Archive for the 'Exit Interviews: Conversations with Departing Denver Journos' Category

Exit interview: Lynn Bartels leaves journalism after 22 years as reporter in Colorado

Friday, July 24th, 2015

Lynn Bartels leaves The Denver Post today, ending a 35-year run in journalism, with 22 of those years in Colorado. After starting her career in New Mexico, Bartels joined the Rocky in 1991 as its night cops reporter. In 2000, she started covering the state legislature. The Denver Post hired Bartels in 2009, immediately after the Rocky closed.

This week, Bartels answered some questions via email about the state of journalism in Colorado and her career as a reporter. (See other interviews in this series here.)

Why are you leaving The Post? Would you have stayed on if not for the economic troubles facing the newspaper and the pressure this puts on reporters?

Bartels: Certainly, I wouldn’t be leaving if a buyout hadn’t been offered. In fact, when I went to sign the paperwork, they asked where my package of stuff was, and I said I threw it away because I didn’t think I was going to take the buyout.

I always said, “I can’t leave newspapers. Who would hire me?” It turns out, I had some interesting opportunities. And that made me look at the industry and consider the buyout. I took the offer that made my family the happiest and where my new boss made me laugh during the interview ordeal. I thought, “I could really work for Wayne Williams.” Friends pointed out when I talked about that job I seemed happy. And it’s still politics and elections, which I love.

During the 1960s through mid-1980s, The Denver Post had 11 political reporters dedicated to covering elections and the legislature. In 2010, there were eight. Now that you’re leaving, there will be three, hopefully. No one would say political journalism here is dead, and the transformation of the news media has positive effects too, but what do you think Colorado is losing as The Post’s coverage of state politics shrinks? How bad is the situation? Or are you optimistic?

Quite frankly, the first blow was the loss of the Rocky. It covered politics in a different way. I wish now I had saved all the papers from 2008. We had Mike Littwin’s amazing stories from around the country and the state. M.E. Sprengelmeyer did a lessons learned from previous convention delegates. Burt Hubbard worked his data magic to do stories on how Colorado had voted over the years for president. I think Kevin Vaughan wrote the best lede in the country the night Barack Obama accepted the nomination at Invesco Field.

We had Roll Call and the Stump. When I did a list of things you might not know about Mark Udall, one item was that his youngest sister was an actress who had appeared in Law & Order.

When I arrived in Denver in 1993, both papers had political teams and legislative teams. It’s hard to imagine that now because it’s one and the same. Both papers had two reporters each covering Denver Mayor Wellington Webb and each paper had a full-time DIA reporter. The Rocky had three folks on education: higher ed, Denver Public Schools and suburban schools.

There was just lots more coverage of government.

Diminished resources aside, what are your biggest concerns about how political journalism is practiced in Colorado today? What do you admire most?

I think the coverage of education by Chalkbeat is outstanding.

I worry about the constant pressure to get things in first and fastest and there’s not the proper vetting.

What’s the worst error you made as a Colorado journalist? Can you name a story or two you’re most proud of?

I’ve made some doozies and actually would rather not go through the walk of shame again. The biggest mistake I’ve made overall in journalism, I believe, was too often letting my weight stand in the way of TV appearances. I turned most of them down just because I “felt fat.” Rocky editor John Temple basically had to force me to do the Denver mayoral debates in 2003. Yes, I went on Rachel Maddow twice but I turned her down more times than that. Ask Dominic Dezzutti at Colorado Public Television about my saying “no.”

I’ve had a front-row seat to some of the biggest stories in the state — the Oklahoma City bombing trials, Columbine — and along the way I’ve met some amazing people. Randy and Judy Brown, Rosemary and Wayne Wicks, the Flemings, I count them all as friends.

I loved it when former Rocky reporter Jeff Kass put on Facebook that most people now are talking about politics, my career was much more than that, including Columbine.

Favorite story? Maybe it was when a series of homeless men turned up dead, the Rocky assigned me to write about who these men were. I fought it (a common theme!) but in the end that might be one of my favorite stories. It turns out these people had friends and family, but for a variety of reasons, including addiction and mental illness, they just didn’t’ go home. I was working that Sunday when people called the Rocky about the piece. One woman was crying and said, “He hung outside our building and I never thought of him as a person until now.”

And I remember one night I had my coat on and I was getting ready to leave when I heard assistant city editor Luke Clarke say the pizza will be here in a few minutes. “Food! Free food! What’s going on?” I asked. The Denver Post today had depositions in the case involving the football recruiting scandal at CU, and we need to go through them. “Want some help?” I asked. And that was my life for the next five months. The Rocky won all kinds of awards for our reporting — yes, I have some sports-writing awards on my resume. The best ever was getting the investigative report a day early. We were all over national TV. I heard it was a very unhappy day at The Denver Post.

Colorado’s 2014 Senate race between Mark Udall and Cory Gardner was amazing, and I can never thank the Post enough for assigning me the race and letting me do my thing. I thank the Post for hiring me in the first place. Forever grateful.

I loved the story Tim Hoover and I wrote after the unbelievable civil unions blowup on the second to last night of the 2012 session. And then there was the front page “Has Hickenlooper lost his mojo?” piece that generated lots of e-mails and calls.

It would be so easy to leave the Post if I were miserable there, but I’m really happy right now with our team. That’s what makes leaving so hard.

What would you say to a young person considering a career in Journalism?

Find someone to teach you shorthand. Learn Spanish. Be as technologically advanced as you can be. Read. Read newspapers and not just online.

What will you miss most about your job at The Post?

I loved talking political intrigue with Editor Greg Moore. But I think what I will miss most of all was saying, “with The Denver Post.” That kind of says it all. People weren’t sure what the Rocky was. People in Colorado did. They loved it. Others? Well, they weren’t sure what it was. West Wing did a funny take on that once.

Other comments?

Here are some odds and ends.

In 2007, I won the Public Service Award from the Colorado Press Association for my stories on ethics issues at the Colorado Legislature. I think I was the first reporter in light years to win that award based on breaking news. There was no project editor, no graphics designer, no photographer assigned to the project, no one manipulating reams of data. It was old fashioned beat reporting and I was thrilled to see it honored.

I think former Post reporter Jessica Fender once summed me up better than most when she said something like, “Bartels will never be the kind of reporter who can go through stacks of documents and find the needle, but she’s the kind of reporter who people will pull aside and point her to this box of documents and say. ‘There’s a needle. Don’t tell anybody I told you.’”

