Denver Radio: 80 Years of Change - By Tom Mulvey
Our first idea was to write down all the changes in Denver's 80 years of radio. That included all the call letters, general managers, sales staffs, on-air personalities and owners, plus, we would add their awards and spice it up with true stories of some of the accidents, bizarre actions and entertaining events that occurred over the years. For nostalgia we would include the names of the network radio shows, their stars, the movies, the restaurants, movie houses, dance halls, and top songs of each year. When we had about 8,000 words down and were only up to the 1940s, we realized that this couldn't be done in a magazine. Thus, we had to edit everything down to fit in the space allowed and this meant only a few highlights of each year. I know there are people and stations that we missed and we will probably hear from them very soon. However, we kept the first 8,000 words and may finish radio, add television, newspapers and the advertising agencies over the years and have a book. Who knows.
|1920 Dr. William (Doc) Reynolds, a Dentist, founded 9ZAF
at his 1124 S. University home in Denver. The studio was on the front porch
and the transmitter was in the back yard.
1921 KFKA goes on the air in Greeley.
1922 On March 10, 9ZAF became known as KLZ.
1923 Denverâs second station was KFEL, instituted by Gene OâFallon, with headquarters in the Albany Hotel.
1924 Freeman Talbot became the first Manager of KOA. On Monday, December 15, KOA went on the air with its inaugural program at 8:00 p.m. The license for the new station was issued by the Department of Commerce (predecessor of the FCC in policing radio) and was for a Class "B" broadcasting station at 930 on the dial, with an antenna input power not exceeding 1,000 watts.
1925 William Duncan Pyle opened a new radio station called KFXK, The letters were soon changed to KVOD, (now KHOW). On April 27, authorization was granted to increase KOA's power to 2,000 watts. November 11 saw a further increase in power for KOA - this time to 5,000 watts.
1927 KOA carried its first National Broadcasting Company network program on February 22, and received an increase to 12,500 watts on April 23. Its frequency was changed to 920 kilocycles. However, on June 1, during a general realignment of broadcasting station assignments, KOA was reduced to 10 KW daytime and 5 KW at night. On November 1, the station's power was still further reduced, pared by 50 percent; 5,000 watts daytime and 2,500 watts at night.
1928 February saw a switch to 5,000 watts day and night for KOA. Then on November 11, a grant for 12,500 watts power day and night went into effect, on a new frequency of 830 kilocycles. KOA became affiliated with NBC and at one time carried three networks, NBC's "Red" and the "Blue", plus a local "Orange" net. On March 9, KPOF went on the air and was owned by a religious movement called the Pillar of Fire.
1929 KOA officially became an NBC affiliate on February 3. On October 1, NBC took over the operation of KOA from General Electric. Note. KFKA Greeley shared frequency with KPOF at 910 from 1928 until about 1948. KFKA moved to 1310, and KPOF remained at 910. In the 1930's KVOD and KFEL shared frequencies. KVOD had studios in the Continental Oil Building before moving to the Midland Savings Building.
1931 KOA was granted a construction permit on November 17, to build a 50,000 watt transmitter.
1934 Alvin Nelson became Manager of KOA on April 1. On July 7, construction was completed for KOA's 50,000 watt transmitter located some 12 miles east of downtown Denver in Arapahoe County on U.S. Highway 40. New offices and studios for KOA were completed at 1625 California Street on December 15 and the staff moved in that day.
1935 Jimmy Atkins, later to become Program Director at KOA Radio, joins WLS, the Hillbilly station in Chicago, where he was known as singer Tommy Tanner on National Barn Dance. That same year, Jimmy became one third of the Les Paul Trio. KLZ was sold by the Reynolds family to the Oklahoma Publishing Company.
1937 Russell Shaffer began his radio career as an advertising salesman at KANS in Wichita. The station was owned by Herb Hollister, founder of KBOL in Boulder. Robert Owen became Manager of KOA. Morey Sharp joined KLZ as an Announcer.
1938 Jimmy Atkins and Les Paul hitchhike together to New York and land jobs with the Fred Waring Orchestra, where Jimmy remained as featured soloist for 10 years. Orson Wells reported the Martians had landed.
1939 Lloyd E. Yoder, formerly General Manager of KPO and KGO in San Francisco, replaced Owen as Manager of KOA.
1940 Frederick W. Meyer, a wholesale grocer, founded KMYR, 250 watts at 1340. The same F.W. Meyer who purchased a third interest in Doc Reynolds' KLZ some years earlier. Jack Fitzpatrick was named News Director at KFEL.
