This is a tough one for me to write. Back in the day, I don’t think I would have ever admitted it (you know, being a young journalist striving to become somebody and all), but I always looked up to 9NEWS anchor Kirk Montgomery. Today, I call him my friend.
Growing up in Colorado, not too many people I know have made it on TV and it was a dream come true when I landed a job at 9NEWS in 2008. I was launching Denver’s newest entertainment hub—you may remember a little website called Metromix.com—which meant I had to work closely with Kirk to cover all things entertainment in Denver and Colorado. I was only 23 years old at the time and I sometimes couldn’t believe that I actually already accomplished my dream job.
Working with Kirk Montgomery was an endless up and down rollercoaster. Mainly because he is so incredibly passionate about his job. Each news segment had to be perfection—he owed that to his fans and viewers. And since I was fairly new in the biz, I looked to him to help lead the way and teach me as much as possible. Not before long, he had faith in me to write some of his segments for the Metromix spot in his EBlock—I would create graphics, write his scripts and even would go on-air with him from time to time. It was amazing.
I will never forget after two years of working at 9NEWS, we’d developed a friendship and great working relationship. We just ‘understood’ each other. One night we both got invited to attend a Calvin Klein underwear fashion show at the Cherry Creek Mall—so we loaded up our equipment and *insert sarcasm* begrudgingly went to cover the show. I just remember laughing and loving the night. The vibe in the air was miraculous. Not to mention being surrounded by really, really good looking people.
After three and a half years of working at 9NEWS and leading Metromix.com to be the No. 1 entertainment site in Denver, I left the station and became the PR Manager at Elitch Gardens. I didn’t stop working with Kirk once I left—in fact, I looked to him to help cover some of Elitch’s big events and he was always responsive and so willing to help me out.
Today, May 9, 2014 is a sad day for Denver. A sad day for Kirk. A sad day for me. And a sad day for his viewers and fans across Colorado. Kirk Montgomery is saying farewell to his 9NEWS-KUSA viewers in the 4 p.m. newscast and will be heading to WILX in Lansing, Michigan to anchor. I will be watching the E-Block with tear-filled eyes. I know that we’ll still keep in touch via social media, e-mail and a quick phone call—but to not know that I can reach out and work with him again on the PR side of things for Colorado Media Network breaks my heart. It figures, right when I launch my very own full-service Marketing and PR firm, one of my favorite friends and media member is leaving.
This morning I reached out to Kirk to see if he could give me a list of his favorite things about Colorado before he signs off on 9NEWS. Within minutes he sent me his list. That just proved to me that he looks to me as a friend and colleague still, which means the world.
Without further ado, here’s what Kirk sent to me of all his most cherished things about living in Colorado:
10. Red Rocks Amphitheatre
9. Sam’s No. 3
8. 16th Street Mall
7. Pearl Street in Boulder
6. Aurora Fox Theatre
5. The Paramount
4. Lannie’s Clocktower Cabaret
3. Creede Reparatory Theatre
2. Denver Center for Performing Arts
1. The People. I love the people in Colorado so much.
With that, I want to say: Thank you, Kirk. Thank you for helping me when I was so young at 9NEWS. Thank you for the many laughs we shared in the newsroom. Thanks for the amazing memories as we covered the DNC together, many fashions shows, events and all sorts of great entertainment stories along the way. Thank you for keeping in touch with me after I left the station. And thank you for being so sincere and always telling me what was on your mind and in your heart. I will miss you greatly, my friend. Best of luck to you in Michigan!
Owner, Colorado Media Network LLC
5/10/2014 11:37:25 am
So wish I wasn't writing this! You will be missed. 9news blew this one. Onward and upward... For you!
Kelly Anderson Stewart
5/10/2014 11:42:00 am
What a perfect tribute to a wonderful man! I'm lucky enough to know Kirk and to be able to count him as part of my family, as I am married to his brother. You hit it on the head when you spoke of Kirk's passion for his job and his seemingly endless love and compassion for others. Lansing's gain is most definitely Denver's loss, and though I know that soon Kirk's exuberance, humor and compassion will win over the people of yet another city, I know that he will never forget the people of Denver whose love and support meant so much.
5/10/2014 11:42:35 am
I love this story. As i continued to read i could feel exactly what you had wrote. Kirk is INCREDUBLE and will be very missed by so many. Erica i have to say when i got to the part where you spoke about your new venture. And how as your beginning your friend and mentor is leaving. I have to say i can see AMAZING things for you as well as Kirk Montgomerm now coming into your lives. Its going to be an awesome reunion 1 to 2 years from now and look at the great growth between both of you. Keep GrOwing! Keep Pushing Through. The BESzt is yet to come.
5/10/2014 10:36:47 pm
Thanks so much for the kind words of encouragement, Mark! I will definitely miss Kirk, no doubt. But I am excited for his new chapter and I will continue to work hard and always remember my start at 9NEWS and my time working with him. He taught me a lot and I'm now carrying that knowledge over to the PR side of things. Thanks again for the note, it meant a lot to me :-)
5/10/2014 12:35:14 pm
I have already set the WILX Lansing Ch 10 as one of my browser's favorites, http://www.wilx.com/news/entertainment
5/10/2014 01:05:56 pm
Denver's loss is Lansing's gain. Thank you Kirk for so many years of great entertainment news. I will miss seeing you on my tv every afternoon. Best of luck in your next chapter. You will be greatly missed!
Kelly Anderson Stewart
5/10/2014 01:33:43 pm
5/10/2014 07:22:23 pm
Dear Kirk, I am not going to leave a sad Goodbye. Because when I first started to watch you many years back I saw a spirit who was Genuine and Caring. You made me Laugh when I was having a bad day and yet kept US ALL informed to what was going on in the Entertainment World. Dedicated to what YOU LOVE. It is difficult to leave Our Memories, but to be able to begin New ones is just as hard. Your Memories You are leaving in Colorado will forever be "OUR KIRK" and the Love and Caring is time to be spread in Michigan. Their Kirk..We will miss Joey as well..so from all of us here please know just how much you made us THAT MUCH BETTER! You are a GIFT and God has more plans for you! God Speed and may the Force be with you! ;) ♥
5/10/2014 10:08:37 pm
What are we going to do without you?
As everyone has said Kirk you will be sadly missed here in Denver - and 9 News will be the poorer without your smiling face on their newscasts. Best of luck to you!!!!! Hope you visit Colorado now and then and don't forget your many fans and friends here!!!! God Bless!!!!!
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