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Thursday, February 03, 2005

Big Bill's Press Stable: What's The Impact? Plus; Dendahl Still Plays, But The Dance Floor Is Not As Crowded 

What exactly does it mean for Big Bill to have all those former reporters on the state payroll? There's been a lot of talk about the number of ex-scribes he has hired, but not much discussion of just what it means in terms of what New Mexicans see and hear about the Guv. The subject caught the eyes of the editors of the American Journalism Review (AJR) who called on former ABQ Journal reporter turned freelance writer Leanne Potts to take a look for a national audience. During an interview, I agreed with Leanne that the hirings may have had more of an impact than just getting more press for Big Bill, but may be shading the coverage a bit in his favor. Other New Mexico journalism observers disagreed. Here's the full article hot off the press.

BACK ON THE CIRCUIT

GOP political consultant Jay McCleskey, part of the Dendahl/Barnett faction of the state GOP, was laying low after an intraparty feud raged last year. It ended with the resignation of Ramsay Gorham as GOP Chair and the installation of Dendahlite Allen Weh. But now Jay is back with a high-profile, according to insider sources. They say he is a regional coordinator for the national GOP. His patron, Mickey Barnett, was ousted as GOP national committeeman last year by ex-State Rep. George Buffett.

McCleskey came under fire in the 03' ABQ CIty Council elections for running a highly negative campaign on behalf of Barnett candidates. They lost. Previously, he helped manage John Sanchez's campaign for governor.

DENDAHL REDUX

Former GOP Chair John Dendahl remains an articulate critic of Big Bill via a syndicated newspaper column. He is saying the things that the current chair can not or will not. But Dendahl had his run and no matter how much he plays the music, much of the GOP will not dance, not after the divisions he helped create in the party in his final years.

Dendahl will always be remembered for resurrecting the party and making important gains in the Legislature and capturing the governors chair. He will be equally remembered for allowing a faction to be created that feasted on party largess and advocated the losing position of legalizing drugs. That Dendahl remains one of the most effective critics of Big Bill, even from his out-of-power position, says it all about the need for new blood in the Grand Old Party.

TV NEWS DOINGS

Our initial report regarding Deanna Sauceda's return to the KRQE-TV anchor chair has now been confirmed by a couple of inside sources. Sauceda, recently of Intel, returns to 13 as anchor for either the noon or 4 p.m. news or both, say the inside sources.

13 recently took the top spot in the 10 p.m. November news ratings for the first time in memory. But that hasn't stopped former 10 p.m. #1 KOB-TV from trying to hold on. The station ran a promo pointing out that in an overnight rating they took the top spot--for one night! Come on promo writers, give the other fella their due. When you take a sweeps period--a month--your top dog---one day doesn't cut it. But then again in modern TV "news" just about anything goes.

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