DNC Roundtables Add Gravitas with Addition of Ben Affleck

We were reminded of the old Sesame Street song/game “One of these things is not like the others” when we read about the “Rocky Mountain Roundtable,” a series of 10 discussions of public issues coinciding with the DNC. Our favorite: a roundtable that will feature “Tom Brokaw, Ben Affleck and Madeline Albright (discussing) international relations.” Presumably it will go something like this:

Brokaw: “Sen. McCain questions why Sen. Obama would be willing to meet with Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who he says has pledged to wipe Israel off the map, denies the Holocaust, sponsors terrorists, arms America’s enemies in Iraq and pursues nuclear weapons.”

Albright: “There’s nothing controversial about meeting with leaders of rogue states, and history supports this. President Kennedy met with Nikita Khrushchev at a time when the two nations were on the brink of nuclear war, and President Nixon met with China’s Mao Zedong knowing that Mao had murdered millions of people.”

Affleck: “RED SOX RULE!!!”

Crocs Watch: How Long Until Snyder “Resigns”?

Some CEOs are great are starting companies, some are great at running established companies, and some are great at turning companies around. Few, it seems, are great at two or more of those things. On that note, it will be a tough morning for Crocs. The company’s stock dropped nearly 50 percent yesterday in after-hours trading following the company’s disclosure that it expects earnings to be below its previous forecasts. Crocs stock, which traded as high as $74.75 last Halloween, was at $4.96 last night.

Pew Newspaper Report Offers Hope

The Pew Research Center issued its report, “The Changing Newsroom: Gains and Losses in Today’s Papers,” on Monday, and it has taken us a few days to get to it. The report offers a number of interesting analyses of the often contradictory newspaper industry, including:

Despite an image of decline, more people today in more places read the content produced in the newsrooms of American daily newspapers than at any time in years. But revenues are tumbling. The editors expect the financial picture only to worsen, and they have little confidence that they know what their papers will look like in five years.

Newspapers are still drawing plenty of readers (in part by shifting their focus to local news that readers can’t get from national publications/Web sites), but until they devise a method to monetize their Web traffic, expect the consolidation and layoffs to continue.

Pressure Mounts on Post, News. Acquisition Likely?

The Denver Post’s and Rocky Mountain News’ latest earnings report isn’t going to quell rumors that one of them will acquire the other and convert it to an online-only offering soon. The papers saw their Q2 earnings drop 78 percent –- from $6 million to $1.3 million — in Q2 2008 compared to the same period in 2007. A “slumping advertising market” is to blame, according to the Denver Business Journal, which also calculated that the two papers lost money during the quarter.

Product Placement Hits the Morning News Shows

The local Fox affiliate in Las Vegas has signed a product placement deal with McDonald’s that puts two cups of the fast-food chain’s iced coffee on the desk in front of the anchors. But fear not. The Fox news director assures viewers that the “nontraditional revenue source” won’t impact his station’s reporting. How long until Ron and Libby are sipping after-dinner cappuccinos provided by Starbucks between stories?

Denver Post to Partner with Politico to Cover the DNC

The Denver Post will partner with the political Web site Politico to cover the Democratic National Convention. The terms of the agreement allow the Post to “publish at least several pages each day of Politico content in print during the convention weeks. Politico, meanwhile, will be able to sell ad space in the newspapers.” The St. Paul Pioneer Press, which like the Post is owned by MediaNews, has a similar agreement with Politico for the Republican National Convention in the Twin Cities.

‘Denver’s Road Home’ Responds

In the spirit of equal time, Denver’s Road Home has responded to our recent post on allegations that Denver is attempting to hide its homeless during the DNC:

We would like to clarify some information related to your recent post about Denver’s homeless and the Democratic National Convention. A statement from the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless that clarifies the situation here in Denver is available at http://www.coloradocoalition.org/Road_Home_Q_and_A

But our concern for and commitment to the homeless is not limited to the time that the DNC is in Denver. Denver’s Road Home is a comprehensive, long-term plan designed to put people into housing while addressing the underlying causes of homelessness.  It has been in place for almost three years – long before Denver was chosen to host the DNC – and will be in place for many years to come.

Denver’s Road Home was here before DNC and will be here long after the convention is gone.  

We are, and have always been, committed to ensuring everyone has a safe place to be.  During the DNC, DRH will expand outreach services to get the homeless connected with services/shelter. DRH is also working with providers to expand facility hours, both day and evening, and to provide special programs for homeless youth.  DRH is also working closely with the Denver Police to ensure the safety and wellbeing of people on the streets.

Denver’s Road Home is working to ensure that people are safe and treated well during the DNC.

If you would like further information, please let us know. 