1941 When Pearl Harbor was attacked, the Announcer at KLZ was Charley Roberts and in Wyoming it was Art Peterson. On March 29, KOA transferred from 830 to its present 850 spot. KMYR went on the air April 7. Dick Schmidt was one of the hosts of "Meet the Boys in the Band" and Gene Amole and Jim Hawthorne got their first radio jobs there. KMYR offices, studios and transmitter were on the second floor of the Industrial Federal Savings and Loan Building at 1626 Stout. Hugh Terry , Charley Roberts and Lee Fondren went to work at KLZ. Then, KLZ started the format of "News, talk and sports." In the 1940s, '50s and '60s, KLZ aired 20 local newscasts daily plus CBS news and programs. Top-rated newsmen such as Carl Akers, Dick Becker, Jim Bennett, Lee Berg, Stan Brown, Bob Butz, Warren Chandler, Don Cole, John Connors, Rolly Dalquist, Bill Day, Ray Durkee, Art Gow, Ned High, Fred Hobbs, Bill Holland, Al Knight, Bob Lee, Matt McEniry, Dick McMahon, Dale Morgan, Bob Palmer, Sheldon Peterson, Don Roberts, Bob Shriver, Merwin Smith, Jack Tyson, Johnny Wilcox and Starr Yelland all worked at KLZ under Charley Roberts. Also, KLZ had more than 35 weekly sports programs including Denver Bears baseball with Bill Reed, Don Cole, Jack Jolly or John Rayburn calling the action; play-by-play of CU and DU football with Starr Yelland and Don Cole; DU and Spurs hockey; CU and DU basketball; high school football and all the CBS sports, bowl games, etc. Roberts had call-in shows like Yelland's "Party Line," "The Pat Gay Show," "Denver at Night," "Executive Report," "Joe Pyne," "Your Voice in Congress," "Sounding Board," "Inside Story," and the list goes on.
1942 When World War II started, KOA had 53 people on its staff. Of these a total of 30 served in some branch of the armed forces; 57% of the immediate prewar staff. KOA's Stan Brown, Bill Day, James MacPherson, George Mathews and Gil Verba went into the Army. Jim Bennett, Jesse Slusser, Starr Yelland and Lloyd Yoder joined the Navy, Bill Balance served in the Marine Corps and Bill Michelsen in the Merchant Marine. Jeanne Carter joined the WACs and Virginia Gandinie the SPARS. On August 15, KOA Manager Yoder was called to active duty. During his absence, James MacPherson served as Acting Manager.
1943 Lynn Reed served with the 44th Infantry in the European Theater of Operations and was awarded two Purple Hearts. High school junior Claud Pettit worked Sundays for KFKA at their Record Stockman studios.
1944 On June 10, KOA aired another "hole-ing through" at the Adams transcontinental water diversion tunnel near Estes Park. The broadcast originated from the east entrance of the tunnel, which is over 13 miles in length, 4,000 feet below the Continental Divide.
1945 Commander Yoder returned from the war and to his position of Manager of KOA. Ed Scott began his DJ career at KING in Seattle.
1946 Russ Shaffer, a Navy communications officer in the Pacific during World War II, moves to Boulder to become Commercial Manager of new station KBOL, Herb Hollister, Owner.
1947 Ed Scott went to work at KOA as the station was originating the "Dr IQ" program one time only from the Denver Theatre. Local broadcasters at the theatre that night, and no doubt reciting that immortal line, "I have a lady in the balcony, Doctor," were Starr Yelland who was the M.C., Bill Ballance, Ivan Schooley, Bob Young, Tor Torland and John Buchanan. Jim Bennett joined KLZ as a News Writer.
1948 KBOL was incorporated under the name Boulder Radio KBOL, Inc., Herb Hollister, President, Russ Shaffer, Vice President and General Manager. Carl Akers joins KLZ Radio. Merwin Smith began his radio career at KYOU in Greeley.
1949 KLZ received the Alfred J. du Pont Award for its Knave of Hearts series. The writer was Elliot Wager. KLZ was sold to Aladdin Radio & TV.
1950 Bill Stewart went to work for KFKA in Greeley.
1951 Robin Arnett, former Announcer at KMYR and Editorial Staff Writer at Ben Bezoff Advertising Agency, joined KBOL as an Announcer and Copy Writer.