Change has always frightened me. When I was first assigned to “the ledge” in 2000, I was miserable the first few weeks. There were many tears that Rocky editor Tonia Twichell and then Colorado Springs Gazette reporter Michele Ames had to deal with. And in 2014 I can remember crying in the women’s restroom in the Post, talking on the phone to Gardner spokesman Alex Siciliano and saying, “Why did they put me on this race? I don’t know federal issues. I don’t know about LMN.” And he said, “It’s LNG, liquified natural gas. I will walk you through it.” In both cases, I ended up loving the assignment.

In other words when you call me at Wayne’s World next month and ask how it’s going, I will say in a tiny voice, “It’s OK.” But later down the road, if you’re lucky, you’ll get to hear the famous Lynn Laugh, the one where interns used to ask, “Should we call 911?”

Exit interview: Veteran Denver Post opinion-page writer Alicia Caldwell leaves journalism

Monday, April 6th, 2015

Creating yet another gaping hole at Denver’s leading news outlet, Alicia Caldwell ended a twelve-year run at The Denver Post Tuesday, when she left the newspaper for a job as communications director for the Colorado Department of Human Services. Caldwell started in 2003 as a news reporter and joined The Post’s editorial board in 2006. Prior to joining The Post, she spent 16 years at the St. Petersburg Times in Florida.

Before her departure from The Post last week, Caldwell answered a few questions via email about journalism,The Post, and her new job.

Why are you leaving The Post?

Caldwell: The opportunity to become communications director for the state Department of Human Services was too good to pass up. Many of us get into journalism because we are drawn to important issues and care about the condition of society at large. This job gives me a more direct way of contributing on both those counts. The work CDHS does is really difficult, yet the agency is making headway on a number of fronts. I’m not sure there is a broad appreciation of that progress.

Do you agree with me that as journalism shrinks, opinion-writing jobs at newspapers, like yours at The Post, are even more endangered than jobs on the news side? If you agree, what will be lost in a place like Colorado, as jobs like yours disappear? If you disagree, please explain why.

Caldwell: I both agree and disagree with your premise. Yes, I think that the loss of voices on the opinion page diminishes breadth and depth of debate on issues of public importance. Love us or hate us, well-researched opinions on the topics of the day, especially the complex ones, bring value to the public sphere. Where I might part ways with your supposition is that opinion positions are more endangered than those on the news side. The newspaper has been cutting everywhere, unfortunately, due to shrinking revenues. It makes me profoundly sad, I will tell you, to see the diminution of the staff and the coverage we’re able to provide readers.

Diminished resources aside, what are your biggest concerns about how journalism is practiced today in Colorado? What do you admire most?

Caldwell: Well, I think all of my concerns are directly tied to diminished resources and the many effects that has on how journalism is practiced. As budgets grow thinner, it’s not just that journalists are losing their jobs, it’s that the business can no longer afford to pay for experienced hands who generally produce the most sophisticated stories. It also means the more subtle stories that might take time and research fall to the bottom of the priority list. Journalism will survive, but I worry that at regional newspapers, it will turn into a low-wage profession. And hey, I understand the need to balance the books, the need for revenues to cover expenses, but I do think that changing financial landscape will inevitably change the nature of the workforce and the product. As for admiration, I very much admire those who are carrying on despite all of these challenges because they have passion for their work and respect for the mission.

What would you say to a young person considering journalism as a career?

Caldwell: Keep your eyes open going in and don’t expect it to go back to the way it was even 10 years ago.

What do you think you’ll miss most when you leave The Post?

Caldwell: Being on the editorial board has been a profound honor. I have appreciated every day the freedom I’ve had to write on a broad range of topics. Working with Vincent Carroll, the editorial page editor at The Post, has been a pleasure. Vincent is a true professional who is always willing to consider opinions that differ from his own. I have to tell you, I think America would be less politically polarized if more people would sit down and rationally discuss the merits of an issue with people who they might not initially agree with. That piece of common ground that many of us long for is actually bigger than one might think.

Thanks, Alicia.

NOTE: See other “exit interviews” with Denver journalists here.

Exit interview: Leaving local TV news for Politico, Stokols looks forward to never being told, “That’s too inside baseball”

Friday, March 27th, 2015

Eli Stokols, who came to Denver as a general assignment reporter in 2005, is leaving KDVR Fox 31 Tuesday as one of the state’s top political reporters. He also became a Fox 31 anchor, launched his own public-policy TV show, and wrote nonstop on multiple platforms.

I had coffee with Stokols, and we talked about his ten-year run in Denver and his future job at Politico in Washington DC. Here’s an edited version of our conversation:

Why Politico?

Stokols: I’ve been looking for an opportunity to report on politics from a national platform. I don’t think that’s any secret. And, frankly, part of that is because in Colorado you get a taste of doing that, because every campaign here is nationalized. There is no shortage of great political stories to cover here, which helped me to broaden my work. You come to a point in your professional career when you need a different challenge. On some level, because I’d been here for so long and was considered one of the veterans, a lot of people come to you with information, and it gets easier. And you can find yourself not working as hard because stuff comes to you. Or you find yourself not as excited when the campaign cycle comes around because you’ve done a ton of them.

And what are you going to do there?

I’m going to cover 2016, mostly write about it. I imagine I’ll cover a lot of the presidential candidates early on.

On the trail?

Yeah. I’ll be traveling a lot. That’s going to be exciting. I’ve been joking with people. It’s about time someone gives up statehouse reporting and goes and covers the presidential race, because what America really needs is more reporters covering the presidential race. You understand going into it that it’s going be hard to come up with stories and angles, but it’s exciting. It’s probably a cliche, but if you’re a political reporter, and that’s what you’re interested in, the opportunity to cover a presidential race and be on the trail is a bucket list thing.

Speaking of the state legislature, will Fox 31 replace you?

The upshot is, this was never a position we had because management said we had to cover politics. I don’t know what they will do. [See CJR's Corey Hutchins' take on this here.] It’s disappointing. You get this opportunity, and then you leave. And you look at what you built. And I know [9News political reporter Adam Schrager] felt the same way when he left. You want it to continue. And so it’s bittersweet.

Here’s a sad question. You’ve established Fox 31 as a go-to source of local political news. Now you’re leaving, and you say you’d like to see things continue. But it doesn’t look like they’re going to. And there doesn’t seem to be any incentive for Fox to do it, in terms of ratings.

