As top legal commentator for CBS, Andrew Cohen regularly jets to important trials and legal proceedings across the country. But because he lives in Denver, we get to hear more of his characteristically cogent on-the-scene reports and opinions than viewers nationwide, who usually have to settle for a sound bite or two on the CBS Evening News. Cohen frequently weighs in on matters of local concern, too, providing Channel 4 viewers with analysis that's accessible but never dumbed-down.
Commercial radio gets lamer with each passing year, which only makes Radio 1190 sound stronger by comparison. Because the station is staffed by students from the University of Colorado at Boulder, the turnover is continuous. Yet the outlet has maintained a high level of quality, thanks to the most eclectic playlist in town (one recent hour ranged from Mi and L'au to Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass) and great specialty shows such as Under the Mattress, a Sunday show focusing on vintage rock. This is a commercial-free oasis in a desert of radio mediocrity.
DJ Chonz is a member of the Radio Bums, a collective devoted to promoting forward-looking hip-hop. Yet urban-music buffs in these parts know him best for his work at KS-107.5, where he brings an underground sensibility to the mainstream, presenting live mixes on weekdays and really getting the party started during Friday rush hour. Some Bum.
This award's a two-fer. Yeah, Dan Caplis can be infuriating, especially when he refuses to find fault with such favored institutions as the University of Colorado, and Craig Silverman's nasal honk is so pronounced that listening to the show outside invites attacks by dive-bombing geese. But Caplis has proven to be a determined digger capable of tracking down information that's eluded full-time reporters, and the pair has a good feeling for what topics will pop that day. At its best, the program spotlights differing ideologies rather than redundantly pressing the same agenda, and while the two hosts regularly take highly dubious stands, disagreeing with one -- or both -- of them is part of the fun.
Back in the '90s, Kingdom was one of the area's top MCs. Nevertheless, the station that became KS-107.5 refused to play his music, turning a deaf ear to protests from both Kingdom and the rest of the local hip-hop community. But now the power's shifted -- and how. Today Kingdom appears regularly on the station's morning show, and as a co-host of The KS-107.5 Mix Tape Show, a Sunday-night program that co-stars DJ Chonz, he helps promote music by the Colorado rappers who've followed in his wake. Kingdom may not yet rule the airwaves, but give him time.
Like working folks everywhere, radio types love to dish about their jobs -- and fortunately for us voyeurs, jocks, hosts, board ops and other local pros are eager to do so in public, as long as they're protected by pseudonyms. DenverRadio.net has gone through many permutations over the years, but its "Comments & Rumors" section continues to offer unvarnished critiques, behind-the-scenes scoops and some of the most entertaining bitchiness available on either side of the dial.
This place just hasn't been the same since Joe Phillips, aka the Commish, founder of the Denver Kickball Coalition and general city asset, headed west. But Phillips hasn't left Denver entirely behind. In fact, he's now producing an online comic titled "The Denver Defenders" -- "the world's most democratic comic book," he explains, because the name, lineup and future stories are "chosen by the people." Among the superheroes currently watching over our fair city: MexiCandy Man, who protects Casa Bonita; the Poet Lariat, who spouts variations on "Howl"; and the Pavilion Proletariat, who takes aim at high prices at Denver Pavilions. Commish, we still get a kick out of you. Find the Denver Defenders at http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendID=37552017.
For a relatively young man, Jim Sheeler certainly has a thing for death. As a freelancer, he wrote vivid, long-form obituaries for the Denver Post, the best of which will appear in a book, tentatively titled The Woman Who Outlived Her Tombstone, that's slated for publication later this year. After the Post foolishly cut him loose, Sheeler landed as a staffer at the Rocky Mountain News, where he's continued to explore the emotional territory on the far side of the river Styx. Last year's "Final Salute," detailing how the Marine Corps honors fallen soldiers, is his most epic, enlightening variation on the theme to date, and rumored to be a finalist in several contests. Many of Sheeler's subjects are lifeless, but his prose certainly isn't.
After most workers are let go, they're upset, not magnanimous -- which only makes the final farewell of former 9News anchor/ reporter Adam Resnik seem all the more remarkable. When his contract wasn't renewed, Resnik sent a 2,400-word e-mail to colleagues -- but instead of ripping into station execs for their shortsightedness, he offered complimentary remarks for more than 175 alphabetically listed co-workers ranging from the prominent ("Adele Arakawa, for your class and professionalism, and for always bringing tasty snacks into the meeting") to the obscure ("Johnny Wells, for making me smile widely every time the live truck rolls up with you behind the wheel"). Resnik's reportedly working in the financial-services field these days. If that doesn't take, he should consider politics.

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