Note. When television came to Denver in July of 1952, radio begin losing ground to TV and it was then that local personalities took over. Some of this talent moved to other markets and became famous, such as, Perry Allen, Dick Peabody, Bill Balance, Al Loman, Roger Barkley, and Gary Owens. Others that remained in Denver include Fred Arthur, Pete Smythe, Don Martin, Johnny Connors, Bob Palmer, Art Peterson, Merrie Lynn, John Rayburn, Starr Yelland, Bob Martin, Gene Amole, Kay Childers, Carl Akers, Don Roberts and Jack Tyson. Do you remember Cool Bill Davis, Jack Helling and Fred Arthur (King Arthur at the Turntable) on KTLN? Or John Rickwa and Ben Avery on KOSI? Others include Amole, Tim Sullivan, Lloyd Knight and Kathy Piper on KDEN. Lee Harris, Bobby Beers and Ron Mitchell on KBTR, Bob Martin, Bob Rubin, Dick Carlson and Joe Finan on KTLN, Jack Fitzpatrick, Kay Howe, Harvey Ellsworth and Jeff Jordon on KHOW, Akers, Roberts, Yelland, and Fred Hobbs on KLZ. KOA had Smythe, Roberts, Rayburn, Bob Martin, Ed Bowman, Maxine Mulvey, Vic Cotton, John Henry, Chuck Muller, Glen Martin, Tom Watt, Bill Barker, Lynn Reed, Bob Shriver, Don Toland, Duke King, Merrie Lynn and Ed Ruetz. Other saviors of Denver radio include: Joe "Upsey Daisy" Flood, Ray Perkins, Chuck Collins, Ray Durkee, Ivan Schooley, Ed Scott, Danny Davis, Hal Davis, Julianne Ruetz, Lindsey English, G. Roy Gunderson, Johnny Harding, Stan Brown, Bill Armstrong, Pete Werner, Tim Kenney, John Lego, Darold Kelly, Dale Morgan, Grady Franklin Maples, Bob Butz, Ev Wren, Con Schader, Bill Pierson, Ray Mineo, Bob Askey, Bob Meyer, Al Perry, Hal Moore, Gene Price, Hal Taft, Lillian Helling, Bob McWilliams, Paul MacGregor, Merwin Smith, Chuck Henning, Bob Scott, Pogo Pogue, Peter Boyles, Don Spencer, Bob Lee, Jack Merker, Jay Mack, Arch Andrews, Dick Dedrick, Ned High, Fred Leo, Bob Prangley, Charley Martin, Evan Slack, Alan Berg,,,,and the list goes on and on.
1952 Ken Palmer was appointed General Manager of the Intermountain Network's Denver office. Metropolitan Television Co. purchased KOA Radio from NBC. The Denver Bears baseball broadcasts were aired on KMYR with Bill Reed doing play-by-play.
1953 Gene Price started his career at KVOD-AM (Voice of Denver) and now KHOW, as a disc jockey, newscaster and board operator. Russell Shaffer assumed majority interest in KBOL. Allen Lefferdink was Vice President. Becky Averyt, John Aldern, Jimmy Atkins and Gene Grubb join KOA. Merwin Smith joins KFEL Radio.
1954 Gene O' Fallon sold KFEL-AM to Standard Examiner Publishing of Ogden, Utah, for $275,000. The station was affiliated with the Inter-Mountain Network (IMN), and call letters changed to KIMN (key station IMN). Jack Mumey, KMYR Newscaster and Disk Jockey, resigned to join KFEL-TV. Broadcasting from a home at 3340 Lafayette Street, Francisco "Paco" Sanchez. with the help of Levi and Carmen Beall, opens station KFSC. KLZ Radio & TV was sold to Time-Life, Inc. KLZ Radio debuted Denver's first call-in shows, Party Line, hosted by Starr Yelland, and The Pat Gay Show, hosted by Maxine Mulvey.
1955 The Shamrock Football Network was formed with Pete Hansson broadcasting CU Home and away games for KBOL and a 17 station Colorado radio network. Pogo Pogue arrives at KIMN and stays for 10 years. During that time he was part of "The Fabulous Five," which included Roy "The Bell Boy" Gunderson, Glen "Boogie" Bell, "Rolls" Royce Johnson, and "Smilin" Jack Merker.
1956 KOA Radio and TV scheduled a cocktail party in the Silver Glade Room of the Cosmopolitan Hotel to meet Bob Hope-RSVP to MAin 3-6211. Bill Stewart resigned as General Manager of KFKA to run KGHF in Pueblo. KMYR increased power to 5,000 watts and moved to 710. Gene Amole and Ed Keopke took over the 1340 spot and called it KDEN. KDEN-FM went on the air a year later. Gary Owens comes to KIMN. KLZ-FM goes Rock with Max Floyd and one other air-man.
1957 Gary Owens, fresh from Don Burdens' KOIL in Omaha, becomes a KIMN jock. Duke King, an outstanding football player at Purdue, joins KOA Radio as the back-up announcer to Sports Director John Henry. Bob Palmer joined KOA Radio & TV. Dick Peabody, later to be known as Little John on the Combat TV series, joined KDEN as a disc jockey. Al Lorman joined KIMN. Lee Fondren, KLZ General Sales Manager, was promoted to Station Manager.
1958 KIMM threw a "Meet Cecil Heftel and Staff" party on August 29th at the Denver Press Club-RSVP to BElmont 7-2734. As a promotion, 5 KIMN Jocks flagpole-sat for several days, Roy "The Bellboy" Gunderson arrived at KIMN, worked afternoons and soon had a 60+ share of the market. Grady Franklin Maples sold KGMC in Englewood to Robert Bruce McWilliams and Lee Mehlig. On June 30, KMYR held an open house and reception to show off their new radio facilities in the Security Life Building, 814 Fourteenth St.-RSVP to AMherst 6-3703.
