GroundFloor Media’s inaugural “Get Connected” panel discussion takes place on Wednesday, Feb. 18, and will focus on communicating difficult news to key audiences during challenging times. Panelists will include Gil Rudawsky, deputy metro business editor of the Rocky Mountain News; Lynn Kimbrough, communications director, Denver District Attorney’s Office; Ken Keymer, former president and CEO of VICORP Restaurants Inc. and former president of Noodles & Company; and Jim D. Leonard of Faegre & Benson. Email GetConnected@groundfloormedia.com to get the details. Space is limited.
We have a new candidate for this week’s “Most in Need of PR Help” award. Joining the list that includes Michael Phelps, Wells Fargo, Alex Rodriguez and Chris Brown is Joaquin Phoenix, who “appeared” on David Letterman’s show last night.
The most interesting predictions often are the ones that have a 2 percent chance of coming true. So in that spirit, let me offer this prediction: Scripps has analyzed the numbers and realized that it can outlast MediaNews Group if it is willing to suffer another tough six months. MediaNews Group will be forced to fold the Denver Post by summer, and the Rocky Mountain News will survive as the only major daily in Denver.
Will that prediction come true? Probably not. But if the economics of being the only newspaper in town work for MediaNews Group, they should also work for Scripps. And Scripps seems much better positioned financially to ride out a tough six months than MediaNews Group. We are just two days away from mid-February, which is a full month after Scripps initially implied a decision would be made about shutting down the Rocky, and there still has been no word on its fate.
It is hard to figure out which is in worse financial shape: the Denver Post, the Rocky Mountain News or the Denver Newspaper Agency. Post publisher MediaNews Group often seems to be teetering on the brink of missing its debt payments, the Rocky is almost certain to be shut down, and now Jeff Smith at the Rocky reports that the DNA needs to cut about $35 million through union concessions, roughly double what had been reported previously.
If, in your office pool, you had 23 straight quarters that Level 3 would post negative earnings, well, you are out of luck. After a mere 22 straight, Level 3 busted out of its slump to post a quarterly profit of $44 million. Telecom analysts think the gain came from spending cuts, but we think the CFO finally said screw it and just invested the entire marketing budget shorting financial stocks. Either way, Wall Street still wasn’t impressed. Level 3 shares dropped 15 percent on the profit news.
9News sports anchor Susie Wargin wins the public relations diplomacy award for her classy response to a rant that appeared in Westword media critic Michael Roberts’s blog that was written by Roberts’ 15-year-old daughter. Wargin has learned what too many CEOs have not yet – you are almost never sorry later on for having taken the high road.