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.
“Facebook parent company Meta is paying one of the biggest Republican consulting firms in the country to orchestrate a nationwide campaign seeking to turn the public against TikTok. The campaign includes placing op-eds and letters to the editor in major regional news outlets, promotingdubious stories about alleged TikTok trends that actually originated on Facebook, and pushing to draw political reporters and local politicians into helping take down its biggest competitor.” …
“Employees with the firm, Targeted Victory, worked to undermine TikTok through a nationwide media and lobbying campaign portraying the fast-growing app, owned by the Beijing-based company ByteDance, as a danger to American children and society, according to internal emails shared with The Washington Post. … Campaign operatives were also encouraged to use TikTok’s prominence as a way to deflect from Meta’s own privacy and antitrust concerns.”
Minutes after setting up at Denver’s Union Station for a report on escalating crime at the transit hub, CBS4 reporter Kelly Werthmann and an undisclosed photojournalistwere accosted and the cameraman was assaulted. Construction company Kiewit became collateral damage in this story because the man who committed the assault – likely someone experiencing homelessness who was wearing donated clothing – had a jacket with a Kiewit logo on it.
The Central Park Recreational Center and “the Mayor of Pickleball” are locked in a dispute over permanent pickleball lines on multi-use courts. The latest twist involves the Denver Police Department and felony charges of vandalism totaling more than $10,000.
Disney CEO Bob Chapek ‘s strategy of trying to stay out of politics has backfired spectacularly as a revolt led by employees against Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” legislation has put the company in the spotlight. Employees engaged in walkouts and March Madness announcers at ESPN (which is owned by Disney) started several games with two minutes of silence in protest. Chapek’s contract is up for renewal in a year, and how he handles this crisis may be what determines whether he stays at Disney.
Speaking of Disney, the theme park apologized for a performance by a Texas high school cheerleading squad that included “the team dancing and chanting ‘scalp ’em Indians, scalp ’em’ ‘ while performing moves that appear to appropriate Native American culture in a parade at Disney’s Magic Kingdom theme park.” If only there had been some clue that the Port Neches-Grove High School Indianettes might perform something controversial.
Kanye West may have five Grammy nominations this year, but Recording Academy executives are concerned enough about his increasingly erratic and abusive behavior that they won’t allow him to perform at the televised awards ceremony.
Approximately $13.5 million of the $436 million philanthropist MacKenzie Scott is giving to Habitat for Humanity is designated for its Denver chapter. It is Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver’s largest single donation in its history. Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains also received a record $20 million donation from Scott.
Former soccer star David Beckham handed over control of his Instagram account that has more than 71 million followers to a doctor in Ukraine to highlight the conditions in the country and the “amazing work” medical teams are doing. Beckham is a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.
“Denver police suffered a ‘total leadership failure’ amid the George Floyd protests in 2020, and chief Paul Pazen appeared ‘paralyzed’ about how to respond,” according to new documents obtained by Axios Denver.
Frank “The Strong Arm” Azar again finds himself in need of a talented lawyer. Months after suing his accountant, and then suing a second accountant he hired to fix his first accountant’s mess, Azar is suing an out-of-state lawyer whom he says is using Google ads to illegally poach clients.
College basketball fans in our state had a humbling week, going 0-3. The Colorado State men’s team’s March Madness experience lasted only two hours as the Rams were beaten by the University of Michigan Wolverines in the first game of the first round of that tournament. Meanwhile, the University of Colorado men’s team could only make the NIT tournament and then lost its first-round game to St. Bonaventure. And, finally, the University of Colorado women’s team lost its first-round game in the NCAA tournament today.
U.S. News & World Report ranked Columbia University as the second-best university in the country, but a professor in the school’s math department says its a fraud and that the university is gaming the system.
CNN is an HR dumpster fire. Former anchor Chris Cuomofiled a $125 million lawsuit against the news network alleging that he was wrongfully terminated by Jeff Zucker, who has since resigned following the disclosure of his inappropriate relationship with a subordinate.
