Def Jam

HD radio rocks -- but is anyone listening?

As a bonus, the side channels are commercial-free and will remain so for a minimum of two years as a lure to folks who've abandoned terrestrial radio for satellite. Not that users will have to choose between the two mediums; it isn't a VHS-vs.-Betamax replay. Radios that receive both satellite and HD are already obtainable through BMW and should become commonplace for less-expensive cars and residences in the near future. ListenUp's Weiner says more after-market car radios and several home components with HD-radio capability are in the pipeline for 2007, and as the variety increases, prices will start sliding into the reasonable range. These products should lift public awareness about HD radio, as should a PR campaign being whipped up by the HD Digital Radio Alliance, another cooperative venture whose members include radio giants Clear Channel, CBS, ABC, Entercom and Citadel.

The name "The Alliance," as Bevilacqua refers to it, has an Orwellian ring -- but he insists there's nothing to fear. "With HD," he says, "you've got all the radio stations you already like to listen to, but in a better-quality form, and a whole bunch of new ones, too. And it's all free. Free."

You're preaching to the choir, pal.

Bye, George: Sports columnist Thomas George, who joined the Denver Post staff approximately eighteen months ago following a long stint at the New York Times, was among the best additions to the paper's staff in recent memory. Unlike most of his peers, he didn't throw out deliberately provocative opinions intended to inflame, rather than inform, readers. Instead, he emphasized reporting and interviewing, which he used as building blocks for pieces that were typically modest yet almost always thoughtful and compelling.

So, of course, he's splitting. George left the Post on August 3 to take the new managing-editor position at the NFL Network. According to George, "My job will be to drive the content, to shape the news coverage, and to work with all the reporters to make sure everything is journalistically sound as well as entertaining."

This last mission could be a challenge. Because the NFL Network is owned by the National Football League, George will be charged with covering the very folks who sign his checks -- and such arrangements can result in the sort of kid-glove treatment he's always disdained. But he's confident he'll be able to enhance the credibility of the operation. "I want to push those boundaries," he notes. "I want to work within the framework of what is responsible when you have 32 owners who own the network, but at the same time to get to the heart and meat of stories."

George emphasizes that he would have stuck around Colorado for the long haul if the Network opportunity hadn't arrived. "I really felt that Denver and the Post became home in a short time," he maintains. "It would have taken a lot for me to leave, because I was very happy there -- but this is a lot."

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