SolaRover Selects Linhart

SolaRover, a provider of environmentally-friendly mobile power generation systems,  has selected Linhart as its national agency of record. Linhart will “develop tailored marketing collateral and implement an ongoing media relations campaign to create a regular pulse of news and build credibility with key journalists.”

‘The Biggest Hypocrite Who Ever Drew Breath?’

Readers of the Denver PR Blog know that I am a fan of Westword’s Michael Roberts. His coverage and analysis of the Denver media scene is second to none, and the recent coverage of the Rocky Mountain News’ continuing near-death experience only solidified his position. So it was interesting to see a reader call out Roberts for not covering Westword’s financial situation the way he covers those of the Rocky and Denver Post.

Of course, what is lost on the reader is that part of what makes Roberts so effective at covering the Rocky and Post is that he is independent of them, a point he makes as well. Nevertheless, Roberts responds with an analysis of Westword’s situation, which concludes the both the paper and its parent company are … (drumroll please) … largely in good shape. But as much as I like Roberts, I’ll wait for David Milstead or Aldo Svaldi to write that before I believe it.

Is Penny Preparing for a Post-Rocky World?

I (and many others) have advocated for several years that print reporters should be laying the groundwork to go independent if necessary. Om Malik and Tom Foremski have proven that there is a marketplace for niche expertise, and, to her credit, Penny Parker seems to be preparing for just that kind of move. She has started promoting her “On The Town” blog heavily this week, and  you can expect her to continue it as an independent effort should the Rocky shut down next month.

Rocky Mountain News Staff Awards

The Rocky Mountain News announced the winners of its annual staff awards, just in time for the journalists to add them to their resumes:

  • Best Reporter – Sara Burnett
  • Best Writer – Kevin Vaughan 
  • Best Copy Editor – Scott Gilbert
  • Best Artist – Charles Chamberlin
  • Best Designer – Steve Miller
  • Best Photographer – Ellen Jaskol
  • Best Web Producer – Amy Burke
  • Unsung Hero – Lizzy McCormick
  • Best YourHub Journalist – Charmaine Robledo
  • Best YourHub Assistant – Kristin Morin
  • Best Newsroom Contributor – Kathy Potter
  • Editor’s Award – Joe Mahoney

Is There a Chance Denver Could Become a Zero Newspaper Town?

A day after Moody’s downgraded MediaNews Group, citing its “substantial”risk of default, CEO Dean Singleton today asked unions representing the Denver Post and the Denver Newspaper Agency to “reopen their labor contracts immediately” in an effort to cut costs by $20 million. Jeff Smith at the Rocky Mountain News reported that Singleton would seek concessions of $2 million from the Post and $18 million from newspaper agency.

And that wasn’t the only bad news for MediaNews Group today. The Wall Street Journal reported that the MediaNews Group-owned Detroit News has joined the Gannett-owned Detroit Free Press in considering cutting home delivery of the papers to three days per week. The remaining four days would be available only via newsstands.

CLS Wins PR News Nonprofit Award

Carmichael Lynch Spong has nabbed the Corporate/Nonprofit Partnership Award from PR News for its work with the Dunkin’ Brands Community Foundation. The campaign, which was led from CLS’s Denver office, helped address the growing problem of declining participation in volunteer fire departments.

At Least Sakic Isn’t a Two-Time Nominee Like Griese

How tough are hockey players? Slightly less tough than snowblowers, it turns out. It is bad enough for Avalanche star Joe Sakic that he is out for the next three months with broken fingers and tendon damage, but adding insult to injury (literally) is that he now qualifies as a Denver Post finalist for Dumbest Professional Athlete Injury. From the Post Web site:

Denver Post Poll – Stupid Jock Tricks
Joe Sakic’s freak snowblower accident Tuesday is the latest in a line of less-than-stellar injury stories from Denver professional athletes. Which story do you think is the dumbest? 