The Australian Prime Minister and Cabinet has withdrawn the new logo it introduced for its Women’s Network initiative to promote gender equality. The logo was mocked mercilessly on social media, with one critic asking, “Why have the juvenile idiots in your department made male genitalia out of the Women’s Network logo?”
Anemona Hartocollis at The New York Times: “Everyone knows that students buff their résumés when applying to college. But a math professor is accusing Columbia University of buffing its own résumé — or worse — to climb the all-important U.S. News & World Report rankings of best universities.”
“Michael Thaddeus, who specializes in algebraic geometry at Columbia, has challenged the university’s No. 2 ranking this year with a statistical analysis that found that key supporting data was ‘inaccurate, dubious or highly misleading.'”
“In a 21-page blistering critique on his website, Dr. Thaddeus is not only challenging the rating but redoubling the debate over whether college rankings — used by millions of prospective college students and their parents — are valuable or even accurate.”
The HOA for Green Valley Ranch has filed an astonishing 68 foreclosure notices for unpaid fines associated with basic covenant violations such as paint color, basketball hoops and trash cans left in the street. The foreclosure notices represent 57% of those filed in all of Denver over the past year. City officials are so concerned about the issue that they have scheduled a community meeting to offering resources to homeowners.
Two prosecutors in the Denver City Attorneys Office resigned and a third was suspended after emails and chat messages showed them “disparaging their bosses, boasting about how little they were working during their stay-at-home phase of the pandemic, confessing to misusing a criminal records database and reveling in causing a co-worker to suffer a ‘nervous breakdown.’”
Denver drivers spend an extra 41 hours in traffic annually due to congestion. The bright side? That’s a little more than half of what drivers in New York City and Los Angeles spend.
The Colorado Classic bike race has showcased Colorado to an international audience, but unless it finds a $3 million title sponsor it will have to shut down.
Speaking of bicycles, Denver’s oldest bike shop – Turin Bicycles – is closing after 51 yearsdue to increased rents and continued disruptions to the global supply chain.
Atlanta Falcons receiver Calvin Ridleyhas been suspended for the 2022 season after gambling on NFL games last season. The $1,500 in bets he placed will cost him $11.1 million in lost salary.
Ryan Coogler, the Hollywood director of movies such as “Black Panther,” “Creed” and “Fruitvale Station,” was handcuffed by police when employees at a Bank of America branch mistook his request to withdraw cash from his checking account as an attempted robbery.
Women’s basketball star Brittney Griner may be a political prisoner in Russia. She was arrested in Moscow on alleged drug violations and her fate is now dependent on a Russian justice system that is unlikely to do an American any favors.
Texas has successfully positioned itself as a business-friendly state, and companies such as Toyota, Oracle, Tesla and Apple have relocated or expanded their operations there in recent years. But Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s move to classify care for trans teens as “child abuse” is getting push-back from businesses such as Johnson & Johnson, Macy’s, Apple, Meta, Google, Ikea and REI.
So, who won the week?
The Broncostraded for star QB Russell Wilson, and the winners of that trade are numerous. Broncos GM George Paton made a career-defining move and Broncos head coach Nathaniel Hackett now has a quarterback capable of competing in the division. Meanwhile, the Bowlen kids likely saw the value of the franchise increase in the months before its sale now that it has a true “franchise quarterback,” and Broncos fans can start dreaming of playoff wins rather than just hoping it finds its way to a 8-9 record.
9News is one of the big winners from Denver DA Beth McCann’s decision to drop second-degree murder charges against security guard Matthew Dolloff. He was the unlicensed security guard working for the news station during the 2020 protests when he shot and killed a man who confronted and threatened a 9News reporter and then attacked Dolloff. A trial would have dragged 9News back into the story and created another wave of anti-media and anti-9News threats.
When International Women’s Day rolls around, social media is flooded with posts from companies touting their commitment to women.
In the U.K., though, large companies are required to disclose their gender pay gaps using actual payroll data. So, of course, there is now the Gender Pay Gap Bot that shares that pay gap in response to any company that posts about their support for IWD (h/t to my colleague Kathleen Deal).