1959 On August 10th, KOA-TV and KOA Radio moved into their new quarters at 1044 Lincoln Street. Bill Stewart borrowed $5,000 to buy half-interest in KLMO-AM in Longmont, and Gus Mircos began his radio career there. "J.M. in the A.M." was Jack Merker doing the morning show on KIMN.
1960 KIMN Radio was sold to Bob Donner Jr., John Hunter and Ken Palmer for $402,000 exclusive of real estate, plus $205,000 for other considerations. Former owner, Cecil Heftel, agreed not to compete for seven years. Roger Barkley was KIMN's Program Director. Later, KIMN's Al Lohman and Roger teamed up and became the famous Lohman & Barkley morning team on KFI in LA. KOA's first employee, Jesse Slusser, retired as Chief Engineer after 36 years. Bob Martin, Tim O'Connor and Bob Rubin purchased KUDY (Cutie) in Littleton. Call letters became KMOR with Ed Ruetz the morning personality, followed by Ron Palmquist. Hal Taft replaced O'Connor and did the morning newscasts.
1961 John Mullins, owner of KBTV-TV9 in Denver, purchased KICN radio (710 on the dial) for somewhere between $470,000 and $500,00. Call letters were changed to KBTR. Ed Scott purchased KLAK Radio. KIMN's Pogo Pouge bitten by a snake during promotion in snake pit. Ratings that year show KIMN to be No. 1 in the MSA and thereafter it was consistently ranked No. 1 with shares of 40% to 56%.
1963 Jimmy Atkins, KOA Radio Program Director, is the featured vocalist on a new album called "Chet Atkins, The Guitar Genius." Tom Mulvey resigned at KOA to become Sales Manager at KHOW. Fred Hobbs, KDEN News Director, replaces Jack White on the morning Clockwatcher program. Jay Mack and Chuck Buell joined KIMN. Joe Shearer was reciting poetry on KHOW.
1964 KHOW was purchased by Trigg-Vaughn of Dallas and sent Hal Davis in as General Manager. Davis promoted "The 16th and Broadway Boys", a group made up of Vince Paul, Bill King, Roy Gunderson, Kay Childers, Jack Fitzpatrick and Gil Henry. Ken Lange was appointed Vice President and General Manager of KTLN.
1965 Metropolitan Television Co. operators of the KOA stations, bought the majority interest of Bob Hope and a group of associates for $6.3 million. John Aldern was promoted to General Manager of KOA AM and FM. He replaced Gene Grubb, who resigned in August. Chuck Muller, KOA's Farm and Ranch Director, had a new sponsor. American Cyanamid purchased five programs a week in the morning and noon-time Muller shows.
1966 Dave Walstrom joins KOA Radio. Jon McNutt begins his radio career as a salesman for KODY in North Platte, Nebraska.
1967 On March 21, KBTR Radio, sister station to KBTV-TV9, shattered the pattern of Denver radio programming by introducing all-news, all the time, 24 hours a day. Tom Mulvey was the General Manager and the Newsmen included Jim Bosh, Harlan Ihrke, Tim Kenney, Jim Petersen, John Pollock, Bob Spiro, Gene Towne, Larry Vanore and Jim West.
1968 KOA Radio and KOA TV4 were purchased by General Electric Broadcasting. The seller was Metropolitan Television Co. The agreement provided for an exchange of stock, based on an initial purchase price of $10 million increased by certain earnings and the $1.5 million sale price of KOAA-TV and Radio in Pueblo/Colorado Springs, also owned by Metropolitan. Richard Belkin was named General Manager of KOA AM & FM. Jim Walker started his Denver radio career at KDKO. 95/KIMN was the Radio Station of the Year winner.
1969 Bill and Lila Jean Stewart add a new FM in Longmont, KLMO-FM. Mick Schafbuch was promoted to General Manager of KOA AM & FM.
1970 KCFR-FM goes on the air. John Lego arrives as General Manger of KHOW. Gene Amole and Ed Keopke sell KDEN. Charley Samson begins his KVOD career.
1971 Joe Tennessen was selected as Colorado Broadcaster of the Year. Joe Finan, General Manager of KTLK, received the "Humanitarian of the Year" award.
1972 KLZ-AM and FM were sold by Time-Life to Group One Broadcasting for $2,750,000. Robert Bostain was appointed General Manager. George Kirkpatrick joined KOA Radio. John Morrill was appointed Executive Director of the Colorado Broadcasters Association. Bill Armstrong was selected as Colorado Broadcaster of the Year.
