Tune In and Turn On
Let's face it. When Denver's suppertime TV news junkies think of Channel 4's Aimee Sporer, the station's hard-hitting "Mall Watch" segment probably doesn't leap to mind. Instead, viewers are reminded of the regional Emmy award-winner's less journalistic attributes: her flaxen hair, her milky skin and, of course, those luminescent baby blues. Even her husband, local legal motormouth-for-hire Dan Caplis, was so overcome with Sporer's telegenic gifts, he felt compelled to pop the question to her on the air--which did little to help viewers focus on the news instead of the newscaster. Sure, the pure sappiness of the moment helped strip away any pretense that local news should ever be taken seriously. But who cares? It was great entertainment.
And this entertainment value hasn't been lost on San Francisco freelance journalist Jeffrey P. McManus, who has created the "News Babe Page" (http://www.well.com/user/jeffreyp/newsbabe1.html), an Internet salute to sexy female anchors everywhere. Sporer, along with more than 300 news gals from around the country, is featured on the site, which includes several others from Denver. Originally created to test a database program, the Web site is a testament to the obsessive fans whom female news anchors attract. Meticulous in its detail, the News Babe Page uses icons to denote the news babe's vital stats. A wedding ring means she's a married news babe, a storm cloud means the news babe is "actually a weather babe," a gold crown next to the anchor's picture means she's a former beauty-pageant winner. There's even a special section dedicated to the ever-present and always alluring red blazer that no respectable newswoman can be without.
So who are the news babes of Denver? Actually, the only ones who don't make the cut work for Channel 9. But that isn't because Adele Arakawa isn't a total fox. The News Babe Page collects its lineup from Web pages of local affiliates. Channel 9's omission is simply due to the fact that it doesn't have a Web site. We caught up with some local news-babe inductees from Denver to ask them how they felt about their election to news-babedom.
Aimee Sporer, Channel 4
Thoughts on being a "news babe": I'm not sure I'd put this on my bio. There's worse things to be. But they didn't call it news brains, did they?
Number of red blazers owned: More than one. Possibly three. Come to think of it, counting winter and summer, it's up to five.
Favorite Web sites: N/A
How she deals with obsessed male fans: I got a guy put in jail in Sacramento for stalking me when I worked there. He still calls every day in the morning when I'm not there and leaves a message every morning. It's pretty hilarious.
Turn-ons: I don't think I want to be a part of that one.
Anne Trujillo, Channel 7
Thoughts on being a "news babe": Well, I'm flattered. I think. Here I am, a woman in her mid-thirties. I'll take what I can get!
Number of red blazers owned: Several.
Favorite Web sites: Parent Soup, money-related sites.
How she deals with obsessed male fans: It really depends on the person. I can take a compliment, but when it borders on distasteful, no.
Turn-ons: Oh, my gosh! Now I'm embarrassed. Can I call you back on that? I want to think of something clever. [She calls one hour later, after a powwow with her husband.] My turn-ons are a big news day, vacation and having control of the remote control.
Turn-offs: Not having control of the remote control, a co-anchor with bad breath [Anne says hubby voted for "a co-anchor with gas," saying, "C'mon, it's Westword!"].
Marcia Neville, Channel 4
Thoughts on being a "news babe": I knew there was something floating around. I received an e-mail about it, but I thought "news babe" was the title of the e-mail the person had sent.
Favorite Web sites: N/A
Number of red blazers: I have a maroon one; it's sort of a pinky color.
How she deals with obsessed male fans: N/A. I'm a sports reporter. In the pecking order of TV personalities, I'm low on the totem pole.
Turn-ons: A great overtime ball game.
Turn-offs: A total blowout.
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