Local Sports Radio Host ‘D-Mac’ Tries to Move Past ‘N Word’ Fiasco

Local sports radio host Darren “D-Mac” McKee appears to have avoided termination following his posting of the N word on Twitter last week. Several current and former colleagues of color, including Alfred Williams and Chad Brown, gave McKee air cover by coming to his defense and offering character references.

However, national sports site Deadspin examined whether it is possible for a iPhone to autocorrect to the N Word (spoiler alert: nope). It also dug into McKee’s Twitter history to look for any previous examples, and suffice it to say the results aren’t helpful to McKee’s cause:

It should be an interesting week at McKee’s employer 104.3 The Fan as it determines how to handle this situation.

Digital Media Coverage Expands in Denver as Phil Anschutz Launches Denver Gazette

If you have felt that the Denver media market was missing a bit of the Colorado Springs Gazette, you are in luck. From media critic extraordinaire Corey Hutchins:

Six years after floating an idea that Clarity Media might relaunch The Rocky Mountain News and challenge The Denver Post, conservative Denver billionaire Phil Anschutz’s media company is going for it. Kind of. The company will launch what it’s calling an “interactive newspaper” in Denver but it won’t be in print. And Clarity didn’t revive the Rocky, though it owns its name and intellectual property. Instead, beginning next month with staff from the Gazette in Colorado Springs and ColoradoPolitics, along with some new hires, the company will launch The Denver Gazette, a daily digital news outlet. 

The Denver Gazette will be led by Publisher Chris Reen, Editor Vince Bzdek, News Editor Jim Bates and Digital Editor Chuck Hickey. Among the newspaper’s staff and contributors are familiar names to Denver including Lynn Bartels, Woody Paige, Joey Bunch and Paul Klee.

Perhaps the smartest take on the news came from Chalkbeat’s Susan Gonzalez via Twitter:

“Why do we keep opening news outlets based in cities that already have a robust media presence tho? All I can think of is the large swaths of Colorado that hardly get covered (or are complete news deserts) and how much good 50 reporters could do in those parts.”


‘She Couldn’t Even Pronounce Convalescent Plasma’

Sad news out of Washington, DC. FDA spokeswoman Emily Miller failed in her attempt to become the shortest-serving governmental spokesperson in the Trump administration when she inexplicably lasted 11 days – one day longer than former White House Director of Communications Anthony “The Mooch” Scaramucci.

If you are looking for the phrase that should be inscribed on her professional gravestone, it comes from a colleague of Miller’s: “She couldn’t even pronounce convalescent plasma.”

‘It’s So Finger Lickin’ Good it’s Worth Winding Up on a Ventilator’ Wasn’t Really an Option

If you saw the news this week that KFC is dropping its “Finger Lickin’ Good” tag line, you might think they are a little slow given that it has been five months since the COVID-19 pandemic reached our shores. But give KFC’s marketers credit – they know how to make the most of a challenging situation.

Rather than quietly mothballing the tag line and moving on to something else, they have embraced the need to change it. And the result is a clever marketing campaign.


Westword Sources Claim COVID-19 ‘Cover-up’ at Fox31/KWGN

Michael Roberts at Westword has picked up the Fox31/KWGN COVID-19 story, and his sources at the stations allege that management engaged in a “cover-up:”

“Reports confirmed by Westword reveal that three on-air personalities at the sister stations have tested positive for the novel coronavirus. If all three cases can be traced to 100 Speer Boulevard, the shared headquarters of the outlets, the space could be declared an outbreak, since the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s most common benchmark for such a designation is two positive diagnoses. The CDPHE’s weekly outbreaks update is scheduled to be published this afternoon, August 12.”

“We can find no evidence that either Fox31 or Channel 2 have reported on their staffers’ infections to date. Granted, doing so in detail would be difficult, since disclosing workers’ private health matters is restricted by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, shorthanded as HIPAA. In order to be identified, the infected individuals would have to publicly announce their condition, as did CNN’s Chris Cuomo. Nonetheless, two insiders who contacted Westword used the word ‘cover-up’ to characterize how the challenge has been handled to date by the stations.”

Maverick PR Adds Managing Partner

Maverick Public Relations has added 20-year agency veteran Stan Wagner as a managing partner. Wagner will lead the firm’s marketing communications for professional services. He is based out of Maverick’s City Park office in Denver.

Wagner joins Maverick from urban-gro, Inc. where he served as Vice President of Marketing and was responsible for the marketing and public relations efforts of the company as it grew from five people to over 60 went public. He also spent a decade at Sterling Communications, a West Coast technology-focused PR agency.

COVID-19 at Fox31/KWGN?

From Scott Jones at FTVLive:

“Sources in Denver tell FTVLive that an Anchor on Nexstar’s KWGN Daybreak newscast tested positive for COVID-19. Word is that the station told the co-anchor to stay home and self-quarantined. The co-anchor has tested negative for the virus.”

“But, insiders say that the Traffic Anchor and the Weather Anchor were not told to self-quarantined and were deemed ‘low risk’ despite the fact that they shared the same studio. Word is the two decided to get tested and sure enough they have the Rona.”

” ‘This is where I have a problem. Why wasn’t the whole team quarantined and the studio completely cleaned?’ said one station insider to FTVLive.”

Cory Gardner’s Former Comms Director Behind Effort to Get Kanye West on Colorado Ballot

From Cameron Joseph at Vice:

A top Colorado GOP strategist is helping Kanye West to get on the ballot in her state, the latest in a series of Republicans who have stepped up to help the hip hop star in his odd presidential bid.

Rachel George, a longtime Republican operative in Colorado, sent an email to at least one other local GOP strategist on Tuesday asking them to sign West’s Presidential Electors’ Acceptance of Nomination form so he can appear on the ballot. …

George is a longtime Republican operative in the state who now runs her own firm, RBG Communications. She’s previously held a variety of positions with Republican campaigns and operatives, including a three-year stint as communications director for then-Rep. Cory Gardner. Gardner is now a senator facing an uphill battle for reelection in the blue-trending state. She’s also married to Andy George, another longtime GOP operative in the state. Both have spent more than a decade immersed in Republican politics.


Denver Press Club to Honor PBS’s Judy Woodruff Virtually at Annual Runyon Event

The Denver Press Club will honor PBS NewsHour anchor Judy Woodruff at a virtual Damon Runyon Award Banquet from 6-8 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 12. Tickets can be purchased online.

Laura Frank, executive director of the Colorado new collaborative CoLab, will interview Woodruff in a 35-minute Q&A while also taking attendees’ questions. In lieu of a dinner, attendees will receive a gift box containing an event program, a Denver Press Club-engraved highball glass and a selection of Colorado-sourced snacks.

“We considered all possibilities to avoid this outcome,” said Denver Press Club president Daniel Petty. “Given spikes in COVID-19 cases in recent weeks throughout the United States and concern from public health officials that a second wave of infections may come in the fall, we believe this is the best decision to keep you and all of our guests safe.”

More Than 1,000 Companies Boycotted Facebook. Did It Work?

Not really. From Tiffany Hsu and

The advertiser boycott of Facebook took a toll on the social media giant, but it may have caused more damage to the company’s reputation than to its bottom line.

The boycott, called #StopHateForProfit by the civil rights groups that organized it, urged companies to stop paying for ads on Facebook in July to protest the platform’s handling of hate speech and misinformation. More than 1,000 advertisers publicly joined, out of a total pool of more than 9 million, while others quietly scaled back their spending.