The Message

Early Shift

For her part, Woodward believes that her online musings represent more than adequate coverage for now, and she doesn't think that "Webb of Influence" was in any way undercut by Ferguson's ruling: "We stand by that story. It was a very good story, a very honest story." Regarding the tone of the website efforts, she says, "We're not dealing with our interpretation of anything or their interpretation of anything, but with what actually happened. And the fact is, she was not reinstated."

Meanwhile, tensions are on the rise relating to Bourgeron's current gig at DIA, where she continues to work in a marketing capacity. She's involved with an internal DIA blog intended to keep the airport's employees apprised of news in the aviation industry -- but after she included her March 15 press release in one package, DIA marketing director Sally Covington put out a statement of her own. In announcing that Bourgeron's conduct was being reviewed, Covington allowed, "We are concerned about the use of City electronic equipment for this purpose, as well as the apparent mischaracterization of the hearing officer's decision, which in fact affirmed the actions taken by the Career Service Board." Citing continuing litigation, Covington declined further comment.

To that, Bourgeron says press releases of all kinds have frequently been circulated to DIA employees, as have many negative articles about her. The absence of more positive ones now frustrates her. "To me, it's sad that after spending 23 years of my career doing media relations, unfounded allegations get more coverage than anything having to do with name-clearing," she says. "When I was accused, it was covered in everything from local media to USA Today, but now that there's been a ruling that says there's no evidence to support these allegations, what kind of coverage has there been? None."

Good Morning Colorado's cast co-stars 
Pamela Davis, Justin Farmer and Stacey Donaldson.
Courtesy of Channel 31
Good Morning Colorado's cast co-stars Pamela Davis, Justin Farmer and Stacey Donaldson.

Stage fright: For the cover of its Friday, March 26, Weekend Spotlight section, the Rocky Mountain News juxtaposed a grabby photo of enthralled schoolkids in a theater with the headline "A Hometown Hit: The Walden Family Playhouse has plenty to celebrate on its one-year anniversary." The accompanying story, by theater critic Lisa Bornstein, noted that the theater, part of gazillionaire Phil Anschutz's financial empire, wouldn't release financial figures, but the operation looked to be doing well "judging by all visible signs."

The invisible signs were the problem. The very next day, Bornstein reported that the Playhouse "would close after this season. The Lakewood children's theater will be dismantled, and the eight original shows created there will be turned into touring productions."

This instantaneous switcheroo left the Rocky looking moronic and raised doubts about how forthcoming Walden had been. Chris Broda-Bahm, the Playhouse's director of public affairs, insists that her company acted in good faith. "We didn't find out until Friday," she says, "and we called [the Rocky] as soon as we did." She spins the emphasis on touring as "a phenomenal opportunity" and predicts that some of the productions "may come back through Denver."

The Rocky would seem to have zero incentive to publicize such shows given this debacle, but Joe Rassenfoss, the paper's entertainment editor, seems more philosophical than angry. "We asked all the right questions, and let's face it -- they have very solid financial backing. This Anschutz fellow, as I understand it, is fairly reputable," he deadpans. More seriously, he says, "It's further proof that the longer you stay in this business, the more strange things you see."

Speaking of strangeness, last week's column about speculation surrounding Governor Bill Owens's marital woes stirred up the wackiest rumor to date -- that Owens is having an affair with Colorado Rockies first baseman Todd Helton. It may sound crazy, but there's no doubt Helton's a swinger.

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