The Message

Press On

Three days after Aguilar splits, Don Knox takes over as an assistant business editor. Knox's resumé includes over a decade at the Rocky Mountain News and a stint as the Post's business editor. He left the latter job in 1999 to work at a database company that was known as e-InfoData until a year or so ago, when it was rechristened InsightAmerica; the firm manages Colorado's no-call list. On top of editing and helping to develop stories, Knox reveals that he's launching "a project with a group of young business journalists. It should be a lot of fun." When asked to elaborate, Knox says, "I don't mean to be mysterious" before insisting that he won't be able to talk about the undertaking for "about a year" -- a span he later reduces to "six months, maybe."

That should give him just enough time to take over the business-journalism world.

Knox comes to a business section whose Sunday edition just experienced addition by subtraction. In the May 9 issue, business editor Stephen Keating introduced several promising new features, including The Wire, a collection of business briefs, and a Q&A with a local entrepreneur. To carve out room for these efforts, Keating eliminated the week-ending stock listings in favor of The Market Monitor, which he described to readers as "a summary of the most widely held mutual funds and popular stocks."

Keating's predecessor, Al Lewis, had already removed some of the Sunday stocks to squeeze in a real-estate page. Chucking the rest gives Keating a lot more options. "Because of the Internet and instant access to financial news -- the ability to track your own portfolio online -- does it make sense for newspapers to list thousands of individual stocks?" By deciding that it doesn't, at least on Sunday, Keating has opened up a larger editorial hole that he'll fill with the help of two new writers, whom he expects to hire in the coming months.

And the merry-go-round keeps spinning.

Get out of that State you're in: Back in July 2002, radio host Greg Dobbs revealed why he'd agreed to work for KNRC, a new talk-radio outlet that had recently debuted. "They wanted to find a niche between NPR, which is substantive radio but not all that dynamic, and the Clear Channel offerings, which are dynamic but, in their opinion, not as substantive as they wanted it to be," Dobbs said. "I loved the idea."

Less than two years later, things could hardly be more different. Dobbs left the station this winter, and The State of Colorado, a Friday-morning reporters' roundtable that he once co-hosted with Channel 9's Ed Sardella, aired for the last time on May 14. At its best, State was a step up from the television version of the show, which aired on Channel 6 for over two decades. But with ratings in the crapper station-wide, something had to give. Rocky Mountain News scribe John Ensslin, who teamed with the Denver Press Club's Bruce Goldberg during State's final months, says: "They said they're going in a different direction, away from public-affairs programming and NPR-type radio." In an e-mail, KNRC program director Doug Kellett emphasizes other factors. "It is both a budget decision because of the expense of the program, and also we want [current morning host] Jimmy Lakey to have that final hour of morning drive. We are broadening our approach through programming to appeal to the most people possible."

Considering the most recent Arbitron survey, in which the new, unimproved KNRC failed to register (again), that may be wishful thinking.

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