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Wednesday, December 15, 2004

On The Eric Griego Taco Line: Where's The Beef? Plus: Dianne Anderson, The Times They Are A Changin' 

The worst thing about ABQ City Councilor Eric Griego's Sunday mayoral announcement at the Downtown La Posada was when the buffet line ran out of food early. I got stuck in the back with Councilor Martin Heinrich and by the time we got to the front we were reduced to eating bottom-of-the barrel tortilla chips with a drip of salsa. But it wasn't a total waste as Heinrich bent my ear, and I his, on the latest environmental battles in NM that are dear to his liberal heart.

The best thing about the Griego announcement was its length. He actually kept it manageable, about 25 minutes. A few years ago when I interviewed him on Election Night on KANW-FM he literally spoke for five minutes straight without coming up for air.

Eric's toss of the hat into the ring drew a respectable crowd of a couple of hundred and did much to knock down the spin that he is a "two percenter" in next year's mayoral battle. But right now it may be a bit of a stretch to say he is going to be a 30 percenter as noted Dem brain John Daniel is contending.

(The ABQ Trib's Shea Andersen put a up a piece quoting your "irrepressible" blogger on how he sees the race. Read all about it.)

One insider said Griego's biggest strength is his appeal to liberal Dems and enviros. His weakest is his resume, which our Alligator dubbed "thin." The 30 something Griego will energize the race for sure, but 50 something Mayor Marty is no slouch either. He just hit the mailboxes across town with hundreds of Xmas cards and is getting ready for a full court press. Chavez is also better financed which I hope means the taco meat at his announcement bash is more plentiful. Come to think of it, with his kind of dough how about carne adovada?

DIANNE'S DEPARTURE

The news that veteran KOAT-TV anchor Dianne Anderson is leaving the ABC affiliate did not exactly shock the insider media types. They immediately knocked down the official line that she was leaving to spend more time with her family, instead citing the third place ranking of Channel 7's 10 p.m. news in the important November ratings as the main reason for her swan song.

They say a combination of events has contributed to the long slide of the onetime NM TV ratings king; budget restraints by the new owners, the loss of news anchor Nelson Martinez (now at KOB-TV) and the retirement several years ago of legendary NM weatherman Howard Morgan. The news gathering abilities of 7 remain strong, but TV news being what it is personalities are the driving force. 7 also lost some key reporters, such as Larry Barker, to 13, and the Anderson-Doug Fernandez team just did not seem to click.

7 is the only major station here with a native New Mexican, Mary Lynn Roper, running the show. But the advantages of local knowledge have faded as all three stations are swept up in an all-crime, all-the-time format. In that competition, it's anyone's game. As for Dianne, her 15 years at the anchor desk will be best remembered for her involvement in advancing family issues and for letting New Mexicans know there is a wardrobe beyond jeans and sneakers.

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(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2004
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