Unspoken

Mum's the word about the Colorado Daily's sale.

Both Anderson and Talbott assert that Camera employees were buoyed by the Daily buy, because it proved that Scripps is committed to the Boulder market. As for folks at the Daily, they're not talking on orders from Miller, whose zipped lips invite speculation about his plans. The paper's "independent, critically minded spirit of reporting and editorializing aren't going anywhere," he said in the Daily's piece about the transaction, and he's supposed to remain in his current posts, too. If Miller's going to stick around, though, he has a responsibility to readers to explain and defend his compact with Scripps. If, on the other hand, he intends to lie low until everything's finalized and then cash out, why bother?

Either way, it probably won't matter. Leland Rucker, who edited the Daily's entertainment section for seven years beginning in 1986, says, "I don't think there'll be a lot of change," and Moore concurs. He predicts that "the only difference will be they can now jack up their advertising rates all the way around the horn."

Factor facts: Rocky Mountain News media writer Dusty Saunder's September 26 column certainly made the paper's web department happy. The piece, about KHOW's plans to yank Bill O'Reilly's Radio Factor from its lineup in favor of syndicated yakker Glenn Beck, generated an estimated 190,000 hits at the Rocky's address after it was posted on Matt Drudge's DrudgeReport.com. Yet the behind-the-scenes action is more interesting than the details that saw print.

The Daily in its most independent days.
The Daily in its most independent days.

KHOW's first announcement of the Beck-for-O'Reilly swap was sent to journalists on September 15 and included a firm date for Beck's Denver bow: September 19. But on September 16, KHOW promotions director Jan Whitbeck sent out a second note that said the debut had been delayed "due to contractual issues."

Jerry Bell, KHOW's program director, says O'Reilly's syndicator, Westwood One, disputed the station's interpretation of its Radio Factor contract. "We thought we could run his spots but didn't necessarily have to run his show, but there was disagreement over that," Bell reveals. So KHOW has delayed Beck's first appearance in order to give Westwood One the chance to sell the Factor to another signal. "Someday, Westwood One may have a show I want, and I didn't want to piss them off," Bell explains. "And if they can place Bill's show, that takes heat off me, because people who like it can find it there."

Trouble is, there's no logical spot for O'Reilly in Denver, since his KHOW ratings trailed those of KOA's Rush Limbaugh and KNUS's Sean Hannity, not to mention AM 760's Ed Schultz. Right now, Westwood One is playing for time by spinning on behalf of O'Reilly's "no-spin zone"; in an e-mail, spokesman Peter Sessa insists, "They have not Œdropped' the Radio Factor, they are in negotiations." And although Bell says KHOW can't wait indefinitely for Westwood One to find O'Reilly a home, the Beck unveiling remains on hold.

Sorry, Mr. Drudge: The Bill is still pending.

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