What I’ve done has never been about ratings. I think there needs to be more decisions made in local television that are not made based on ratings but are based on the greater good, the public good. And you get criticized for being a media elitist when you say this, but I will unabashedly say, as journalists, we have a responsibility to determine what the audience and the greater public really need to know about–and make fewer decisions in terms of what we do and don’t cover based on what we think they will like seeing on the news.

Bottom line, you don’t think that ratings will suffer with your departure?

No, I don’t.

What will happen to the station?

I really do think Fox 31 is moving in the right direction. The new news director, Holly Gaunt, is very smart, sees the big picture, sees things clearly within the market and within our newsroom. And [she] will continue that station’s upward trajectory. I think [Fox 31 anchor] Jeremy Hubbard is, I think, the best anchor in the market. There are a lot of talented people there. I think Fox 31 has a decision to make about what kind of footprint they make in terms of political coverage.

What’s it going to take to change viewer habits in Denver. You’ve busted your ass. Your station is very competent, but yet you’ve sat there at the bottom, or close to it. It has got to be frustrating.

I won’t say [9News] hasn’t done a lot to maintain [its top slot in the market] and earn that. Some of it is journalism. A lot of it is also branding and community involvement. They sponsor everything. They are a juggernaut, and it’s not just because of the news department. But they are less dominant than they were when I first got to the market. And there are opportunities to challenge them. At the CBA awards, it was Fox 31 and 9News that won most of the awards. They do a good job. A lot of stations do a good job, but changing viewer habits is sometimes as simple as finding that right anchor team and that chemistry. Channel 7′s morning show was killing it when they had Ana Cabrera on there. She is a special talent, and there’s a reason CNN said, “We want to take you.” And they did take her. And now their morning show is not the same. And it takes nothing away from other people who are on the morning show.

Something like that could flip it?

I think Jeremy Hubbard is that kind of talent. He’s very good. He’s only been back here in this role for a short time. There’s a real consistency with him.

There’s something really great about covering state and local politics. You get a personal interaction with people. You see them at the grocery store. You see that in DC too, but I never felt it was the same. What do you think you are going to miss about being here?

The relationships are the hardest thing to give up, because in a smaller market like this you really get a lot of access to people–except when it’s campaign season. [It is] amazing how people who are your best friends suddenly disappear during campaign season. It takes time to build something like I feel I have here in Colorado. And DC, it’s a bigger pond but there are a ton more fish in it too. There are too many journalists.

And more sharks, too.

I’m looking forward to being in a city, and writing for a publication, where there’s no question about whether people are interested in politics.

I know. I don’t blame you.

One of the most exciting things about going to Politico, and the reason I wanted to go there, is because, one, you don’t have the requirements of doing broadcast television that naturally, in some ways,degrade the depth of your journalism. They help you in some ways too.The Cory Gardner interview [during which Gardner repeatedly denied the purpose of a bill that Gardner co-sponsored] wouldn’t have been anything if it weren’t a televised interview. So it’s just different.

The big thing is, I will never be told by an editor there, “That’s too inside baseball; no one cares.” I won’t hear that. And I hear it almost every day and have for ten years. And that is one of the things that’s most exciting to me, is working for a political place like that.

And it’s true. It’s hard to get people to pay attention here. That’ll be fun.

 

Post closes last Colorado bureau and loses reporter Nancy Lofholm

Tuesday, February 17th, 2015

Another in a string of highly regarded journalists to leave The Denver Post in the last few years, Nancy Lofholm walked away from the newspaper Feb. 6, after The Post closed its Western Slope bureau, which Lofholm directed.

Before coming to The Post 17 years ago, Lofholm worked for several Colorado newspapers, including the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel and the Montrose Daily Press. She’s freelanced for, among other publications, the New York Times, USA Today, and the LA Times.

“At the risk of sounding like a news Neanderthal,” Lofholm told me via email, “I will reveal that my life in journalism really began in 1968. I was the editor of my high school newspaper and was invited to ride through Nebraska on Bobby Kennedy’s campaign train. It was a smoke-filled, highball-sloshed, bloodshot-eyed scene. I was utterly hooked. My life’s mission became peeking behind curtains and describing for readers what I saw. ”

Here are Lofholm’s answers to questions I emailed her.

Jason: Why are you leaving? Will you continue as a journalist?

Lofholm: The powers-that-be at The Denver Post decided to close the Western Slope bureau and focus coverage on the Denver/metro area. I opted  to not transfer to Denver. I had been covering news on the Western Slope for more than three decades (17 of those years for The Post).  I had no desire to leave my home, friends and significant other behind to start over in Denver at the age of 64. After a brief bike-riding and sunset-savoring breather, I will continue in journalism. Some good opportunities are opening up and I intend to take advantage of them to keep up some coverage of this side of the state.

Jason: What are a couple of your best memories of The Post? Worst?

Lofholm: My best memories are of the early years when The Post created six bureaus around the state. It was part of a “We Are Colorado” campaign.  Top executives and editors at The Post traveled around the state in a bus and handed out coffee, cookies and tchotchkes to trumpet The Post’s commitment to being a strong statewide newspaper. Having that as a mission gave us in the bureaus so much opportunity to be creative in our coverage.

We had supportive state editors, like the exceptional Joe Watt, who really understood and appreciated the color and diversity of rural Colorado. We had a great cohesive team of talented reporters who could come together on wildfires, fugitive chases and plane crashes. Our team also was encouraged to produce the lively dailies that took readers along as we explored every interesting nook and cranny of Colorado, from a snowplow on Red Mountain and a gold mine near Victor to a corn factory-on-wheels at Olathe and a rodeo chute in Leadville.  At least one of us was on Page 1 nearly every day.

The hours were long. The deadlines were demanding. But it was all centered on the best of newspaper reporting and storytelling and on delivering what readers valued. I loved every bit of it. I will always feel incredibly lucky to have been a part of that.

And the worst: Seeing those bureaus shuttered one by one and The Post’s interest in news outside of Denver dwindle. The last few years had been very painful because of that lack of interest. I was forced to ignore so much news from this side of the mountains and was told the slice-of-life stories from over here were “too west slopey” for The Post.

Jason: One of your beats is immigration. Any advice for reporters trying to do a fair and accurate job on this topic?

