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Bill Owens, Talk Show Host?

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While filling in for Dan Caplis during the KHOW afternoon-drive show on July 24, Bill Owens, once Colorado's own Governor Woody, didn't come right out and say he'd love to have a regular talk-show gig -- but neither did he reject the notion. He regularly waxed rhapsodic about the medium, which he said allowed him to get his messages across to the public "without a filter."

Of course, the freeform nature of talk radio means there's always a risk that yakkers will contradict themselves -- as Owens did on at least one notable occasion.

Owens' inveterate boosting of John McCain's candidacy -- a cause he's embraced after originally backing Mitt Romney -- led co-host Craig Silverman to ask if he was angling for a slot in the presumptive Republican presidential nominee's administration. In response, Owens said he'd never had a huge interest in national politics, and as proof, he noted that he hadn't run for the U.S. Senate during at least two elections despite frequent entreaties that he do so from his party. (He implied that he probably would have won had he taken the plunge.) Additionally, he revealed that his "good friend" George W. Bush had talked to him about various jobs over the years, and he'd turned those down, too. Afterward, though, Owens maintained that he didn't like people who talked about big job offers they didn't accept, suggesting such gab was a bit unbecoming.


Of course, Owens didn't allude to what was undoubtedly a major factor in the aforementioned decisions -- the break-up of his marriage amid a torrent of gossip that he'd had an extramarital affair and might have even fathered a child out of wedlock. (For a roundup of the top twenty rumors, check out the April 2004 Message column here.) No proof ever surfaced in regard to any of the gab, but this kind of stuff leaves a stain. Similar allegations made by the National Enquirer about former Senator John Edwards are equally unsupported at this writing, but you can bet any chance that Barack Obama might choose him as a running mate went bye-bye-bye the second the phrase "love child" popped up during the past several days.

That said, Owens does indeed have an effective radio presence. He's articulate, glib, not easily ruffled, and can talk about sports and other accessible subjects, not just policy wonkery. If he ever gets sick of making tons of money in relative obscurity (his main role these days is as a principal in JF Companies, a land development outfit), he would undoubtedly find a broadcast firm or two eager to put him behind a microphone.

If he anchored an a.m. program, he could call it Morning Woody. -- Michael Roberts

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