The Denver Nuggets and the Colorado Avalanche have not been seen on TV locally in any meaningful way for two-and-a-half years due to an ongoing dispute between rights-owner Altitude Sports and cable/satellite companies Comcast and Dish. The result is that fans are not able to see what has been two historically great years for the sports teams.
- 9News’ parent company TEGNA reached a deal to be acquired by a hedge fund, in a move that cannot portend good things for the station or its staff members.
- Following two settlements totaling $825,000 this week, the City and County of Denver has now paid more than $3 million to individuals who were injured by police during the George Floyd protests in 2020.
- The metro Denver area has not seen temperatures rise above freezing since Monday, and the forecast calls for those sub-freezing temperatures to remain until tomorrow.
- Investors in an Idaho Springs resort project that would connect the historic Argo Mill (EPA Superfund sites can be historic, right?) to a city park via a 1.2-mile gondola sued when they realized their money had disappeared from an escrow account. Put more succinctly: their money is gon-dola.
- Five weeks after relocating from California to accept the position as president of the Northern Colorado Owlz minor league baseball team and the Northern Colorado Hailstorm FC soccer team, Rosalind Aguilera is out. Aguilera and owner Jeff Katofsky apparently butted heads over a lack of resources, which Aguilera said was “a mess.” If you are an employment lawyer in Fort Collins, you’ll want to jump on this one right away.
- Golfer Phil Mickelson lost sponsors KPMG and Amstel Light after he said he was willing to work with Saudis on a golf super league even though “they killed [Washington Post columnist Jamal] Khashoggi and … they execute people over there for being gay.”
- For a moment, it appeared Applebee’s was the official sponsor of Russia’s attack on Ukraine.
- Crain’s NY reported that 5WPR’s Ronn Torossian is using a news site he covertly owns to praise his clients and attack his enemies. If true, it would be an enormous ethical violation, not to mention run afoul of FTC rules.
- Bald eagles have made an amazing comeback in the U.S., but a new study found that 46% of them suffer from chronic lead poisoning. Researchers blame lead bullets used by hunters that fragment and remain in animal carcasses that are scavenged by the eagles.
So, who won the week?
- DIA unveiled a list of new restaurants that would rival any food hall in Denver. Maria Empanada, El Chingon, Rosenberg’s Bagels, Mercantile Dining & Provision and Cholon are among the restaurants that will open over the next year.
- The union representing RTD workers says it is close to finalizing an agreement that would give 25% raises over three years to its members.
- A week after learning that the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade would return to downtown for the first time in two years, the organizers of Denver’s annual Cinco de Mayo Festival announced that it too would return this year.
- The Little Nell (Aspen), Hotel Jerome (Aspen) and the Broadmoor (Colorado Springs) topped U.S. News & World Report’s 2022 list of top hotels in Colorado. And the Four Seasons, the Ritz-Carlton, the Art Hotel Denver and the Oxford Hotel topped the list of Denver-area hotels.
Boulder’s MAPRagency has unveiled an extensive rebrand that includes a new name — Comprise. The firm made the change to better communicate the firm’s full range of service offerings that include public relations, digital marketing and creative services.
“When people thought about our old brand, PR was often the only service that came to mind and our other areas of expertise got lost entirely. Plus, the ideals tied to our old name no longer matched our company’s personality,” said Jennifer Stevens, Comprise’s vice president of digital and creative services. “From a new name to alignment with our brand’s identity and evolved product and service offerings, there are many reasons to undergo the challenging but rewarding process of rebranding an organization. In our case, the new name and look describe our evolution within the shifting media landscape for the last three-plus decades.”
What would 9News be without Kyle Clark, Kathy Sabine, Marshall Zelinger, Nicole Vap, Chris Vanderveen, Kim Christiansen and Jeremy Jojola? Sadly, we may find out now that news has broken that the hedge fund Standard General LP, pending regulatory approvals, will acquire 9News parent company TEGNA for $8.6 billion. Twelve years ago, The Denver Post was acquired by another investment firm, Alden Global Capital, and it cut the Post’s newsroom by approximately two-thirds – from 250 journalists in 2010 to fewer than 70 by 2018. Is 9News facing a similar future?
Some of the most visible and respected (and compensated) television journalists in Denver may become free agents in the coming months and years, which has the potential to completely reshape television news in our city. If I am the GM at CBS4, Fox31 or Denver7, I am preparing to open my wallet to poach as many of the 9News journalists as I can in an effort to end 9News’ ratings dominance.
- The International Olympic Committee, the Court of Arbitration for Sport and the Russian Olympic Committee put 15-year-old Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva in a no-win situation, and the result was a meltdown on an international stage. The gold medal favorite tested positive for a banned drug, but was allowed to compete in the women’s singles competition while a full review is conducted. Valieva placed fourth after a shocking performance that saw her fall twice, and the tears and agony that followed were almost unwatchable. This tragedy is now what will define the 2022 Beijing Olympics.
- The woes at DIA continue. Denver auditor Tim O’Brien released a report that found that the airport’s “process for selecting operators for its restaurant, bar, retail and passenger service locations isn’t fair and the incentive program the airport offers concessionaires should be ended.”