Lofholm: Ignore the extremists on both sides of the issue. And get to know the real people at the heart of this difficult topic – the Dreamers, the farmworkers, the detained, the deported and the newly minted citizens.  Only through understanding and telling their stories can you illustrate why the immigration system is so badly in need of a fix and why so much of the emotional rhetoric is off-base.

Oh, and never expect ICE to give you a straight or timely answer to your questions

Jason: Would you advise a young person to pursue journalism?

Lofholm: Absolutely. I advise that all the time – with the caveat that they shouldn’t expect to get rich or to relax.

If young people have a passion for journalism, they can deal with whatever an industry in huge flux will throw at them. The demand for solid reporting and lively, well-written stories won’t go away. It may seem to be lost at times in the constant shuffle of priorities, the new instant nature of news  and the dazzle of digital platforms, but it will always be important. My advice is to keep that at the core of journalistic ambitions.

And, of course, be able to tweet, shoot videos, upload stills and text updates to editors – all while reporting and observing news events.The young do that so well!

Jason: Anything to say about the future of journalism in Colorado?

Lofholm: It will be very interesting. I say that knowing that ‘interesting’ is entirely too weak a word for what might happen in Denver. Will the Rocky revive? What will the hedge funders do with The Post? What is Phil Anschutz up to? What about that scrappy upstart, the Colorado Independent?

As all that sorts itself out, I think the small papers around Colorado will hold their own. Talented and dedicated people at papers like the Silverton Standard & Miner, the Dove Creek Press, the Durango Herald and many more will carry on, and their communities will be the better for it.

Jason: Or on The Post’s decision to close what appears to be its last in-state bureau?

Lofholm: Sad. Colorado needs a statewide newspaper, but The Post has not filled that need well in this half of the state for some time. Home delivery is nearly non-existent, and the busy digital product has some readers in areas of slow connectivity throwing up their hands in frustration. Those who are still dedicated to The Post are wistfully asking  “What about ‘Denver & the West’? Will it now be ‘Denver & the Metro’?”

Jason: Anything you want to add?

Lofholm: I would have liked to have continued working for The Denver Post for a few more years. I still have that fire, curiosity and energy to devote to journalism. I see good stories everywhere. I leave with a fat file of story ideas that certain editors at The Post had nixed but that I know will  be the basis for some freelance opportunities.

At this point I feel like I have new freedom to produce some good work.

Losing a Denver Post paycheck has not caused me to lose my passion for journalism.

Hanel’s departure deals another blow to Colorado political journalism

Monday, May 12th, 2014

On Friday, Joe Hanel ended a nine-year run at the Durango Herald, leaving for a job at the Colorado Health Institute.

Hanel wrote a lot about politics, and he was clearly one of the best remaining political journalists in Colorado. His departure is yet another blow to Colorado journalism, as the number of political reporters with both experience and intelligence dwindles.

Hanel started at the Herald in 2004 as a freelancer and joined the newspaper’s Denver-bureau staff in 2005. Prior to that, he worked as a presentation editor at the Rocky (2002-3), as a graphics and news editor at the Longmont Daily Times-Call (1996-2002), and a graphics editor at the Greeley Tribune (1995-6). He has a degree from CU-Boulder journalism school.

Last week, he answered a few of my questions via email:

Why are you leaving?
I’m going to be a writer and designer at the Colorado Health Institute, a data and number-crunching think tank. My reasons for leaving newspapers are purely economic. I turned 40 this year and I’ve had to admit to myself that there’s no way I’ll be able to retire from this industry. My job as the Durango Herald’s Denver correspondent was secure for the foreseeable future, but there are just fewer and fewer places to go for new opportunities. People think of journalism as a calling or a cause, but in truth it’s a job. I know some journalists sneer at colleagues who leave for better opportunities, as if we’re somehow betraying the brotherhood, but I think my first responsibility is to provide a secure future for my family. And I’m sad to say that journalism isn’t the place for that.

What are some of your favorite memories as a political reporter?
I’ve gotten to travel all over on someone else’s dime. There are worse places to travel for business than Durango. I’ve gotten to help trap a bear, explore old uranium mines, ski Wolf Creek, cover the Club 20 debates in Grand Junction, see Mitt Romney in Craig and wonder what the hell he was doing in a little town that he was going to win by 25 points, and cover five national political conventions (which is enough for one lifetime).

And the press corps at the state Capitol is really a wonderful bunch of people. They act like cynical bastards, and it’s OK if you hate them, but they are loyal and dedicated and true to their values and their friends.

What are your biggest concerns about Colorado journalism today?
I’m worried about the Denver Post. I can’t overstate how much worse off our city is without the Rocky. It would be a damnable shame if the Post fought the Rocky to the death, only to commit assisted suicide with the help of their new hedge fund owners.

From a broader perspective, we still have not come anywhere close to finding a solution to our biggest problem as an industry – the failure of our economic model. I always hear from amateur media critics who think newspapers are failing because everything we write doesn’t reinforce their partisan point of view. We’re not failing because of the content. The news has never paid for itself. It was always subsidized by classified and display ads. We lost the classifieds to craigslist, and we can charge only pennies on the dollar for online ads compared to print ads. So we still make most of our money in print, but print is dying. That’s the conundrum. Really smart people (and, I admit, lots of stupid ones, too) have tried to find a way out. And we’re still looking.

Would you discourage a young person from going into journalism?
I think young people are in a pretty good position to at least have a chance to succeed in journalism. The industry needs energetic people with new ideas who will work for cheap. I can’t lie and tell them that this is a promising business right now, but we aren’t the only industry to have uncertain times. I’ve been very impressed with the young journalists and students I’ve met the last few years. A few come to mind: At the Denver Post, Kurtis Lee and Jordan Steffen kick butt on a fairly regular basis. At my own paper, we have Chase McCallister, who commands the English language like she’s been doing it for 50 years. These people, if they can stick it out, soon will be veteran journalists. But there’s a world of difference between your 20s and your early 40s, and I don’t see the business turning around in time for a guy like me.

Other thoughts?
In rereading this, I think I sound defensive or sanctimonious. I know there’s a lot I could have done better the past 20 years, and I know journalists make boneheaded decisions every day. I’m not excusing our mistakes. I just think, despite all our flaws, people will miss us when we’re gone.