Brian Maass at CBS4: “Three veteran prosecutors with Denver’s City Attorneys Office used an internal city email and messaging system to repeatedly disparage their bosses, boast about how little they were working during their stay-at-home phase of the pandemic, confessed to misusing a criminal records database and reveled in causing a co-worker to suffer a ‘nervous breakdown’ according to disciplinary documents obtained by CBS4. Two of the three lawyers resigned during a disciplinary investigation and the third was suspended but returned to her job.” …
“Attorneys Eric Reece and Kristina Bush resigned during the investigation into their conduct. Emily Reisdorph was suspended without pay for 15 days and has resumed working for the City Attorneys Office. All three worked in the Prosecution and Code Enforcement Section of the office. Reece was a Senior Assistant City Attorney as was Reisdorph. Bush was an Assistant City Attorney.” …
“When a Black female attorney named Kimberly resigned from her job with the City Attorney’s Office, the group named their online chat group “Kimberly Killers” and reveled in the woman’s apparent ‘nervous breakdown.’ Learning of what happened, Bush wrote to the others, “That’s the best news I’ve heard since quarantine. I feel so satisfied by this. I’ve been humming all morning. She then sent a message with a gif patting herself on the back. Reisdorph responded, ‘You can’t take credit for that all on your own. We pushed her too far… we sent her into a nervous breakdown.’ Bush boasted, ‘Because really, this is our doing.’ Administrators in the City Attorneys Office termed the conversations ‘racially insensitive.'”
So what happened to attorneys Eric Reece and Kristina Bush following their resignations? Reece is now an associate attorney at the Denver law firm Sutton Booker, and Bush is an associate attorney at Robinson & Henry in Highlands Ranch.
Randy Blauvelt, who held a number of senior communications positions in Denver with organizations such as Rocky Mountain PBS, the American Humane Association and First Nations Development Institute, has passed away. He was 67 years old.
Westword continues to publish mug shots of individuals arrested for – but not convicted of – crimes, despite widespread acknowledgement of the damage it can do to people’s lives and the disproportionate impact on people of color. Even worse, Westword is using the mugshots as clickbait on social media.
A disagreement over subpoena power between Denver Auditor Tim O’Brien and the Denver City Council has gone nuclear.
United Airlines must pay $2.3 million to two flight attendants whom the airline fired for watching an iPad during a break. The pair’s attorney successfully argued that United’s disciplinary system was nonsensical and applied inconsistently.
She may be the greatest women’s tennis player of all time, but Serena Williams is still fighting the same indignities that affect other people of color.
A JetBlue pilotwas removed from the cockpit and registered 0.17% on a breathalyzer, more than four times the limit allowed by the FAA. I’m not sure what’s scarier – a drunk pilot or the fact that the FAA allows pilots fly when they register 0.04% on a breathalyzer.
So, who won the week?
Ten Coloradans will participate in the 2022 Winter Paralympics that start today.
The Denver Nuggets and the Colorado Avalanche have not been seen on TV locally in any meaningful way for two-and-a-half years due to an ongoing dispute between rights-owner Altitude Sports and cable/satellite companies Comcast and Dish. The result is that fans are not able to see what has been two historically great years for the sports teams.
Following two settlements totaling $825,000 this week, the City and County of Denver has now paid more than $3 million to individuals who were injured by police during the George Floyd protests in 2020.
The metro Denver area has not seen temperatures rise above freezing since Monday, and the forecast calls for those sub-freezing temperatures to remain until tomorrow.
Investors in an Idaho Springs resort project that would connect the historic Argo Mill (EPA Superfund sites can be historic, right?) to a city park via a 1.2-mile gondola sued when they realized their money had disappeared from an escrow account. Put more succinctly: their money is gon-dola.
Five weeks after relocating from California to accept the position as president of the Northern Colorado Owlz minor league baseball team and the Northern Colorado Hailstorm FC soccer team, Rosalind Aguilera is out. Aguilera and owner Jeff Katofsky apparently butted heads over a lack of resources, which Aguilera said was “a mess.” If you are an employment lawyer in Fort Collins, you’ll want to jump on this one right away.