- Denver is officially the worst city in the country for car theft.
- NBA legend and broadcaster Charles Barkley accused Denver Nuggets fans of being “whiney” when they complain that Nikola Jokic doesn’t get the respect he deserves as the reigning league MVP.
- If you are waiting for your new luxury vehicle, it may be longer than expected. A massive cargo ship carrying 1,100 Porsches and 189 Bentleys is on fire off the coast of the Azores. The ship was due into a Rhode Island port on Wednesday.
- Kanye West is a walking train wreck in the best of circumstances, but even he recognized his stalky behavior toward his ex, Kim Kardashian, this week signaled he was spiraling. He offered a rare apology.
- Russian Olympic speed skater Daniil Aldoshkin flipped the bird to the sparse crowd following his team’s gold-medal win in Beijing. He later apologized.
- The Dallas Cowboys reached a $2.4 million settlement with four members of its cheerleading team to settle allegations that the team’s former head of PR, Richard Dalrymple, spied on them.
So, who won the week?
- There is one more Coloradan at the Winter Olympics than we realized. Northglenn Police Detective Jackie Spresser is a hockey referee in Beijing.
- Bellco and parade organizers announced that the Denver St. Patrick’s Day Parade will take place for the first time since 2019. The parade will begin at 9:30 am at 19th and Wynkoop on Saturday, March 12.
- It may be hard to imagine given the snow we’ve had in February, but Red Rocks concert season is just a few months away. This week, we learned Gary Clark Jr. and Bonnie Raitt are among those on the schedule.
- The Super Bowl on NBC averaged 112.3 million viewers, a 16% increase over last year. Also good news for NBC was that its Olympics coverage immediately following the Super Bowl averaged 24 million viewers, the single biggest ratings night for the Beijing games so far.
“(Saudis are) scary motherf—ers to get involved with. They killed (Washington Post reporter Jamal) Khashoggi and have a horrible record on human rights. They execute people over there for being gay. Knowing all of this, why would I even consider it? Because this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reshape how the PGA Tour operates.”U.S. golfer Phil Mickelson, acknowledging he has no principles beyond making money and rationalizing why he would join a Saudi-backed breakaway golf league to rival the PGA Tour.
There’s no question that litigators use media coverage to squeeze their targets – they hope that negative media coverage of an organization they are suing puts them in a position that they will settle a case faster and more favorably. That is why litigators have the same set of investigative reporters on speed dial, often initiating a story before the lawsuit has even been filed and served.
But usually that relationship is implicit, which is why it was surprising to see Denver7 acknowledge the game openly:
- Colorado funeral homes have so badly bungled their jobs – illegally operating a body-brokering business out of a funeral home, for example – that state legislators have had to introduce a bill to expand oversight and inspections. I’d do my best not to pass away before the end of the legislative session in May.
- Colorado’s own Mikaela Shiffrin has experienced the thrill of victory while winning gold medals at the 2014 and 2018 Olympics, but the 2022 Olympics have been about the agony of defeat. She suffered DNFs in her first two events – going off the course in the first 11 seconds of the first race and the first 5 seconds in her second.
- Starbucks, the darling among progressive coffee drinkers, finds itself in an awkward battle with union organizers.
- Up to 40 of SpaceX’s Starlink satellites are expected to fall out of orbit after they were launched last week in the midst of a geomagnetic storm. The storm prevented the satellites from maneuvering into their proper orbital positions.
- The Washington
Football TeamCommanders are the NFL’s biggest dumpster fire. This week’s development is that the team hired outside lawyers to investigate yet another group of allegations of sexual harassment against owner Dan Snyder. The NFL then had to quickly step in and announce that it, not the Washington franchise, would investigate the claims.
- Adidas had quite a week. First, it was forced to cut sponsorship ties with soccer star Kurt Zouma after a video appeared on Snapchat of him drop-kicking and slapping his cat. Then, several days later, Adidas released a curious Instagram ad touting its new line of sports bra that featured a series of bare breasts presented Brady Bunch-style.
- The IRS has given up plans to use controversial face-recognition technology after an intense public backlash.
- Tesla seems intent on joining Uber and Facebook in the PR Disasters Hall of Fame. After numerous issues with build quality, long service waits and questionable “self-driving” capabilities, the state of California filed a complaint against the electric automaker alleging racial discrimination and harassment.
- Russia finds itself in the midst of yet another doping scandal now that Kamila Valieva, a 15-year-old figure skater prodigy, has tested positive for a banned substance. The award ceremony scheduled for Tuesday night still has not taken place while an appeal is considered.
- Speaking of the Beijing Winter Olympics, NBC is dealing with TV ratings that “aren’t just bad – they’re historically terrible.“
So, who won the week?
- King Soopers re-opened its Table Mesa store in Boulder nearly a year after a mass shooting killed 10 people.
- Lindsey Jacobellis, Chloe Kim, Nathan Chen and the members of the U.S. freestyle skiing and mixed aerials team have all won gold medals at the Beijing Olympics.
