And speaking of the local George Floyd protests, former 9News anchor Bob Kendrick is taking criticism for a social media post in which he referred to the mostly African American protesters as “animals.” Kendrick is an anchor at ABC6/Fox28 in Columbus, Ohio (the stations have a shared services agreement).
For those of you relatively new to Denver, Kendrick was the original Shannon Ogden – funny, clever and bright, but you were never completely sure he wasn’t actually one of those fancy AI robots that come really close to appearing human.
Last night was a tough one for local television reporters who had to navigate both tear gas and angry protesters while giving live, on-air updates. Fox31 reporter Keagan Harsha seemed to have an average of about 15 seconds on air before protesters invaded his live shots performing their best Kim Christiansen impressions.
Bank of the West has selected Carbondale-based Backbone Media to help promote the bank’s environmental sustainability initiatives via public relations, social media management and association marketing.
From Brian Steinberg at Variety: “More Madison Avenue heavyweights are looking to TV journalists and TV-news outlets to help them land a punch. General Motors and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles are among the blue-chip advertisers that have recently struck deals to sponsor news programming and align themselves with news personalities – a practice that in a different era might have drawn more scrutiny. …”
“One executive producer at a network morning show says advertisers have ramped up their efforts to tie themselves to the program in recent years. It is all part of larger efforts by Madison Avenue to find ways to weave products and pitches into content as more traditional TV viewers find new ways to skip past ads – or simply ignore them. This producer says news executives often determine whether such advertiser requests are suitable or not. The product and the pitch cannot offend viewers, can’t pose any sort of harm, can’t be off putting, and can’t undermine the standards of the show, this person says. But the ad integrations offer a new stream of revenue for the program, this producer says, and executives work to keep anchors who deal regularly with hard news away from segments that involve a heavier sponsor influence.”
ESPN resurrected Michael Jordan, so why can’t Amazon bring back another relic from the 1990s – the Video News Release? As you can see below, the company is proving that a script and some mildly interesting B-roll is still gold in some media markets.
Update: Legal experts interviewed by Vice say that running promotional content such as this without disclosing who provided it could be a violation of Section 317 of the Communications Act.
Colorado-based, Emmy-winning filmmaker Brian Malone released the trailer for his upcoming documentary News Matters: Inside the Rebellion to Save America’s Newspapers. Airing on PBS this fall, the documentary focuses heavily on The Denver Post and the efforts of its staff to push back against its hedge-fund owners at Alden Global Capital.
Amelia DeBoer has joined Capital City Public Relations as senior writer and publicist.
CU Denver News features an interview with outgoing Vice Chancellor of University Communications Leanna Clark, who is leaving after nine years to join the Girl Scouts of Colorado as its CEO.
At the end of May, Clark will be leaving CU Denver to begin a new endeavor as CEO of the Girl Scouts of Colorado, a statewide nonprofit with 125 full time employees, 20,000 members, and 10,000 volunteers. In her new role, Clark will set organizational vision and strategy, oversee all operations, and work to expand visibility and create opportunities for strategic partnerships. She will be greatly missed at CU Denver, but her skills and expertise will undoubtedly take this preeminent leadership development organization for girls to the next level.
Novitas Communications has joined Public Relations Global Network (PRGN), a global network of independent PR firms:
“PRGN is now represented in Denver by Novitas Communications, a full-service public relations firm that specializes in corporate communications, issue management, and crisis communication across numerous industries. Novitas helps clients craft and implement communications campaigns that influence public opinion, enhance brand recognition, and keep stakeholders informed.”
Congratulations to B Public Relations for being named ColoradoBiz’s 2020 “Best Public Relations Agency.” The travel and lifestyle agency picked up the honor as part of the magazine’s Best of Colorado Business Choice Readers’ Poll. Finalists in the category included Linhart PR, Ellis Communications Marketing and (ahem) GroundFloor Media.
Steve Barrett at PRWeek shares the results of a PRWeek survey “covering infection rates, budgets, layoffs, furloughs, payment terms, financial assistance, offices of the future and return to work.” Among the findings:
- “Almost half of respondents have been directly impacted health-wise by COVID-19; 18% have team members or family of team members who have died from COVID-19
- Clients: Almost 64% reduced PR budgets, one in three significantly. Agencies: 77% of clients reduced retainers; 90% postponed campaigns, 83% canceled activations
- Almost four in 10 clients imposed extended payment terms during COVID-19
- One in five agencies laid off staff and instigated furloughs; 11% of clients
- Only 30% of respondents applied for Payment Protection Program loans
- New world of work will include: social distancing, virtual workforces, daily deep cleaning, screening, temperature tests and work-life balance
- More than half of respondents believe they will return to the office in June or July”
About 750 Edward R. Murrow award winners were announced today, and 54 of them went to Region 3 that includes Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming. So how did our state compare to the competition? Pretty well, as it turns out:
- Colorado – 29 Regional Murrow awards
- Arizona – 16 Regional Murrow awards
- Wyoming – 6 Regional Murrow awards
- Utah – 3 Regional Murrow awards
- New Mexico – 0 Regional Murrow awards
The big winners in Denver were KOA NewsRadio, Colorado Public Radio, 9News and KMGH-7. Among the winners:
- KMGH-7 for Overall Excellence (large market television)
- KOA NewsRadio for Overall Excellence (large market radio)
- 9News’ Next with Kyle Clark for Excellence in Innovation (large market television)
- KMGH-7 Excellence in Social Media (large market television)
Staff Writer Chase Woodruff at Westword is the latest victim of the COVID-19 pandemic’s assault on advertising dollars. I wrote nearly two months ago about the advertising drought that was hammering Westword’s parent company and sister publications, and unfortunately the financial impact has now been felt here in Denver.
I’ll share the same PSA I shared in the previous post:
Subscribe to every publication you read. Most of us will never notice the $5-10 per month each of them cost, and it makes a huge difference in the ability of those publications to do great work. Imagine what a bleak information landscape we’d have if other news outlets went the way of the Rocky Mountain News.
9News anchor Kim Christiansen takes a few minutes each week to read viewer feedback on the air, and to her and the station’s credit, the feedback often is negative. Unfortunately, Kim didn’t navigate the minefield of expletives as well as she had hoped in this viewer’s feedback.
Brian Maass, CBS4: “Top executives at Denver Health Medical Center received significant bonuses this month for their performance in 2019, ranging from $50,000 up to $230,000, one week after frontline hospital workers were asked to voluntarily take leave without pay or reduce their hours as the hospital dealt with the financial downturn resulting from the coronavirus pandemic.”
Brian Maass, CBS4: “A CBS4 Investigation has learned that about 40 retirees from the city of Denver — widows, widowers and their beneficiaries — have been ordered to repay a total of $11 million in retirement benefits. … Denver Employees Retirement Plan (DERP) recently notified Denver Health and a group of DERP members, who are retired and current Denver Health employees, that DERP has discovered an error it made in calculating the retirement benefits of those retirees and employees.”
David Sachs, Denverite: “Healthcare workers at Denver Health, the medical arm of the city’s public health department, are recruiting fellow employees to unionize in order to secure better benefits and workplace conditions, which organizers say will translate to a better institution. … Hospital employees were … sparked by the revelation that executives were getting large bonuses for their 2019 performance during this turbulent time.”