Last thing: I can’t say enough positive things about the Ballantine family, who own the Durango Herald and Cortez Journal. They enjoy owning newspapers, they take pride in the quality of their product, and they work hard to be good publishers. I’m no longer on their payroll, so there’s no point to me sucking up other than to say thanks to a generous family of serious journalists. This business needs a hundred more families like them.

Denver Post Editor Greg Moore’s thoughts on the departure of veteran Post journalists

Thursday, February 13th, 2014

I’ve been chronicling the departure of journalists from The Denver Post, and Michael Roberts has done a much more thorough job of it on Westword’s Latest Word blog.

The list of keeps growing, the latest being The Post’s Washington DC chief Allison Sherry, who’s leaving to oversee the three-person DC office of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

Others who’ve left The Post include Kristin Arellano, Michael Booth, Tim Hoover, Curtis Hubbard,  Dave Krieger, Tom McKay, Dave Krause, Steve McMillan, Joan Niesen, Kevin Vaughan, and others.

I asked Denver Post editor Greg Moore to comment on the loss of so many respected journalists, most on their own volition, over the past few years. I told Moore it’s a sad situation, from my perspective.

Here’s Moore’s response, via email (You can read more of Moore’s thoughts here in a post by Roberts.):

Moore: “Movement has always been a part of industry and journalism is no different. We are happy for our colleagues who have found new challenges and we relish the opportunity to create new opportunities for those who remain at The Post. Many of the people who have left have been here for a long time and done terrific work. They left for better opportunities or a chance to do something else that would challenge them in new ways. The economy is getting better and so people are feeling confident about making a move. I am sure they bettered themselves financially. The news business has been downsizing, so if one is ready to move on their own terms, why wouldn’t they do it? I think it is absolutely great. I am not sure I understand why you think this is so sad. We are able to go out and hire new people with fresh perspectives and give them a chance to make their mark in the footsteps of some great journalists in a great news town. It would be sad if talented people left and we were not able to replace them or attract talent. But that is not the case. We are hiring new people, promoting others and rethinking ways to reallocate resources that further our mission as a digital operation. So no sad faces here. We will miss our former colleagues. But the challenges remain, great work is to be done and we intend to keep on doing it.”

An interview with Michael Booth about his recent departure from The Denver Post

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

Reporter Michael Booth left The Denver Post this month after a 24-year run at the newspaper, starting in 1989 as a maternity fill-in for reporter Ann Schrader. He did many things there, covering the Senate race in 2010, the 2008 Democratic Convention, Denver City Hall, films, and much more. Most recently, he was on the health-care beat. His departure is more bad news for Colorado journalism.

Booth wrote The Denver Post Guide to Family Films, and he’ll be signing his new book, written with Jennifer Brown and titled Eating Dangerously: Why the Government Can’t Keep Your Food Safe . . . and How You Canat the Tattered Cover East Colfax, 7:30 p.m. March 14.

Booth answered a few questions via e-mail today:

Why are you leaving journalism?

I’m shifting from one form of journalism to a form of advocacy journalism. I’ll be writing, editing and consulting for The Colorado Health Foundation, as we develop better methods to provide interesting and useful information to policymakers and decision-makers on some of the most important issues of the era. Health care, health coverage and healthier living are enormous fields, but also based on some fundamental needs and principles that all of us could do a better job explaining and reducing to a level we can grasp.

What are some of your favorite memories at The Post?

Covering the Amendment 2 gay rights debate all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court fulfilled my ideal of what journalists could and should do, from the time I was a middle-schooler reading the Minneapolis Tribune as I walked every afternoon from the school bus down to my parents’ lake in northern Minnesota.

The chance to discuss capital punishment and challenge the status quo with Gov. John Hickenlooper after his “temporary” reprieve for Nathan Dunlap was another highlight. What could be more useful than that, to be an engaged messenger for the people on a life or death issue — at least, that’s how it felt. But the Post gave me so much freedom and opportunity to tell all kinds of stories, I’ll share some of what I told colleagues when I left:

“My favorite romantic was Tim Linhart. Tim built himself an igloo at 11,000 feet, in the woods above Beaver Creek. Every morning at 10 below zero, he’d crawl out of the igloo, build a fire to melt snow, and resume building an orchestra of instruments made from ice. He shaped handfuls of slush into ridiculously elegant S-curves and sounding boards, rubbing and shaving and rebuilding until he’d made an 8-foot-tall standup bass, a cello and the rest of a string quartet. Then he hired players from the Colorado Symphony Orchestra to ride the ski lift and tramp through the snow to his clearing in the woods, and they played Mozart and Bach and Beethoven on his ice quartet while this big bear of a man closed his eyes and smiled and listened to the notes float up through the snow-covered spruce and on up into the bluebird Colorado sky. Then his instruments started to melt, and Tim still had his smile.

Tomorrow and the next day and the day after that, all the romantics in news journalism will get up and start building something, shaping all the right words, and then it will melt away and you’ll have to start all over again. The right people might hear the notes and then do something good with them. It’s a great job, and it’s a wonderful thing to do.”

What are your biggest concerns about Colorado journalism today?

That journalists find a way to get paid for the hard work they are doing every day, every hour. All the journalists I know are agnostic about the way their work gets seen, so old criticisms are irrelevant — we’re happy to write and talk for print, for web pages, for blogs, on Twitter, on Facebook, in professional and amateur video. We’ll Snapchat the news and happily disappear a few seconds later if that’s what you want, but you need to pay us something for it. The world needs professional fact-finders, who will always be imperfect but who will always try harder the next time.

So, to the public, I want people to be willing to pay something for that, and recognize that it doesn’t flow out of the ether of somebody’s vague and misinterpreted Facebook post; and to the leaders in journalism, I’d want them to put a value on what they do and make sure that everyone using the work is helping to pay for it. Journalists respect other peoples’ copyrights, and they should respect ours.

Would you discourage a young person from going into journalism?

Never — it’s a great thing to do, the rare combination of useful and fascinating. Come on in, find us some great stories, and while you’re at it, whiz kids, help us find some revenue.

Any other thoughts as you head out the door?

One of the rules in life is Always Bring Something to Read. For me, I hope that can be a folded-up newspaper for many decades to come. Also, you could do worse than to bring a book my colleague Jennifer Brown and I have coming out in mid-March, Why the Government Can’t Keep Your Food Safe . . . and How You Can, from Rowman & Littlefield. It’s an investigation of what’s wrong with our food safety system in America, and how consumers can arm themselves to eat safely; it tells the story of Colorado’s cantaloupe listeria deaths and all kids of other outrageous food safety violations across the nation.