Golfer Phil Mickelsonlost sponsors KPMG and Amstel Light after he said he was willing to work with Saudis on a golf super league even though “they killed [Washington Post columnist Jamal] Khashoggi and … they execute people over there for being gay.”
Crain’s NY reported that 5WPR’s Ronn Torossian is using a news site he covertly owns to praise his clients and attack his enemies. If true, it would be an enormous ethical violation, not to mention run afoul of FTC rules.
Bald eagles have made an amazing comeback in the U.S., but a new study found that 46% of them suffer from chronic lead poisoning. Researchers blame lead bullets used by hunters that fragment and remain in animal carcasses that are scavenged by the eagles.
So, who won the week?
DIA unveiled a list of new restaurants that would rival any food hall in Denver. Maria Empanada, El Chingon, Rosenberg’s Bagels, Mercantile Dining & Provision and Cholon are among the restaurants that will open over the next year.
A week after learning that the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade would return to downtown for the first time in two years, the organizers of Denver’s annual Cinco de Mayo Festival announced that it too would return this year.
“When people thought about our old brand, PR was often the only service that came to mind and our other areas of expertise got lost entirely. Plus, the ideals tied to our old name no longer matched our company’s personality,” said Jennifer Stevens, Comprise’s vice president of digital and creative services. “From a new name to alignment with our brand’s identity and evolved product and service offerings, there are many reasons to undergo the challenging but rewarding process of rebranding an organization. In our case, the new name and look describe our evolution within the shifting media landscape for the last three-plus decades.”
What would 9News be without Kyle Clark, Kathy Sabine, Marshall Zelinger, Nicole Vap, Chris Vanderveen, Kim Christiansen and Jeremy Jojola? Sadly, we may find out now that news has broken that the hedge fund Standard General LP, pending regulatory approvals, will acquire 9News parent company TEGNA for $8.6 billion. Twelve years ago, The Denver Post was acquired by another investment firm, Alden Global Capital, and it cut the Post’s newsroom by approximately two-thirds – from 250 journalists in 2010 to fewer than 70 by 2018. Is 9News facing a similar future?
Some of the most visible and respected (and compensated) television journalists in Denver may become free agents in the coming months and years, which has the potential to completely reshape television news in our city. If I am the GM at CBS4, Fox31 or Denver7, I am preparing to open my wallet to poach as many of the 9News journalists as I can in an effort to end 9News’ ratings dominance.
The International Olympic Committee, the Court of Arbitration for Sport and the Russian Olympic Committee put 15-year-old Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva in a no-win situation, and the result was a meltdown on an international stage. The gold medal favorite tested positive for a banned drug, but was allowed to compete in the women’s singles competition while a full review is conducted. Valieva placed fourth after a shocking performance that saw her fall twice, and the tears and agony that followed were almost unwatchable. This tragedy is now what will define the 2022 Beijing Olympics.
NBA legend and broadcaster Charles Barkley accused Denver Nuggets fansof being “whiney” when they complain that Nikola Jokic doesn’t get the respect he deserves as the reigning league MVP.
If you are waiting for your new luxury vehicle, it may be longer than expected. A massive cargo ship carrying 1,100 Porsches and 189 Bentleys is on fire off the coast of the Azores. The ship was due into a Rhode Island port on Wednesday.
Kanye West is a walking train wreck in the best of circumstances, but even he recognized his stalky behavior toward his ex, Kim Kardashian, this week signaled he was spiraling. He offered a rare apology.
It may be hard to imagine given the snow we’ve had in February, but Red Rocks concert season is just a few months away. This week, we learned Gary Clark Jr. and Bonnie Raitt are among those on the schedule.
The Super Bowl on NBC averaged 112.3 million viewers, a 16% increase over last year. Also good news for NBC was that its Olympics coverage immediately following the Super Bowl averaged 24 million viewers, the single biggest ratings night for the Beijing games so far.