1973 KADE-AM, a 1,000-watt daytimer, goes on the air in Boulder. Ken Lange became a co-owner and General Manager of KADX-FM. Hugh Terry was selected as Colorado Broadcaster of the Year. Steve Keeney joins the KIMN sales staff. Sam Yacovazzi was named General Manager of KLZ.
1974 Call letters of KFSC were changed to KBNO. Ray Skibitsky joins the sales staff at KADE. Alan Berg broke into radio as a talk show host on KGMC. Russel Shaffer was named Colorado Broadcaster of the Year.
1975 KADE was sold to Bob Greenlee, who then purchased KRNW-FM-610 watts, later to become KBCO-FM. Ed Koepke was selected as Colorado Broadcaster of the Year. Dino Ianni was named General Manager of KLZ.
1976 Hal Moore and Charley Martin become a morning team on KHOW. They started at the station in 1969 with Hal in afternoon drive ("I Love You, Denver!"), while Charley worked with morning co-hosts, including Rosemary Barnwall and Marti Martin. Steve Keeney was named General Manager of KYGO and KIMN. Rex Howell was named Colorado Broadcaster of the Year. KLZ-FM became KAZY. Bob Korum, General Manager of 96 KX, formerly KHOW-FM, announced that the station was "commercial free."
1977 Program Director, Dennis Constantine, formerly with KBPI-FM, was making $12 for each four-hour shift as KADE hit the air as KBCO-FM. Larry Zimmer joined KOA Radio. Joe Tennessen was again selected as Colorado Broadcaster of the Year. Steve Kelley arrives at KIMN. KIMN Chicken established as station mascot. Sam Yacovazzi was again named General Manager of KLZ. In May, KLZ and KAZY were sold to the Roger Berk Family.
1978 Alan Berg joined KHOW. Pam Kenny joined KOA Radio. Chuck Denney was named Colorado Broadcaster of the Year. KLZ dropped its MOR format and switched to country.
1979 Al Perry was selected as the Colorado Broadcaster of the Year. Jack Fitzpatrick was awarded the John E. Morrill Broadcast Achievement Award. Rod Louden was appointed General Manager of KDKO, then owned by Sterling Broadcasting. Lyle Alzado hosted a sports show weekdays on KERE. Morey DaVolt, the builder of KLAK and KSIR, put up KRKY-FM-92.1 (3,000 watts)in Castle Rock for around $20,000.
1980 In June, Ken Spector, General Manager of KBPI, lost his life as the result of an automobile accident. Max Wycisk joined KCFR-FM. Ken Custer was elected President of the Denver Advertising Federation (DAF). Ray Mineo, Sales Manager at KLIR, was injured in an motorcycle accident. Changes at KWBZ: Van Kyrias was named General Manager, Deb Dowling, Bud Elliott and Irv Brown, all formerly with KHOW, joined the staff. Lew Birchfield was appointed Sales Manager at KTLK. Clarke Bergeon was named KOA Radio News Director, and Mark Holtz, voice of the Denver Bears and CU basketball, resigned to become Sports Director at WBAP in Fort Worth. Lynn Reed was General Manager of KIIX and KTCL in Fort Collins. Judy Muller was a news staffer at KHOW. The Dusty Saunders Show moved from KWBZ to KOA. KOA Radio Station Manager Joel Day was elected to the CBS Radio Affiliates Board of Directors. Jack Fitzpatrick had his final retirement party after more than four decades in the news business. He began his news career in 1925 with the Pueblo Star Journal. In 1946, He was appointed News Director at KFEL radio and became Colorado's first television newscaster on KFEL, Channel 2 in 1952. From 1956 until 1967, he was News Director at KHOW. Robert E. Lee was appointed General Manager at KLDR replacing Don Waterman. Jerry Rhoads was General Sales Manager, and Dick Anderson, Pam Griffith and Jack McElhinney worked in sales. In came John Lego as General manager and "Uncle" Mike McCuen was the morning man with Scott Fischer, followed by "Little Johnny" Harding, Danny Davis, Mike Nolan & Gary Cruz calling CSU football, and Sports Talk with Mike Wolfe and Woody Paige. Al Flanagan was named Broadcaster of the Year by the Colorado Broadcasters Association, and Vir James was awarded the Broadcast Achievement Award. KIMN's Steve Kelly raised nearly $30,000 for the American Cancer Society by sitting in each of the 75,000 seats at Mile High Stadium in 3 1/2 days. KYGO-FM 98 Rocky Mountain Country arrived on the scene in July.
