite Eight, Seton Hall hired the team’s head coach away.
Denver’s street sweeping program resumes today, and it is expected to generate about $7.7 million in tickets for Denver drivers who fail to move their parked cars from city streets on designated days.
The public may be able to ride RTD for free in August under legislation working its way through the statehouse. The proposed pilot program attempts to address air emissions during Denver’s hot, often-smoggy summer.
Young women are starting to out-earn their male counterparts in certain markets, reversing a trend that has existed since, I don’t know, caveman days. Women in San Diego now earn 105% of their male peers and those in New York City and Washington, D.C., earn 102%.
Five Points real estate has become a soap opera over the past year, no more so than the situation that forced the historic Welton Street Cafe to close last week. A real estate development company, the FlyFisher Group, has been the source of most of the controversy, and the fact that it is a Black-owned company that is behaving in a manner some Black businesses and advocates describe as predatory makes it an even more sensational story.
Conor McCormick-Cavanagh at Westword reported on the situation today, and his story included a phrase that is every PR person’s nightmare: “Westword was accidentally included on all of the emails.” From the article:
“Westword reached out to both Burkett and his lawyer, Kim Ritter, for comment. Ritter forwarded that email to Burkett, who then forwarded the email to Sarah Cullen, a local public relations professional (at SideCar PR) who is serving as a spokesperson for Burkett, with this question: “Sarah any thoughts on this?”
Cullen’s response to Burkett and FlyFisher Group chief of staff Karina Tineo: “Happy to provide the ‘we don’t respond to active lawsuits’ comment like last time. Or we can let him know you’re traveling and ask for questions to see what he has and is focusing on.”
Westword was accidentally included on all of the emails. “First, [the FlyFisher Group] has not filed any lawsuits. Second, I am out of town and third we do not comment on ongoing litigation,” Burkett wrote in an email back to Cullen.