Business

Phil Anschutz stays silent through a Forbes feature -- but it says plenty, anyway

Phil Anschutz, labeled "one of the most secretive moguls in America" by Forbes, nevertheless was the focus of a major profile in the business magazine recently -- even if the author never got to interview Anschutz himself.

"Why the anonymity?" writes Christopher Helman. "Not because he's a paranoid, germo phobic recluse like Howard Hughes. Anschutz isn't hiding from anyone; he makes his lieutenants available to reporters. The offices of Anschutz Corp., on the 24th floor of a skyscraper he used to own in downtown Denver, are modest, wood-paneled, like a small law firm. In the reception area you sit in well-worn chairs and can thumb through a lavishly photographed book of great lodges of America's national parks (many of which Anschutz operates) or James P. Owen's Cowboy Ethics: What Wall Street Can Learn From the Code of the West... 'He lives by the Code,' says longtime friend Daniel Ritchie, former chief of Westinghouse Broadcasting. 'Honor, integrity, loyalty.'"

Anschutz is a regular on Forbes's annual lists of the world's billionaires, and "The Man Behind the Curtain" is fascinating reading.

You can expect more attempts to peek behind that curtain in December, when the Colorado Public Utilities Commission will consider Anschutz's plan to sell Qwest Communications -- the company that's gotten him the most unwanted ink -- to CenturyLink.

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Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; she’s been the editor ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly CPT12 roundtable Colorado Inside Out, played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton while wearing flip-flops, and has been honored with numerous national awards for her columns and feature-writing.
Contact: Patricia Calhoun