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OFF LIMITS

Their daily bread: The hits just keep on coming, but we'll wager that Denver's dailies, which dutifully logged recent national coverage of DIA (and, in the Rocky Mountain News's case, helpfully corrected inaccuracies), ignore the latest flak. That's because the current Newsweek takes aim at a particularly sensitive target with this "Periscope" item: "Glitch-plagued Denver International Airport missed a fourth scheduled opening last week, but the delay may please one area group: news publishers. Denver's two major papers have each produced an ad-choked DIA special issue, and may run more when the airport does open. The Rocky Mountain News, despite warnings by DIA officials, issued a 52-page supplement dated May 8. The Denver Post's 161-ad DIA issue ran on March 6 for the first opening date and another is planned. A second News DIA special is `under discussion.' Many advertisers plan more ads; others are fed up. Says one: `We've already taken four ads. I don't think we'll do it again.'"

That anonymous advertiser probably isn't United--the airline didn't run an ad in "Taking Flight," the News's "commemorative section for the opening of Denver International Airport." But then, United had some advance notice: Although Mayor Wellington Webb didn't announce the fourth, and "indefinite," delay until May 1, United had lobbied for the postponement for weeks. And while the News, like the Post, wasn't willing to do the flight thing and stall its special issue until there was actually something to commemorate, it managed to update some of its more embarrassing copy, noting that "the special section will tell you how we ended up where we are today and how to use the new airport when it finally opens." But the congratulatory messages of the advertisers--many already burned once by the Post's premature publication--still ring with inadvertent irony: Hensel Phelps Construction boasts of "World Class Construction in World Record Time!" and Bechtel Aviation Services lauds "a move into the 21st century."

Could it be that Bechtel, which is contracted to oversee the overnight move from Stapleton to DIA, knows something we don't?

The News has some advertising baggage of its own: During the Nuggets' playoff games, the paper was still running a TV commercial that shows a front page announcing the March 9 DIA opening date. Oh--maybe that's March 9, 1995? (The Post marketing department apparently moves a lot faster: An ad in Sunday's paper touted its guaranteed 6 a.m. distribution with the headline: "Gee, maybe the Post should've designed DIA's delivery system.")

Talk snoop: A national convention of radio talk-show hosts sounds like hell on earth--but it's really Santa Monica at the end of June. That's when Ken Hamblin will host the Saturday morning general session on--what else?--"Gender, Minority and Political Diversity in Talk Radio."

He'll return in plenty of time for his July 14 jury trial in Lakewood municipal court on a misdemeanor count of harassment--based on charges filed in January by a female co-worker at

 
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