- Boulder native and Fairview High alumnus Tony Boselli was selected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
- New data gives hope that people are beginning to embrace – and pay for – online newspaper subscriptions at a level that is sustainable for the media outlets.
- The Broncos traded Von Miller to the L.A. Rams mid-season, and Miller now finds himself in his first Super Bowl since Peyton Manning quarterbacked the Broncos.
Last fall, I questioned whether 9News could get “Aldened” after reports surfaced that entertainment mogul Byron Allen was working with investment firm Apollo Global Management to finance an acquisition of TEGNA, 9News’ parent company. As I wrote at the time, “If you are a 9News employee, or someone who just values journalism, you can’t be comfortable with the idea that Apollo might do to TEGNA what (investment firm) Alden has done to the Denver Post – bleed it to near death to maximize the return on investment.”
This week, we learned that Allen may have a new trophy in sight – the Denver Broncos. But there are some problems, including that Allen’s net worth is just 11% of the roughly $4 billion it would take to buy the Broncos. Additionally, NFL rules require the controlling owner to purchase outright a minimum 30% stake in the team (no leveraging the acquisition). That means Allen is still short $750 million of accomplishing that.
These facts may be why 9News assigned
Broncos public affairs staffer “Broncos Insider” Mike Klis to cover the story with kid gloves rather than Jeremy Jojola, Marshall Zelinger, Kevin Vaughan or any of its other hard-hitting investigative journalists. I don’t want Allen and a equity fund anywhere near 9News either.
Following a boycott by musical artists due to podcaster Joe Rogan’s repeated misinformation about COVID-19, music streaming service Spotify has now quietly removed 70 episodes of his podcast due to his repeated use of the N-word. Rogan apologized today, saying that using the word is the “most regretful and shameful thing” he has done.
What happens when you stage the Winter Olympics in the same city you hosted the 2008 Summer Olympics? Lots and lots of artificial snow.
Actual Photo of the Yanqing Alpine Skiing Center
- RIP Streetsblog Denver. The news site focusing on transportation and mobility issues in our city has been on life support for more than a year, and the plug was finally pulled this week. Founder David Sachs, who now calls Barcelona home, penned a farewell column calling on media to better cover issues between cars and pedestrians/bicyclists.
- From the “any publicity is good publicity” file: The Boulder International Film Festival, apparently desperate for attention, has invited Alec Baldwin to be its first-ever “guest programmer” for its event in March. Baldwin remains under investigation related to the death of a production assistant on the set of his movie, “Rust.”
- Denver Broncos executive John Elway was named in a lawsuit filed by Black head coach Brian Flores alleging a pattern of discrimination against coaches of color in the NFL. In the suit, Flores says that Elway and Broncos President & CEO Joe Ellis arrived for Flores’ head coaching interview in 2019 “completely disheveled, and it was obvious that they had been drinking heavily the night before.” Elway has strongly denied the allegations, but this is not a good look for him, especially as he is trying to join one of the bid groups attempting to buy the Broncos.
- Just when it seemed things couldn’t get any tougher for prospective home-buyers, the Denver Metro Association of Realtors announced that the number of homes on the market right now is at an all-time low.
- If you are a well-paid administrator in Denver Public Schools, you should be updating your resume right now. Superintendent Alex Marrero told Chalkbeat that he is reducing the number of administrative positions and that some executives will need to re-apply for their positions.
- CNN President Jeff Zucker resigned after acknowledging an inappropriate relationship with a co-worker.
- Whoopi Goldberg has been suspended as co-host of “The View” despite apologizing for comments she made that the Holocaust wasn’t about race because it involved “two White groups of people.” In her apology, she acknowledged, “… it is indeed about race because Hitler and the Nazis considered Jews to be an inferior race.”
- Oakland University in Michigan mistakenly notified 5,500 applicants that they had received full scholarships to attend the school.
- The pandemic continues to hit Americans hard, and now it has come for …. our chocolate milk?
So, who won the week?
- Denver Broncos fans who have watched the team slide into mediocrity since the death of owner Pat Bowlen learned officially this week that the team will be sold. The sale price is expected to set a global record for a sports team at somewhere near $4 billion.
- Apple, Amazon and Microsoft led the 2022 list of Fortune magazine’s Most Admired Companies. Arrow Electronics, Ball and DaVita topped the Colorado list.
“…in 2019 Mr. Flores was scheduled to interview with the Denver Broncos. However, the Broncos’ then-General Manager, John Elway, President and Chief Executive Officer Joe Ellis and others, showed up an hour late to the interview. They looked completely disheveled, and it was obvious that they had been drinking heavily the night before. It was clear from the substance of the interview that Mr. Flores was interviewed only because of the Rooney Rule, and that the Broncos never had any intention to consider him as a legitimate candidate for the job. Shortly thereafter, Vic Fangio, a white man, was hired to be the Head Coach of the Broncos.”– Brian Flores’ federal lawsuit alleging racial discrimination against the Denver Broncos, Miami Dolphins and New York Giants specifically, and the NFL generally. The Broncos have denied the allegations.