An interview with Patrick Malone, who’s leaving the Ft. Collins Coloradoan Friday

Monday, December 9th, 2013

Investigative and legislative reporter Patrick Malone leaves the Fort Collins Coloradoan Friday for a job at The Santa Fe New Mexican, giving us another reason to grieve for the state of journalism in Colorado.

After starting his journalism career at the Chronicle News in Trinidad, Malone wrote for the Pueblo Chieftain for 15 years, from 1997-2012, holding numerous positions including Denver bureau chief/political reporter. He moved to the Coloradoan a year-and-a-half ago, and now he’s headed to Santa Fe to work at the New Mexican.

He answered a few questions via email last week.

Why are you leaving the Coloradoan?

Malone: Being from Trinidad in extreme Southern Colorado, New Mexico has always held a special place in my heart. My wife was a photographer at the Coloradoan and looking for a change that would allow her to explore more creative projects instead of running from one quick-hit assignment to the next, so we looked first to New Mexico. A couple of months ago I was offered a job at the Albuquerque Journal and turned it down in favor of staying at the Coloradoan. That led to some conversations with the new regime at The Santa Fe New Mexican. I learned it is in the very early stages of an intriguing renaissance, and I actively sought to be a part of it. Their reporting staff is a stellar mix of veterans, including Daniel Chacon whom Colorado readers will remember from his great work at the Rocky Mountain News and the Gazette in Colorado Springs, and some young rising stars. That impressed me, but the real sell for me was the New Mexican’s new executive editor, Ray Rivera. He’s most recently worked at the New York Times and before that at the Washington Post as an investigative reporter. Amid all the noise about shifting media paradigms and attention to the new way – things we certainly can’t ignore if we want to survive as an industry – Ray remains committed to the hard-core journalistic principles that led people like me to fall in love with newspapers at a very early age. I can learn a lot from him, and the opportunity to grow as a reporter, even 18 years into my career, is what really lured me to Santa Fe. Plus it’s a great city where my wife and 1-year-old daughter should be very happy. My beat will involve staffing the legislature when it’s in session, health care policy and investigative projects. My wife will freelance in Santa Fe, including for the New Mexican.

What are a couple of your favorite memories of news reporting in Colorado?

Undoubtedly my 15 years at The Pueblo Chieftain were the most memorable. Many of my best friends still work there, or were recently laid off by The Chieftain. Pueblo is uniquely newsy for a city of 100,000, and it has an oversized voice for its circulation because of its geographic reach. To me, my work on the decades-old sexual abuses committed by Catholic priests and covered up in Pueblo meant the most. I spoke to dozens of grown men who were victimized in childhood. They’d lived their whole lives with shame and fear of telling anyone, because nobody would listen. It could never undo what they suffered, but I hope those stories provided some measure of justice.

Beyond that, covering politics and the legislature for a few years at the tail end of my tenure with The Chieftain was a great experience. It plucked me from my comfort zone and taught me exactly how little I know about anything. We all need that periodically to continue growing as journalists. The camaraderie and competition of the capitol press corps is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. You have the tight-knit friendships that develop in newsrooms, but at the same time, you want to kick their asses on a daily basis. Case in point: When I broke the story of the House approving a spending package that included increased per diem reimbursement for lawmakers, Lynn Bartels from the Denver Post refused to talk to me for about two weeks. We helped each other when we were all working the same stock stories, but I’m not exaggerating when I say we’d lock ourselves in bathrooms at the State Capitol to conduct phone interviews we didn’t want the others in our shared office to hear. I’m looking forward to rejoining that kind of competitive environment when I cover the legislature in New Mexico.

You’ve had a diverse ride in journalism in Colorado. Can you briefly describe your different jobs and offer your thoughts on some of the strengths and weaknesses of Colorado political journalism now versus when you started?

By the time I arrived at the capitol I had covered courts for about a decade, been the weekend city editor at The Chieftain, covered education, features, senior citizen issues and crime, in addition to starting as a sports writer at The Chronicle News in Trinidad. None of it prepared me for day-to-day life at the capitol. It’s a complete rat race with more news to cover than any one reporter – or two-person team – can cover adequately. The loss of the Rocky Mountain News harmed political coverage in the state immeasurably. That’s not to say that the Post, AP and others don’t do a good job. They do. But the more competition, the better the coverage is going to be. It breaks my heart that The Chieftain abandoned its long-standing tradition of staffing the capitol when I left. That further erodes accountability in state government. Every time a paper ends its year-round reporting at the capitol, citizens suffer. Thinking back to the congressional redistricting trial in 2011, there was a day early on when all the testimony focused on Fort Collins, Greeley and Boulder and what their congressional boundaries should look like. Witness after witness spewed the essence of their communities and almost vitriolic emotion about which cities should be paired together and which shouldn’t. There wasn’t a reporter to be found in the courtroom from the newspapers in any of the affected cities. That was a pretty sick feeling, and at that moment I recognized where we stand as a state in terms of commitment to covering politics. It’s fallen a long way from the days of virtually every paper having a presence in the Statehouse. Point a finger of blame at the newspaper brass who’ve made these decisions, not the reporters that remain in the trenches or relegated to their mothership newsrooms.

In terms of strengths in Colorado political journalism, you’ve got some reporters in the capitol press corps that understand the chess match and the implications of officials’ decisions in peoples’ lives like no one else. Full disclosure: These are my friends, so I’m naturally going to say nice things about them as people. But professionally, they deserve mention as well. Charles Ashby of the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel covers state politics as well as anybody, regardless of era. Joe Hanel of the Durango Herald artfully distills the true meaning of any smokescreen for his readers and, for my money, could work anywhere in the country. The Associated Press team of Ivan Moreno and Kristen Wyatt catch everything, and increasingly are the only link many communities in the state have to what’s happening under the dome. Bartels is the best-sourced reporter I’ve ever met and can get lawmakers to talk about anything, regardless of how much they don’t want to.

Do you think your new position in Santa Fe is more stable? Was this a factor in your decision to leave?

I’m confident it will be stable because I believe that when you let the purest journalistic principles guide a paper’s course, readers will respond. There’s no gimmick in Rivera’s vision for sustained success. It all grows from a fundamental core of producing the kind of journalism readers can’t put down.