  • Dog trips Brian Griese: The Broncos QB Brian Griese sprained his left ankle when he said one of his dogs knocked him down the stairs at home, in 2002.
  • Rockies Deer Meat: Shortstop Clint Barmes fell in his home in 2005 carrying a package of deer meat and broke his collarbone, causing him to miss three months.
  • Brandon Marshall’s McDonald’s Bag: The Broncos WR said he was wrestling with family in the offseason when he slipped on a wrapper, fell and severed his right forearm.
  • QB on Terrell Davis’ Driveway: While attending a party at Davis house in 2002, Griese trips on the driveway, is knocked out and suffers a black eye and chipped tooth.
  • Larry Walker Fishing Trouble: The Rockies all-star right fielder separated his right shoulder after the 1996 season. He was fishing in Canada and fell down a hill.
  • Mike Hampton’s Cheap Hotel Pillows: Former Rockies pitcher missed a start in 2001 because of a stiff neck, which he blamed on the pillows on his hotel bed.

Cactus Names COO

Times seem good for Cactus. The 40-person Denver advertising agency, which touts that it has doubled its revenue in the last two years and is approaching $20 million in client billings, has just named Michael Martelon COO. Martelon is a Denver native whose experience includes working with the Islands Of The Bahamas, Sheraton Hotels & Resorts, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, Caesars Entertainment and MacWorld Conference & Expo.

Webb Develops CDOT Web Site to Help Keep Revelers Safe

Webb PR and CDOT have created a Web site, Plan Before You Party, designed to help holiday revelers stay safe. According to Jim Licko at Webb, “The site includes maps of bars and restaurants that are handing out free $5 cab vouchers to their customers, places to park your car overnight (without getting a ticket or towed), discounted hotels (if you don’t want to go home at all) and a listing of RTD park and ride locations if public transit is your choice. There’s even a link to find out when and where a sobriety checkpoint might be coming to a neighborhood near you.”

Newspaper Roundup, Sponsored by Zoloft

While we have all been distracted locally by the Rocky Mountain News’ situation, here’s what has been going on outside of Denver during the past week:

Again, that was the past week. In total, Ad Age estimates that the media industries “have shed more than 30,000 jobs in 2008. … That’s about 3.5% of the total media work force of 858,000. Since the bubble-inflated high-water mark in 2000, media has lost more than 200,000 jobs.” For those of us with journalism degrees and newspaper reporting/editing jobs on our resumes, the profound sadness we feel for the newspaper industry is almost indescribable.

WSJ Proposes Merger to Help ‘Financially Distressed’ MediaNews

Before Dean Singleton engages in too much scheudenfraude about the Rocky’s plight, he might want to read this weekend’s Wall Street Journal, which notes that MediaNews Group is among several publishers that “are carrying heavy loads of debt given their fast-shrinking revenues.” The WSJ’s solution for MediaNews: a merger with fellow troubled publishers Freedom Communications and Lee Enterprises.

Day Two Coverage – Rocky Mountain News

It is day two of the news that the Rocky Mountain News is for sale and will be shut down in January if no buyer is found. Among the coverage today:

Someone Check to See if Simmons is on Dean Singleton’s Payroll

In what might be the final nail in the coffin of the Rocky Mountain News, Denver Newspaper Guild’s Tracy Simmons tells the Denver Business Journal that the union’s contract with the Rocky would be binding on any new owner if the newspaper is sold. 

“In the event of a successor or an assignee, [the contract] is binding,” Simmons said. “You get the employees, you get the contract. So our position is that absolutely, the contract goes with the employees.”

Experts: Rocky Buyer Unlikely

Coverage of the news that the Rocky Mountain News will be sold or shut down is significant today. Among the angles:

Denver PR Moves

  • Darby Doll, formerly director of emerging media at JohnstonWells, has accepted a position as VP of Corporate, Technology and Digital at Ketchum’s Shanghai office.
  • Metzger hired Bevo Beaven as vice president of client services. Beaven formerly was at CTA Public Relations.
  • Catapult PR-IR promoted Christin Jeffers to junior account executive.