Breaking News: Light Storm Hits Denver Wednesday…and Governor Ritter Won’t Run for Second Term

Wednesday was one of the bigger news days in recent memory as Governor Ritter announced that he would not run for a second term as Colorado Governor in November. Hickenlooper made a statement that afternoon at the Oxford Hotel that he would have a decision as to whether he would run on the Democratic ticket for Governor, but only after Salazar makes his decision. (As of this writing, Salazar announced he would not run for Colorado Governor, and we’ll just have to wait until Hicky makes his decision.)

I intended to get this post up yesterday, but work got in the way, so here it is after a one day delay.

KMGH had very good coverage during their 4pm newscast, which included a panel of political analysts:

Mike Landess first interviewed Republican candidate Scott McInnis, who clung to his wife like a teddy bear, though ‘MGH wasn’t kind enough to give them seats. To be fair, KDVR didn’t either, but that still doesn’t change the fact that it looks unprofessional to not give a Gubernatorial candidate and his wife a seat while conducting an interview.

Next, Suzanne McCarroll on KCNC placed a particular focus on Ritter’s family.

Below is Tally with her mother, Jeannie. I think the family emphasis KCNC took was relevant as it was Ritter’s primary reason for making his decision.

By the time I flipped over to KDVR, they were running a retrospective of the Villafuerte controversy:

I didn’t watch KUSA long enough to get any pictures, but of what I saw, their coverage was equally comprehensive as the others. Going in-depth into local issues is the sight I enjoy seeing the most on the local stations. Covering local issues like this separates the local stations from all of the other news outlets that compete for the viewer today because only the local stations can cover them the way they do, and stories like these have an impact on everyone who lives in Colorado.

However, yesterday wasn’t a complete success. Even though Ritter’s news will go down as one of the biggest stories of the year, the top story on every channel was this:

Just after Ritter gave his announcement, snow began to fall on the city of Denver. But what made it the top story? The storm only brought two, maybe three inches of snow, which is expected for Denver in January.

If you see Dave Fraser, it *must* be bad news, right?

Local stations, please listen: we’re Coloradans. We know what snow is like. Yesterdays’ storm was nothing. Most of the time, when you lead with weather, the storm isn’t anything, and today was prime evidence that the local stations put too much priority on weather. The Ritter coverage I saw was top-notch on all stations, and I’m not taking that away from you, but you’re wasting our time when you lead with weather and give it too much airtime. I know weather is a big reason why people tune into the news, but yesterday’s storm should not have come before the Ritter story.

Two steps forward, one step back.


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