The Coloradoan is sort of an oasis of stability in the turbulent Gannett sea. When layoffs were happening throughout Gannett this fall, the Coloradoan was spared, largely because of its success selling the online product (thanks to a very strong ad department) and because the executive editor, Josh Awtry, analyzes data to a painful degree and constantly tweaks the news lineup recipe accordingly to appeal to local readers. The Coloradoan is uniquely positioned in a web-reliant market perfectly suited for its online pay subscription model that yields decent revenue returns for practically no overhead. The top of the news and advertising food chains at the Coloradoan have adeptly maximized it.

the New Mexican is family-owned, so I have no doubt that it is totally committed to its market. The New Mexican’s ownership has shown a commitment to adding reporting muscle as a vehicle to drive subscriptions and motivate advertisers. When I arrived at the Coloradoan 18 months ago, they were embarking on a similar strategy and got the response they wanted. Having worked at both a family-owned paper (The Chieftain) and for a corporate giant (Gannett), I see pros and cons to each. One of the more profound examples of the differing philosophies between corporations and family operations can be found in their lobbies. In Fort Collins, I can walk downstairs and touch a cardboard cutout of any number of the reporters on staff. The same space in Santa Fe is occupied by Thomas Edison’s desk. I think Rivera embodies the merger of the New Mexican’s traditional journalistic values and the recognition that there’s a contemporary, digital track to success. Ownership aside, the ultimate key to stability is having the right leaders in place from top to bottom. Trust and accountability for every rung on the newsroom ladder give you the sense that together you can accomplish spectacular things. I believe the New Mexican has assembled the right team. It’s genuinely inspirational.

What advice would you give to a young person who wants to be a journalist?

Regardless of the industry’s undulations, remember you’re carrying the mantle for journalists that came before you and those that will follow. You have an immense responsibility, and it’s one of the cornerstones of democracy.

I’d tell them that the only measure of control journalists have over the news they cover is the effort that they put into it. So work hard. Remember that you’re asking the questions all of society wants answered, but doesn’t have the luxury of time to ask for itself. So channel your readers when you ask questions. Write to them and for them, not for yourself or the subjects of your stories.

Adapt to the changes in the industry, but don’t do it at the expense of what has always been and always will be great journalism – namely telling people how the subject you’re covering affects their lives, the factors driving it and clearly identifying any resulting conflicts. Pay attention to the contemporary tools we have to measure success. They can tell us a lot about what we need to do to survive as an industry. But be careful not to become so preoccupied with analytics that you ignore the quality of the underlying journalism. Everybody wants a million web clicks on their story. But who wants a million people to see they’ve written a crappy story?

Read as much as you can. Write as much as you can. You will never be as ashamed of the story that you tell as you will of the story that you don’t tell.

You’ve got to be committed in principle to journalism, or you’ll never last. If you follow this path and find out that it’s not for you, get out of the way. Someone else is waiting in line for the opportunity.

An interview with Tim Hoover, who left The Denver Post Friday

Thursday, November 21st, 2013

After a six-year run at The Denver Post, as a reporter and editorial writer, Tim Hoover left the newspaper Friday to be Communications Director for the Fiscal Policy Institute. It’s a certainty that Hoover’s fair-and-accurate writing will be missed by reasonable progressives and conservatives alike.

This week, Hoover answered a few questions via email.

How long were you at The Post? And at previous journo jobs? How long were you in journalism?

Hoover: “I was at the Post just short of six years, having started in January of 2008. I worked at The Kansas City Star for seven years as a statehouse reporter. Before that, I worked at the Tulsa World and The McAllen (Texas) Monitor. All told, I was a professional journalist for 20 years. My experience does go back further, though. I was an intern at The Albuquerque Tribune (which is how I know Lynn Bartels from 20-something years ago), an intern at The Daily Oklahoman and an intern for the Oklahoma Capitol News Bureau. I was also once a stringer [freelance writer] for The New York Times. And, of course, I worked at my beloved school paper, The Oklahoma Daily, at the University of Oklahoma, where I was a reporter and eventually the editor.”

Why would you leave such a prestigious position at The Post? Were you worried about the future at the newspaper?

Hoover: “I left the Post because I had to think about the future. I will have to work for at least another 20 years before I can retire. It was time to start thinking long-term about the path forward. I enjoyed being on the editorial board. It is a position of great responsibility, and you get to rub elbows with U.S. senators and occasionally foreign dignitaries and all manner of world-class minds. I was also treated well on the board and have great respect for my colleagues. My decision to leave transcended all that.”

What are a couple of your favorite memories of news reporting or opinion writing at The Post?

Hoover: “As with a magician’s code, we don’t reveal publicly who wrote which specific editorials. It’s supposed to be a consensus process and involves collaborative writing at times. I will say, however, how amusing it is when people think certain writers pen specific editorials because of their supposed political leanings and it happens that the piece was completely conceived and written by another writer with diametrically opposite political views. Editorial writers, like all people, are three-dimensional.

“I can say, however, that I especially enjoyed writing one blog piece with my byline about a very overwrought TV report on a state-owned airplane. It was fun to dissect the TV story, and it got a big reaction in the world of state government and politics.

“As for stories as a reporter, I think my best work was done scrutinizing claims made about the state budget, whether it was asserting that Gov. Bill Ritter had hired thousands of government employees when he hadn’t or claiming that certain businesses would be harmed by the removal of special tax breaks when in fact they admitted either they weren’t hurt at all or weren’t even affected by the changes. I enjoyed writing stories about a candidate for governor who embellished his past career as a small-town police officer and then backpedaled when put under the spotlight. I had a lot of fun reporting at the Post, and I’d just note that it followed stints at several other newspapers where I worked on lots of great stories. I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to cover state politics and government at two major American newspapers, though my career covering many beats spanned two decades at multiple newspapers, small and large.”

What’s your response to conservatives who are saying that your move to PR proves you’ve been biased all along?

Hoover: “I didn’t really give it much thought. I am on good terms with many conservatives, and a number of them were very congratulatory about my move. It all comes down to the individual class a person has. You make some people angry as a reporter if you are doing your job correctly. It’s all part of the package.”

What advice would you give to a young person who wants to be a journalist?

