Firing Line

Former Visotcky employees sound off.

The following trio of blurbs has been itemized for your protection.

Glenn Guzzo, who left his job as managing editor for the Akron Beacon Journal to take the editor's post at the Denver Post in the wake of Dennis Britton's firing, has his work cut out for him. Britton's forum-group approach to newspapering, epitomized by the laughable series of public meetings dubbed "Snapshots of Colorado" (see Off Limits,), has resulted in a publication that often is conceptually suspect (e.g., the embarrassing Sunday Lifestyles section), visually dull (lousy photographs and art appear on a daily basis) or downright puzzling: "Retired Judge Didn't Have Swearwithal to Act," the tortured front-page, above-the-fold headline in the September 1 issue, wasn't exactly an advertisement for good news judgment. Then there's the question of aggressiveness -- or lack thereof. Case in point: The Post's online arm, run by Eric Grilly (son of Post publisher Gerald Grilly), didn't announce Britton's dumping until after the story had already appeared on the Rocky Mountain News's Web site. Could the News have better sources at the Post than the Post does?

A big stick: After Bob Visotcky fired her, Terri Takahashi filed an EEOC complaint against Chancellor Broadcasting.
David Rehor
A big stick: After Bob Visotcky fired her, Terri Takahashi filed an EEOC complaint against Chancellor Broadcasting.

As usual, area radio, print and TV outlets gave oodles of coverage to Jerry Lewis's annual Labor Day telethon. KWGN-TV/Channel 2, which airs the telethon and uses anchors such as Ernie Bjorkman for local segments, especially trumpeted this year's record donations (more than $53 million) and Lewis's health difficulties (he reportedly suffered from double vision throughout the event). However, no one covered a September 6 demonstration against Lewis's sometimes patronizing fundraising approach that took place locally, outside the Albertson's store at 323 Broadway. Laura Hershey, a member of the Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition who was among the dozen or so protesters, wasn't stunned by the media no-show; she's participated in such consciousness-raisers annually since 1991 and notes that the press hasn't turned out for at least five years. "I think it shows the reluctance of the media to address issues that seem outside the mainstream," she says. "Both the national and local segments tend to define us as pitiful, which really gets in the way of our efforts to achieve equality and be accepted as who we are."

Ever since the August 23 police chase videotaped by KMGH-TV/Channel 7's helicopter, station general manager Cindy Velasquez and news director Diane Mulligan have made much of the fact that the footage hasn't been used in promos ("The Eyes in the Sky," September 2). Guess they've got to stop congratulating themselves: Car-chase highlights make up the bulk of the "reason to watch" spots airing now. That's restraint, television style.

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