“(Saudis are) scary motherf—ers to get involved with. They killed (Washington Post reporter Jamal) Khashoggi and have a horrible record on human rights. They execute people over there for being gay. Knowing all of this, why would I even consider it? Because this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reshape how the PGA Tour operates.”
U.S. golfer Phil Mickelson, acknowledging he has no principles beyond making money and rationalizing why he would join a Saudi-backed breakaway golf league to rival the PGA Tour.
Proof PR has picked up two new clients – plant-based restaurant Native Foods and fast-casual taco restaurant Velvet Taco – and added Jacob Kingrey as communications specialist. Kingrey worked in the food and beverage industry in Ohio prior to joining Proof PR.
There’s no question that litigators use media coverage to squeeze their targets – they hope that negative media coverage of an organization they are suing puts them in a position that they will settle a case faster and more favorably. That is why litigators have the same set of investigative reporters on speed dial, often initiating a story before the lawsuit has even been filed and served.
Colorado funeral homes have so badly bungled their jobs – illegally operating a body-brokering business out of a funeral home, for example – that state legislators have had to introduce a bill to expand oversight and inspections. I’d do my best not to pass away before the end of the legislative session in May.
Colorado’s own Mikaela Shiffrin has experienced the thrill of victory while winning gold medals at the 2014 and 2018 Olympics, but the 2022 Olympics have been about the agony of defeat. She suffered DNFs in her first two events – going off the course in the first 11 seconds of the first race and the first 5 seconds in her second.
Up to 40 of SpaceX’s Starlink satellites are expected to fall out of orbit after they were launched last week in the midst of a geomagnetic storm. The storm prevented the satellites from maneuvering into their proper orbital positions.
The Washington Football Team Commanders are the NFL’s biggest dumpster fire. This week’s development is that the team hired outside lawyers to investigate yet another group of allegations of sexual harassment against owner Dan Snyder. The NFL then had to quickly step in and announce that it, not the Washington franchise, would investigate the claims.
Tesla seems intent on joining Uber and Facebook in the PR Disasters Hall of Fame. After numerous issues with build quality, long service waits and questionable “self-driving” capabilities, the state of California filed a complaint against the electric automaker alleging racial discrimination and harassment.
Russia finds itself in the midst of yet another doping scandal now that Kamila Valieva, a 15-year-old figure skater prodigy, has tested positive for a banned substance. The award ceremony scheduled for Tuesday night still has not taken place while an appeal is considered.
Last fall, I questioned whether 9News could get “Aldened” after reports surfaced that entertainment mogul Byron Allen was working with investment firm Apollo Global Management to finance an acquisition of TEGNA, 9News’ parent company. As I wrote at the time, “If you are a 9News employee, or someone who just values journalism, you can’t be comfortable with the idea that Apollo might do to TEGNA what (investment firm) Alden has done to the Denver Post – bleed it to near death to maximize the return on investment.”
This week, we learned that Allen may have a new trophy in sight – the Denver Broncos. But there are some problems, including that Allen’s net worth is just 11% of the roughly $4 billion it would take to buy the Broncos. Additionally, NFL rules require the controlling owner to purchase outright a minimum 30% stake in the team (no leveraging the acquisition). That means Allen is still short $750 million of accomplishing that.
These facts may be why 9News assigned Broncos public affairs staffer “Broncos Insider” Mike Klis to cover the story with kid gloves rather than Jeremy Jojola, Marshall Zelinger, Kevin Vaughan or any of its other hard-hitting investigative journalists. I don’t want Allen and a equity fund anywhere near 9News either.
Following a boycott by musical artists due to podcaster Joe Rogan’s repeated misinformation about COVID-19, music streaming service Spotify has now quietly removed 70 episodes of his podcast due to his repeated use of the N-word. Rogan apologized today, saying that using the word is the “most regretful and shameful thing” he has done.
RIP Streetsblog Denver. The news site focusing on transportation and mobility issues in our city has been on life support for more than a year, and the plug was finally pulled this week. Founder David Sachs, who now calls Barcelona home, penned a farewell column calling on media to better cover issues between cars and pedestrians/bicyclists.
