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Obama Cover Causing Bad Blood in Denver

5280’s Shepard Fairey illustration draws ire of rival regional.


Dylan Stableford By Dylan Stableford
08/11/2008 -15:56 PM






We work in an industry filled with some begrudging, petty, spitefully competitive people. Kind of like Washington.

Case in point: it may not be of Hillary-Barack proportions, but it appears that the lead-up to the Democratic National Convention is causing a bloodthirsty rivalry among the regional magazines in Denver.

Just to give you an idea of how catty the magazine industry—even the relatively small, bucolic Denver, Colorado market—can be, look no further than this e-mail—anonymous of course—I received after posting a story about 5280’s August cover, one designed by Shepard Fairey, a famous street artist, for the Democratic National Convention:

Mr. Stableford,

Your recent blog and Google alert this morning caught me off-guard. What 5280 has done with their cover is pompous and lacks in journalistic integrity. When Dan says he shot off a blind email to Fairey to produce a cover for his magazine, he failed to mention it was after he found out the competing city magazine in town was going to have Obama on the cover. Once he and his top edit staff realized that their competitors had an exclusive interview with Michelle and Barack, and would be placing Sen. Obama on the cover, Brogan shot off that blind email to Fairey and paid him (what I'm sure was) a staggering amount to produce. Check out denvermagazine.com if you'd like to see the cover that came out a week before Mr. Brogan and his $8 million juggernaut decided to release theirs.

Thank you.

No, please, thank you.

This is the third such toned e-mail I’ve gotten on the topic. To me, if this is true, it sounds like Brogan is guilty of … well, competing. It’s the friggin’ Democratic National Convention. Of course Denver’s regional magazines are going to go with Obama covers in August. Same thing will happen with McCain in September, when the Republicans gather in Minneapolis. (Mpls St Paul, Minnesota Monthly—that means you!)

And, knowing Fairey did the iconic Obama poster earlier this campaign season, I’ll take Brogan’s word that Fairey cut 5280 a decent rate.

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