Running The News Departments in Denver

The top news bosses in Denver are all fairly new and they are all female.

"I don't care what your body parts are. There's no difference at the end of the day," said KMGH's Lindsay Radford, "as long as you do the job well." She aims for news that's "impactful; there has to be more takeaway."

The Denver Post writes that the incoming news bosses know Denver is a highly competitive news market with a national reputation for high-quality photojournalism, investigative series and above-average on-air talent. Two of them face the task of restoring morale at beaten, battered newsrooms.

They also know the game is changing at the pace of technology and social media. "This is the biggest change our industry has seen in many, many years," KUSA News Director Christy Moreno (pictured) said. "We have to be accurate and transparent; better to be right than first." 

"There is pressure on us to be as fast as social media, but we're still going through due process," said Moreno's boss, Gannett VP-news and former KUSA News Director Patti Dennis. "We play in the social-media conversation," but content originating from the station or its employees must be vetted, she said.

"Bad information goes out more quickly than it used to," said KDVR-KWGN VP-news Holly Gauntt. "Our job is to correct it as quickly as we can. Any news operation that doesn't have social media or the Web on their radar isn't in the game."

"It's a weird space," KMGH's's Radford said. "You see instances where TV stations have gotten burned" using social media, particularly with regard to public safety.

As the competition increases, the local ratings picture is clear: Kingpin KUSA-Channel 9 remains dominant throughout the day, although not as overpowering as it once was. For years, KUSA was accustomed to drawing more than the combined ratings of its competitors; now, 9News is fighting for attention like everyone else, digitally and via social media.

Even as the number of people watching local TV news declines, multiscreen engagement is increasing (people seek local station content online) and advertisers pay more each year. It's worth noting that fully half of all local TV station revenue comes from news, according to a Radio Television Digital News Association study.

And there is no doubt that the newly hired Denver ND's think social media plays a big part in promoting their news.