1981 On February 4, 50,000 watts KLDR-1090 came back on the air. It went silent December 8, 1980. On March 21, KOSI-AM became KEZW. David Hixson was Program Director and afternoon host. Lew Campbell, General Manager of KLIR-FM, appointed Don Nelson as General Sales Manager. Toney Brooks, President of Sandusky Newspapers - Radio Division, announced the purchase of KERE for $2.5 million. John Mullins Jr. sold KWBZ to Brent Larsen of Ogden for $1.4 million. Charley Roberts was awarded the Broadcast Achievement Award, and Jack Miller was named Colorado Broadcaster of the year. Harry Smith had the 10 Îtil 2 shift on KHOW and wanted to talk more - but the station said play more music. He was replaced by Bill Ashford. Smith was also teamed with Reneylda Muse in hosting the community affairs show on Channel 6. Ed Hardy was named General Manager of KLZ and Marvin Rosenberg named GM of KAZY. Bill Armstong sold KOSI to Westinghouse Broadcasting for an estimated $9 million -300,000 shares of Westinghouse stock, valued at filing time at $30 a share. KPKE 95.7, a Doubleday station, went on the air September 1 as Denver's new peak-real rock radio. KHOW is sold to Metromedia for $15 million.
1982 John Morrill, Executive Director of the Colorado Broadcasters Association for the past ten years, died in March. Carl Anderson was selected as Colorado Broadcaster of the Year, and Carl Akers was awarded the Broadcast Achievement Award. KIMN/KYGO had a combination package and KIMN personalities included Paxton Mills and Dan Ryan-5:30 to 10 a.m. followed by Bob Karson, Chuck Buell, Steve Kelly, Dave Bogart and Randy Jay. KYGO personalities included Rick Jackson, Bob Call, Bill Barwick, Steve Campbell and Jennifer Paige. KKBB, at 1090, had Ev Wren as General Manager and Ray Mineo as General Sales Manager. Talent included Don Roberts, Lynn Reed and Charles A. Bennett. The Dick Gibson Jazz Show was 9-11 p.m. each Wednesday. Al Grosby was named President of Group One Broadcasting.
1983 Joel Briggs Day, General Manager of KOA/Q103 radio resigned to accept the position of GM/VP of WIOD-AM/WAIA-FM in Miami. Jim Hawthorne was appointed acting GM of KOA/Q103. In September, General Electric sold KOA and Q103 to Belo Corporation of Dallas for $22 million. Belo picked Lee Larsen as the new General Manager. He came to Denver from KLOS-FM in Los Angeles where he was General Sales Manager. Previously he was Sales Manager at KFI in L.A., as well as holding a number of sales positions with RKO stations in San Francisco. Ken Lange died August 12 after a two-year battle with cancer. He was 60. Gene Amole was selected as the Colorado Broadcaster of the Year, and Bob Martin was awarded the Broadcast Achievement Award. KRKY-FM 92.1 up for sale at a reported $700,000 to Dick Gibson and some 20 investors. Lew Campbell, General Manager and Don Nelson, General Sales Manager at KLIR, resigned. Jim Teeson, former General Manager of KPPL, became General Manager, and Catherine Rubenstein, General Sales manager at KPKE, is the new GSM. Jim Hardy is the General Manager of KBPI/KNUS. Rob Hasson was named General Manager of KLZ, and the station signed an agreement to broadcast the Denver Gold USFL football games as flagship station of the Curt Gowdy Network.
1984 Gene Grubb, longtime Denver broadcaster and former General Manager of KOA Radio, died May 6. He was 56. Ken Palmer, former owner of KIMN, died February 16. He was 59. Bob Kindred, former General Manager of KOSI AM & FM, died March 29, He was 65. KOA Radio talk-show host Alan Berg was gunned down in front of his condo the evening of June 18th. The resulting shock waves spread across the city, the state and around the world. News media from all major American television networks as well as from London, Paris, Australia and other countries besieged the Denver radio station for updated information on the slaying. Lance Spurlock, General Manager of KEXO/KLDR in Grand Junction. announced the appointment of Joe Ryan, former GM of KHOW, as Station Manager. Don Martin, KHOW Sky Spy Traffic Reporter, was awarded the Broadcast Achievement Award from the Colorado Broadcasters Association. On June 9th, KOA Radio and Q103 moved out of 1044 Lincoln Street to offices at the new Lawrence Street Center at 13th and Lawrence. The Associated Press of Colorado named KBRQ its News Station of the Year and named KBRQ News Director Morris James the AP Newsman of the year. Ed Hardy, former General Manager of KLZ, joined Bill Bradley at KUPL AM and FM in Portland, OR. Hardy will be Station Manager. Rod Louden retired as General Manager of Sterling's KDKO. Dino Ianni resigned as General Manager of KEZW and his successor was Dick McMahon. KIMN's Steve Kelly hopped 41.3 miles on a JetStar Pogo stick April 18 to 20, raising nearly $27,000 for the Kempe Center for the Prevention of Child Abuse. He broke the 40-mile record set by KIMN's Pogo Pogue in 1959. John Lego named President of Donley Media Group to replace the late Dave Scribner. Duffy Broadcast purchased KWBZ For $1,050,000 cash from Marvin Johnson and others. Duffy also owned KLIR-FM. KIMN had a 30th anniversary celebration and brought back many of its famous rock radio jocks. KJJZ. at 1390, was all jazz with Chuck Burrows doing the morning show and Dr. Daddy-O in drive-home time. In November, the call letters were changed to KPPL.
