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The return of skanky anchors? Oops!

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Remember the September cover of Denver Magazine? The one that showed Deuce/Channel 31 personalities Libby Weaver and Natalie Tysdal going from anchors to skank-ers by way of a photo that showed them entwined while clad in flirty, boob-boosting outfits straight out of a Skinemax erotic-thriller? Well, here we go again, this time courtesy of Colorado View magazine, whose debut edition features Weaver and three other local anchors (Christine Chang, Kim Christiansen and Nancy Fitzgerald) in a photo split between a torso shot and an upside-down reflection of the same image that makes it seem as if they're wearing skirts that gape open from the navel on down. Today's episode is brought to you by the letters Va-Jay-Jay.

The difference between this photo and the earlier one? The Denver mag pic was clearly meant to be provocative, while Colorado View editor Ellen Gray insists, convincingly, that neither she nor anyone else on her staff ever imagined that their cover could be seen as salacious.

"It was impossible to get a photo of all four newscasters taken at the same time, so we did a little bit of a Photoshop thing -- and then we got a reflection of them," Gray says. "In the original photograph, it definitely looks like a glass reflection, but it's very obvious that the printing process muted out the reflection. And that led to a little bit of... confusion."

The naughtier interpretation is hardly universal, Gray notes. "Of the people who've seen it, 98 percent of them don't notice any problem at all, and that's what we intended. It wasn't meant to be risque. It was just supposed to be a photograph of four beautiful women wearing clothing from a beautiful clothing store." Likewise, the Libby Weaver connection between the Colorado View and Denver mag covers wasn't planned: "We didn't even know Libby was posing for them when she came in and did the photo for us. Theirs hadn't come out yet."

Colorado View initial circulation is 25,000, with 19,000 of the copies going out via direct mail and many of the others being distributed through partnerships involving organizations such as the Colorado Women's Chamber of Commerce. Gray says the inaugural issue has prompted "an incredible amount of buzz" thanks to "beautiful photography and graphic design. And we've got a number of contributors who used to work for the Rocky Mountain News, so we're very solid editorially, and we appeal to a wide, very upscale demographic. We have writers who appeal to twenty-year olds as well as seventy- and eighty-year olds."

As for the response to the cover, Gray points out that "we've been looking at that photo for two months, and not once did any of us even think that some people would interpret it the way they have. But we've been getting a lot of new subscriptions, and hundreds of e-mails saying they love the content. So even if there's been a little bit of negative press, at least it got people to pick up the magazine."

What they did with it from there is anyone's guess.

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