From the “any publicity is good publicity” file: The Boulder International Film Festival, apparently desperate for attention, has invited Alec Baldwin to be its first-ever “guest programmer” for its event in March. Baldwin remains under investigation related to the death of a production assistant on the set of his movie, “Rust.”
Denver Broncos executive John Elwaywas named in a lawsuit filed by Black head coach Brian Flores alleging a pattern of discrimination against coaches of color in the NFL. In the suit, Flores says that Elway and Broncos President & CEO Joe Ellis arrived for Flores’ head coaching interview in 2019 “completely disheveled, and it was obvious that they had been drinking heavily the night before.” Elway has strongly denied the allegations, but this is not a good look for him, especially as he is trying to join one of the bid groups attempting to buy the Broncos.
If you are a well-paid administrator in Denver Public Schools, you should be updating your resume right now. Superintendent Alex Marrero told Chalkbeat that he is reducing the number of administrative positions and that some executives will need to re-apply for their positions.
Whoopi Goldberg has been suspended as co-host of “The View” despite apologizing for comments she made that the Holocaust wasn’t about race because it involved “two White groups of people.” In her apology, she acknowledged, “… it is indeed about race because Hitler and the Nazis considered Jews to be an inferior race.”
Denver Broncos fans who have watched the team slide into mediocrity since the death of owner Pat Bowlen learned officially this week that the team will be sold. The sale price is expected to set a global record for a sports team at somewhere near $4 billion.
“…in 2019 Mr. Flores was scheduled to interview with the Denver Broncos. However, the Broncos’ then-General Manager, John Elway, President and Chief Executive Officer Joe Ellis and others, showed up an hour late to the interview. They looked completely disheveled, and it was obvious that they had been drinking heavily the night before. It was clear from the substance of the interview that Mr. Flores was interviewed only because of the Rooney Rule, and that the Broncos never had any intention to consider him as a legitimate candidate for the job. Shortly thereafter, Vic Fangio, a white man, was hired to be the Head Coach of the Broncos.”
– Brian Flores’ federal lawsuit alleging racial discrimination against the Denver Broncos, Miami Dolphins and New York Giants specifically, and the NFL generally. The Broncos have denied the allegations.
Legendary musician Neil Young took a principled stand against Spotify and podcaster Joe Rogan, demanding that the streaming service remove his music if it continues to allow Rogan to share misinformation about COVID-19. As for other musicians following his lead … it has been crickets. Despite that, Spotify’s stock is down 10% since Young’s announcement.
While the Colorado Rockies’ Todd Helton was not selected to the Baseball Hall of Fame this week, his candidacy continues to make progress. He will remain on the ballot for the next seven years, and experts say his trend line means he eventually will make it.
Claire Atkinson at BusinessInsider: “NBCUniversal is slashing its TV ratings expectations for the Winter Olympics by as much as half, according to three senior marketing sources familiar with the numbers. The media giant, which paid $7.75 billion for TV and digital rights to the Olympic Games through 2032, retooled its estimates after pushback from marketing partners disappointed with the ratings of the Tokyo summer Olympics. “
“Ad agencies are being told to expect a six rating at Beijing — half what the audience guarantees were for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, according to one media agency executive. … One ad executive said NBCUniversal was under pressure to reduce its ratings expectations rather than face the possibility of having to give advertisers make-good ads, as NBCU reportedly had to do after Tokyo, when it had its lowest Summer Olympics ratings ever.”
If social media posts about long lift lines are giving you a public relations headache, you have a couple of options. You can try to improve how long it takes to get people up the mountain, or you can try to limit photos and videos of the long lift lines. Vail’s strategy appears to focus on both.
The 2021-2022 ski season could be a tough one for Colorado resorts, according to data released by Vail Resorts that show an 18.3% drop in skier visits to its resorts this year compared to the same period in 2019-2020.
The Colorado State Patrol says at least 672 people died in traffic crashes on Colorado roads in 2021, the most in nearly two decades. Officials blamed impaired driving, excessive speeds and distractions behind the wheel as the leading causes of accidents, and noted that approximately one-third of those who died were not wearing seatbelts.