1985 Dino Ianni, a former General Manager at KEZW and KLZ, was named General Sales Manager at KOSI. Pam Kenny, former KOAQ Sales Manager, was appointed KVOD Sales Manager. R.W. "Skip" Schmidt resigned as General Manager of KBRQ AM & FM to become General Manager of WWJF-FM in Miami. Frank Gunn was appointed General Manager of KBRQ AM & FM by Great Empire Broadcasting. Also, Bob Proffitt was promoted to National Sales Manager and Don Nelson to Retail Sales Manager. Sandy Travis replaced Jim Lego as the new morning man on KBRQ. Mike Lonnecke replaced Bud Striker as General Manager of KHOW, and Murphy Houston joined the KHOW air staff. Gayle Shaw was appointed National Sales manager at KMJI-FM. Al Grosby replaced Rob Hasson and Marvin Rosenberg as General Manager of KLZ/KAZY, but shortly thereafter, Rosenberg was reassigned as General Manager of both stations. Charley Roberts received the Lifetime Of Excellence Trophy from Colorado MAC News magazine.
1986 Wayne Phillips was named General Manager of KIMN/KYGO, and Bob Call was promoted to Operations Manager. Marvin Rosenberg, General Manager of KLZ/KAZY, announced that Jon McNutt had been promoted to General Sales Manager for both stations. Radio and television Executive E.L. "Corky" Cartwright died November 30. He was 58. Kip Gilbert was appointed General Sales Manager of KBPI/KNUS. Steve Kenney was named General Manager of KHOW and KPKE. Bob Palmer was named Broadcaster of the year, Starr Yelland was awarded the Broadcast Achievement Award and KIMN was named Radio Station of the Year. Craig McKee, General Manager of KRZN/KMJI, announced that Susan Sornsen had been promoted to National Sales Manager. KLMO-FM in Longmont was sold to Lincoln Broadcasting for $5.5 million. KLMO was owned by Lila Jean and Bill Stewart. Ron Jamison, General Manager, announced that Bill Peregrine was appointed Director of Special Operations at 50,000 watt KLSC, 1090. After 14 years at the stations, George Kirkpatrick resigned as National Sales Manager of KOA/KOAQ.
1987 Pamela Kenny was named General Manager of KVOD FM. She replaced Jim Teeson. In April, Jacor Communications Inc. purchased KOA/KOAQ for $24 million from A.H. Belo. Bob Visotcky, formerly with Lin Broadcasting in Philadelphia, was appointed General Manager of KOAQ and Don Howe, formerly with CBS spot sales in Atlanta, was named General Sales Manager. Lee Larsen remained as General Manager of KOA. Jacor now owns 14 properties. Group One sells KLZ/KAZY to DKM Broadcasting. Bill Struck was named the new General Manager. Marty Loughman was named General Manager of KBRQ AM & FM, recently purchased by Shamrock Broadcasting. KPKE-95.7 (the Peak) fired all but one of its deejays when it became K-Sunny.
1988 KBCO-AM & FM were purchased by Noble Broadcasting Group for $27 million. Ray Skibitsky remained as General Manager. Adams Communications Corporation assumed ownership of KHIH 94.7 FM from Sterling Radio. Tracy Pratt-Savage was fired as Programming and Operations Director at KOA Radio. Bob Martin was selected as Colorado Broadcaster of the Year. Jim Walker (Dr. Daddy-o) and partners purchase KDKO from Dr. Donald Huttner for $900,000. Bill Sauer was appointed General Sales Manager at KOOL.
1989 After 36 years as a top newscaster, Gene Price retired from KYGO. He had worked at KERE, KHOW, KICN, KIMN, KMYR, KTLK, KVOD-AM AND KWBZ. Peter Boyles was the morning man on KBX-710AM, followed by Gary Tessler from 9 to noon. 1390 was now KJME and Andres Neidig was the General Manager. Bob Visotcky, General Manager of Q103fm announced the station would now be "Classic Hits, 103.5, The Fox, KRFX."
1990 Zee Ferrufino and Frank Ponce purchase KBNO. John McGuinness was General Manager, Kay Shanahan, General Sales Manager and Gene Towne, News Director as all-news KDEN aired the ABC Radio Network News with much local programming, including, Corky Douglas, Jo Farrell, Keith Funk, Heinz Gerstle, Dale Langford, Sam Lusky, Dr. Bob Martin, The Senior Talk Show-with Merrie Lynn and Tom Mulvey, Pierre Wolfe and DU Hockey. Lee Larsen was named Colorado Broadcaster of the Year. Bob Martin died.
