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Because the business operations of the Denver Post and the Rocky Mountain News are linked by a joint-operating agreement, some readers still think their separate and independent editorial functions are linked, too -- and an incident that took place on March 15 could well add to the confusion. What happened? The Travel and Style sections intended for insertion in the Sunday, March 18, Post somehow wound up being stuffed into thousands of Rockys distributed the previous Thursday.

Kyle Wagner, the former Westword food writer who now oversees the Travel section, says the newsroom learned of the snafu when someone who gets the Rocky e-mailed reporter Michael Booth about a story in Style. Booth was understandably confused about how this person could have read something that wasn't supposed to reach the public for days and alerted the authorities. A subsequent investigation put the number of Rocky issues featuring the Post bonus at a whopping 31,000.

Wagner, who's been assured that all copies of the Sunday Post will include Travel and Style, is looking on the bright side of this snafu. She'd like to think that Rocky subscribers might be so impressed by the unexpected additions that they'll start picking up the Post in the future.

Of course, there's another possibility -- that readers who previously thought they understood the limitations of the JOA will wind up feeling more baffled than ever. -- Michael Roberts


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