Denver attorney Frank “the Strong Arm” Azarfound himself in need of his own lawyer when he sued both a CPA who he says screwed up his tax return and the CPA he then hired to fix the first CPA’s work.
Speaking of Dr. King, the FBI saw him as a communist threat and surveilled him with phone taps and bugged hotel rooms, among other activities, which is why its tweet commemorating MLK Day this week felt pretty self-serving and hollow.
The NBA’s Golden State Warriors distanced itself from minority owner Chamath Palihapitiya’s statement that “nobody cares about what’s happening to the Uyghurs,” the largely Muslim minority community that has faced widespread human rights violations in China’s western Xinjiang region. He added, “You bring it up because you really care, and I think it’s nice that you care — the rest of us don’t care.” That will not play well in the Warrior’s hometown of San Francisco.
So, who won the week?
Denver-area animal shelters raised tens of thousands of unexpected dollars on Jan. 17 thanks to the “Betty White Challenge,” a campaign to support humane societies in honor of what would have been the beloved actress’ 100th birthday.
Candy manufacturer Mars announced that the iconic M&M’s characters are getting personality makeovers – and the results demonstrate the lengths that agency marketing teams will go to spend every dime of the client’s budget. The efforts are described as “a modern makeover for a more dynamic, progressive world,” which is code for making them more millennial-friendly. Among the changes:
The green M&M has ditched her go-go boots in favor of “cool, laid-back sneakers to reflect her effortless confidence.” Also, the green and brown M&Ms may be lesbians now.
The brown M&M’s heels have been “lowered to a professional heel height.”
The orange M&M will now lean into his anxiety and the red M&M will no longer bully his peers.
Kyle Harris at Denverite: “Few businesses have grown with Denver like Tattered Cover. The independent book chain has dominated the city’s literary scene for more than half a century. Over the past 20 years, it has kept its doors open — barely — as online retail has battered brick-and-mortar shops. Three new owners, who took over Tattered Cover in December 2020 under the name Bended Page LLC, have been betting on their ability to not just save the iconic independent book chain from bankruptcy, but to turn it into a lucrative, 21st century business.” …
“Yet some staff members — new and old alike — are raising concerns about the new direction and how they’re being managed. They say the store is growing too fast and becoming too corporate, old-timers are being pushed out, staff are overworked, wages are too low and they criticize new CEO Kwame Spearman’s management style.”
It was bad enough to lose a playoff game to the San Francisco 49ers, but Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott compounded the disaster by praising Cowboys fans who threw bottles and other trash at the officials as they left the field. Prescott has built a reputation for being a classy player, which made his comments even more surprising.
We all knew an apology was coming, but given the state of the world I expected it to be the “I apologize if anyone was offended” variety. Instead, Prescott owned it and even used the all-too-rare phrase “I’m sorry:”
“I deeply regret the comments I made regarding the officials after the game on Sunday” Prescott said. “I was caught up in the emotion of a disappointing loss and my words were uncalled for and unfair. I hold the NFL Officials in the highest regard and have always respected their professionalism and the difficulty of their jobs. The safety of everyone who attends a game or participates on the field of a sporting event is a very serious matter. That was a mistake on my behalf, and I am sorry.”
King Soopers and Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Marade organizers found themselves in a bit of an awkward standoff yesterday. The grocery store chain, which is in the midst of an ongoing union strike, was the corporate sponsor of the parade honoring a man who was solidly pro-union. Something had to give, and the result was a race to claim the moral high ground.
Marade organizers struck first by formally removing King Soopers as a sponsor, although it was done at the last minute which meant it was largely symbolic. Organizers also tried to return the sponsorship money to King Soopers, but grocery store representatives were having none of it. They refused to accept the money, saying that Marade organizers should keep it despite cancelling the sponsorship “because love should always be bigger than hate.”
How far will this very public spat go? Unfortunately, we’ll never know because the Marade has already come and gone.