Denver’s Road Home

2008 Regional Emmy Award Winners

KUSA/Channel 9 was the big winner at the 2008 Regional Emmy Award ceremony this weekend. Among the individual awards:

  • KUSA/Channel 9’s Nelson Garcia, winner of the journalistic enterprise trophy
  • KUSA/Channel 9, winner of the overall station excellence and interactivity award
  • KUSA/Channel 9’s Adam Schrager, winner of the award for general assignment reporting
  • KMGH/Channel 7’s Anne Trujillo, winner for best news anchor
  • KMGH/Channel 7’s Mike Landess, winner for his report on prostate cancer 
  • KMGH/Channel 7’s Tony Kovaleski, winner for his investigative report on the Denver Jail
  • KCNC/Channel 4’s Brian Maas, winner for his investigative report on airplane de-icing
  • KCNC/Channel 4’s Vic Lombardi, named as best sports anchor
  • KDVR/Channel 31’s Sari Padorr, winner for her serious news features

And congratulations to the four inductees of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences’ Silver Circle for 25 years of service: KWGN/Channel 2 anchor Ernie Bjorkman, KCNC/Channel 4 reporter Suzanne McCarroll, KUSA/Channel 9 anchor Ward Lucas and KRMA/Channel 6 PBS president and GM James Morgese.

Newspaper Update, Sponsored by Zoloft

Let’s see:

  • USA Today saw ad sales decline 27 percent in June, and its (and 9News’) parent company Gannett Co. said second-quarter profit declined 36 percent.
  • The Wall Street Journal announced today that it will eliminate 50 editorial positions.
  • The Atlanta Journal-Constitution disclosed it will cut its staff by nearly 200 jobs, or about 8 percent of its work force.
  • Newsweek’s president and worldwide publisher is jumping ship this fall.
  • The Santa Rosa (Calif.) Press Democrat announced today it will lay off 5 percent of its work force, or 17 full-time positions, “to reduce costs in response to sharp declines in advertising revenue.”

Top 30 News Web Sites for June 2008

From Nielsen Online by way of Editor & Publisher:

Brand or Channel — June ’08 Unique Audience (000) — June ’07 Unique Audience 

1. MSNBC Digital Network — 37,644 — 27,434
2. Yahoo! News — 34,992 — 32,293
3. CNN Digital Network — 33,417 — 28,321
4. AOL News — 22,081 — 21,938
5. NYTimes.com — 17,650 — 12,535

6. Tribune Newspapers — 15,059 — 12,038
7. Gannett Newspapers and Newspaper Division — 12,405 — 12,279
8. ABCNEWS Digital Network — 11,556 — 10,852
9. Google News — 10,543 — 9,195
10. Fox News Digital Network — 10,471 — 8,192

11. McClatchy Newspaper Network — 9,849 — 7,708
12. USATODAY.com — 9,626 — 8,592
13. washingtonpost.com — 9,062 — 8,181
14. CBS News Digital Network — 8,561 — 8,682
15. WorldNow — 7,957 — 6,963

16. MediaNews Group Newspapers — 7,442 — 7,384
17. Hearst Newspapers Digital — 7,372 — 8,624
18. Advance Internet — 7,107 — 5,761
19. Slate — 6,751 — 3,302
20. IB Websites — 6,079 — 5,351

21. BBC News — 5,944 — 5,733
22. Topix — 5,914 — 5,765
23. Boston.com — 5,226 — 4,254
24. Cox Newspapers — 5,122 — 4,835
25. Gannett Broadcasting — 4,806 — 4,241

26. New York Post Holdings — 4,617 — 3,057
27. Guardian.co.uk — 4,405 — 2,455
28. NPR — 4,300 — 3,121
29. TheHuffingtonPost.com — 4,042 — 1,267
30. Daily News Online Edition — 3,803 — 1,821

Turmoil at Denver Magazine?

There’s intrigue at Denver Magazine after it replaced its editor today after just its third issue (halfway to our over/under of six issues before folding). It is not clear whether editor Dahlia Jean Weinstein jumped or was pushed, but it is clear that the magazine’s founder and publisher, Michael Ledwitz, will assume editor duties and plans to hire a managing editor.

Update: Bill Husted has some additional details. Weinstein says she was fired, and that she will be talking with an attorney.

Denver PR Jobs

Among those hiring this week are: Turner PR, CH2M Hill, Corporate Allocation Services, Denver Options, Denver Water (and how could an agency that has that many communications people be so bad at PR?), Financial Planning Standards Board, IBM, The Nature Conservancy and Quantum.

Denver PR Jobs

We have been reporting how weakened the economy has been getting for months now, but you wouldn’t know it from the jobs available this week on Andrew Hudson’s PR Jobs List: 9Health Fair, Action Marketing Group, Agilent, American Water Works Association, APRIA Health Care, Cohn Marketing, Denver Art Museum, Denver Water ($60K for a “junior writer” position?), Durango Public Schools, Envision, Lawscomm, Rotary International, CU-Boulder and University of Colorado Hospital. 

Also, GBSM is conducting informational interviews for an accomplished, mid-level strategic communications professionals with experience in consulting, public outreach, issues management, media relations and corporate affairs. Contact HR manager Raleigh Decker at (303) 825-6100. GBSM assures that all communications will be held strictly confidential.

Rocky To Go Web-Only Following DNC? Unlikely.

Rocky Mountain News parent company E.W. Scripps Co. officially separated into two companies: a “struggling” one holding its newspaper properties and a “more successful” one for its cable TV and online holdings. The rumor going around town all spring and summer has been that the Rocky will drop the printing presses and transition to a Web-only product following the DNC in August, but we bet that instead it will do what the Denver Post is doing –– slowly eliminating pages until the print product essentially serves only as an advertising vehicle to get people to the Web site.