In recent days, Denver billionaire Phil Anschutz has been in the news due to his aborted promotion of a fifty-date Michael Jackson tour -- a reversal that could cost a fortune (although, frankly, Anchutz can afford to take the loss). But Forbes is taking notice of the moneybags for his media investments, many of which puzzle outside observers. "The Stealth Media Mogul" notes that The Weekly Standard, a conservative publication he recently purchased from Rupert Murdoch, is losing an estimated $5 million per annum, and his launch of "free tabloid throwaways" under the Examiner nameplate in cities such as San Francisco and Washington "seems like a puzzling fit in a collection of sports and show business properties," according to article author Dirk Smillie. Adds media analyst John Morton, "It's a marginal business whose success really hasn't been tested yet." The same can be said for his Examiner.com concept, which relies on contributions from bloggers such as UFOlogist Jeff Peckman to earn web hits and, presumably, revenue.
Don't expect Anschutz to explain his theories, however. His spokesman, Jim Monaghan, points out that Big Phil has given three interviews in four decades, and he considers them to represent "three interviews too many." Mighty stealthy of him.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.