Hoover: “That is a tough question. I don’t know if I could honestly encourage someone to go into the industry if they are not already pursuing journalism. I think I would tell them that they should only pursue journalism if they are so passionate about it they don’t think they want to do anything else. And if they do go into the business, do not do it in a half-assed way. We live in a time when anyone can be published, and so it has given rise to ‘pseudo-journalists,’ wannabe bloggers’ and hacks who work, if they get paid at all, for partisan operations or stealthy partisan donors. Many of these people couldn’t find a courthouse a block away with a map, couldn’t cover a fire, flood or shooting, have never had to write a story about a zoning hearing, school board or city council meeting or sit through hours of legislative committee hearings and floor work. They have not ever had to be real reporters. They don’t do quality research nor is their work scrutinized heavily by editors above them. They are lazy and sloppy and biased, and it is all the more reason why there need to be actual, trained journalists to go out and gather the news. If a young person still wants to be a real reporter despite all of the hardships they will face, then I would encourage them.”

Who will win: Romanoff or Coffman?

Hoover: “I would say Coffman is very vulnerable because of his newly drawn district and the fact that he has had to do a tightrope act on so many issues that has not pleased either side of the political spectrum. But so much of this could depend on what happens nationally. The Democratic brand has suffered greatly in the last several months because of the Obamacare rollout fiasco. It’s hard to say how that translates here in Colorado, and it is a long way to November.”

Any other thoughts?

Hoover: “My former colleagues still in the newspaper industry work far harder and under far more stressful conditions than most people realize. I would ask that readers and the public at large give them some well-deserved recognition at times. It’s almost Thanksgiving. Let’s be thankful we still have newspapers covering public affairs. And remember, some poor group of reporters and editors has to work on Thanksgiving and Christmas. The news doesn’t stop for the holidays.”

Follow Jason Salzman on Twitter @bigmediablog

Channel 12′s Rowland talks to BigMedia about journalism and his upcoming retirement

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

The word “visionary” is over-used, especially for people who are retiring, but it’s truly an accurate description of Wick Rowland, who announced last week that he’s stepping down in March as President of Colorado Public Television (Channel 12, CPT12).

In 1999, Rowland left his job as Dean of CU’s journalism school to run Channel 12, and he quickly turned it into the go-to TV station locally for public affairs programming, creating content that KRMA Channel 6 did not offer. See more on this topic here.

Rowland built a lineup of shows that broke from the ponderousness that defined public affairs TV here at the time. Channel 12’s flagship program, Colorado Inside Out, is consistently the best public-affairs show on Denver TV and Internet, mixing information with provocation and entertainment. Under Rowland’s leadership, Channel 12 has also been a major player in election-year debates and forums, adding depth that spilled into the political discourse, beyond the unfortunately small audience that tunes to public television.

I liked bumping into Rowland over the years because he’d inevitably remind me how narrow the debate about journalism is in America, pointing out, as he does below, that advocating for increased public funding for journalism isn’t wacko, despite the gross suggestion someone had of taking an ax to the neck of Big Bird.

After you talk to Rowland, you kind of shake your head and say to yourself, “Hell no. We don’t have to settle for the market-driven mayhem and fluff that overwhelms you on commercial TV. And we don’t have to rely on nutcase bloggers or partisans.”

A reasonable model to support thoughtful journalism, as Rowland likes to say, is to provide more public funds for it, like they do in most industrialized nations. If only more people were out there like Rowland pushing for this.

Talking to Rowland is like chatting with a kind professor, which he is, but he also reminds me of an admiral, who’s seen many a battle. He’ll be missed way more than our community knows.

Here are excerpts of a conversation I had with Rowland Monday:

What’s your primary concern about journalism in Colorado?

It’s my primary concern about journalism, and you’re talking to an old journalism dean and someone who really believes in the disciplines of journalism education and training and the practice. My fundamental concern, and it’s not novel to me, and it’s the loss of what I call disciplined reporting. I very much believe in a meritocracy of work in the media. I feel that any kind of profession requires standards and a process and a mechanism for holding feet to the fire for those standards…We have had historically an editorial structure, and I just want to have the feeling the someone oversees a particular piece of work, and subjects it to fact checking and the normal protocols of editing, pushing back and keeping a reporter on his or her toes. One of the great threats of the blogosphere, frankly, is the loss of that. And we need to find ways of maintaining that.

Could public funding save journalism?

Public broadcasting could be a pilot project for what the future could look like. It’s very difficult in these United States of America to have this debate. And even on the public broadcasting side of it, we are funded on a very mere pittance by comparison with the way in which public-service media are funded in every other advanced industrial democracy. There is no comparison. That’s because we have a difficulty articulating in the United States a case for tax-based for public culture generally. It’s not an argument about public broadcasting alone. It’s about arts and culture. We just don’t put the tax-based resources into it. It’s based on the misbegotten hyper-democratic notion that the public will support it if it’s important, and, of course, we know that not to be necessarily true.

Your prediction on The Denver Post?

I’m very concerned. I’m seeing it ready to cut back to maybe three or four days a week. That worries me. Like many people I was disappointed that when the Rocky folded, The Denver Post did not grow bigger. It actually began to shrink. I’m in part an ink-stained wretch at a TV station, and I very much enjoy reading newspapers and take three or four.

What are the high points of your time at Channel 12?

Negotiating excess bandwidth opportunities that helped establish an endowment for the station…raising money and guiding the transition from analogue to digital…purchasing the building where the station resides…starting a systematic planning process and building on the success in public affairs and cultural programming. The community better understands what we’re about.

What’s the biggest problem with public television?

The worst thing is we’re being forced out on the commercial market—where were forced to worry too much about sponsorships and branding in ways that are not appropriate for public media.

Why are you retiring?

I’m 68-and-a-half years old. I’m at the stage of life where I’ve got people falling left and right around me, many of them younger. I lost my mother-in-law this year, and two or three other friends. It’s been kind of sobering for me as well. My grandkids are not getting any younger. They’re growing up fast. There’s this cliché about he’s going to spend more time with family and so on. There’s a little piece of that that’s true, probably in a lot of cases and certainly in this case. If you had asked me about the prospects of my stepping away even three of four years ago, I would have been much more reticent about stepping away, with the assault on public broadcasting…but I feel in the wake of the elections, and from a number of other things that I’m participating in nationally, I feel a little more confident than I did even a few months ago that this is a good time to step back… I do a lot of writing. I continue to publish, as if I were still at the University…I’m not finished with my discourse with the public about public media. I’m not done with that yet.

Follow Jason Salzman Twitter @bigmediablog