Woody Paige’s column in The Denver Post that blatantly lifted a section of quotes from an April story by John Ourand of the Sports Business Journal has been updated without explanation and now attributes the Sports Business Journal.
In his April 4 article, Ourand wrote about ESPN creator Bill Rasmussen.
Many executives that came in contact with Rasmussen during ESPN’s infancy reference that can-do spirit. Paul Maxwell, a cable industry pioneer who founded several industry trade publications, said Rasmussen’s faith in ESPN provided a stark contrast to how others viewed the startup network at the time.
Maxwell recalls sitting in an Anaheim, Calif., bar with cable industry icon Bill Daniels, who helped convince Getty Oil to fund ESPN in the early years. It was right after Getty had invested in ESPN, probably 1980. Evey, the Getty Oil executive responsible for overseeing the network, approached the duo, with a look of worry on his face. He asked, “Are we ever going to make money?”
“It was the first thing he asked Bill,” Maxwell said. “Bill knew it would work. We both thought it was brilliant.”
In Paige’s original column, he lifted quotes and a setting description directly from Ourand’s story without attribution.
In an Anaheim, Calif., bar (near a theme park), Daniels was told by a Getty Oil executive about the venture’s problematical plans. Daniels had persuaded the company to buy a majority share of ESPN.
Stuart Evey was concerned Getty Oil had made a mistake. “The first thing he asked Bill was: ‘Are we ever going to make money?'” Colorado cable pioneer Paul Maxwell said. “Bill knew it would work. We both thought it was brilliant.”
Ourand was somehow alerted to this (perhaps he has a Google alert for “cable pioneer”?) and sent Paige a question on Twitter: “Hey @woodypaige. Did you really talk to Paul Maxwell? Or did you lift that quote from SBJ? Bad form to not list source.”
Paige and/or The Denver Post responded by adding the following statements in bold.
Stuart Evey was concerned Getty Oil had made a mistake. “The first thing he asked Bill was: ‘Are we ever going to make money?'” Colorado cable pioneer Paul Maxwell told the Sports Business Journal. “Bill knew it would work. We both thought it was brilliant.”Note: This column has been updated from its print version to include an attribution.