1991 Denver was the first city to begin operating by the FCC-approved Local Marketing Agreement (LMA) in which KYBG-AM & FM took over the management, programming. marketing and sales of KDHT-FM, without actually buying the station.
1992 Gary Tessler returned to talk radio with a weekday program from 8 to 10 a.m. on KNUS. Thus, began a four-way battle for listeners: Mike Rosen on KOA 9a.m.-noon; Peter Boyles on KYBG 5:30-10a.m.; and Ken Hamblin on KUVU-FM 9-10a.m. Noble Broadcast Group buys KHOW-AM and KHIH-FM. Summit Broadcasting signed an agreement to sell KAZY-FM to Jacor Broadcasting. On December 10, the staff of KRFX-FM began operating KAZY under a Local Marketing Agreement (LMA). Don Howe as General Manager. KGRE-AM in Greeley was sold for $170,000. A new cooperative venture between two stations was set up by John McGuinness, General Manger of KDEN, and Paul Stebbins, General Manager of KNUS. John St. John, KYGO-FM Program Director, was promoted to Operations Director for FM and AM. Mark Etchason was named Creative Services Director for both stations. Clint Sly, General Manager of KBPI, was moved to sister station, WRIF in Detroit. Norm Jones covered the Denver Zephyrs Baseball Team for KQXI.
1993 Carl Akers passed away. Pam Kenny, General Manger of KVOD-FM, was elected President of the Colorado Broadcasters Association. KHIH-FM was sold for more than $5 million to Salem Media Corp. Early April, KDEN, (1340) goes silent. In November, Peter Boyles moved over to KRZN-760. 1340 became KID Radio (KKYD) in December. Cindy Adcock, formerly with KHOW, was the General Manager. Al Martischang purchased KNUS. Ron Crider was the General Manager.
1994 A new station, KXPK 96.5 FM/The Peak, goes on the air. Ray Skibitsky is the General Manager and Doug Clifton the Program Director. Morning talent is Steven B & The Hawk. Hal & Charley celebrate their 25 years on KHOW. Visual Radio Productions purchased KBOL-AM from Acorn Broadcasting Company for $200,000. Don Roberts died on March 5. The "Hawk", Don Hawkins died in November. He was 45.
1995 Rick Crandall, KEZW Station Manager, was named the nominee NAB Major Market Personality of the Year, and KEZW was named the nominee NAB Nostalgia Station of the Year.
1996 Jacor Communications purchased Noble Broadcast Group, owner of 10 stations nationwide, for $152 million. In Denver, Noble owned KBCO-AM and FM, KHIH-FM and KHOW-AM. Jacor already owned and operated four other Denver stations, KBPI-FM; KOA-AM, KRFX-FM and KTLK-AM. Chancellor Broadcasting obtained two more Denver stations, KALC-FM (Alice) and KIMN-FM, from Secret Communications. Chancellor also owned and operated KVOD-FM, KXKL-FM and AM (KOOL). Skip Weller was General Manager of the five stations.
1997 Tony Lamonica was named to succeed the retired Don Martin as KHOW's Sky Spy. Dick Carlson, General Sales Manager of KOA, KHOW and KTLK, joined KIPO AM & FM in Seattle as General Manager.
1998 KLMO-AM was sold to Pilgrim Broadcasting for $575,000. Broker was Al Perry. Rex Howell, Pete Smythe and Hugh Terry were inducted into the Broadcast Pioneers Hall of Fame.
1999 Gene Amole, Harry Hoth, Reynelda Muse and Gene O'Fallon were inducted into the Broadcast Pioneers Hall of Fame. Radio Unica Communications acquired KCUV-AM (1150) from Den-Mex LLC for approximately $2.8 million. 1340 is purchased by Catholic Family Radio.
2000 John McGuinness died January 20. Russel Shaffer died February 15. John Schambow died November 4. On January 13, Tribune Denver Radio took over the Moulin Rouge Room at the Downtown Hyatt Regency for a big retirement party for Ray Friedman. For the past 11 years with KOSI-FM, Friedman had also worked at KBTR, KBNO, KLAK, KTLN, and KHOW. Carl Akers, Bob Martin, Ed Scott and Bill Stewart were inducted into the Broadcast Pioneers Hall of Fame. Infinity Broadcasting named Steve Keeney as General Manager of KXKL, KIMN and KDJM. Chuck Lontine was named General Manager of KWAB.
2001 Ed Bowman, Jim Hawthorne, Fred & Fae Taylor and Starr Yelland were inducted into the Broadcast Pioneers Hall of Fame. Dr. Daddy-O, (Jim Walker) sold KDKO to Newspaper Radio Corp. for $2.7 million. The first full day of KNRC radio was June 24, with former ABC News Correspondent Greg Dobbs as the morning talk show host. Tom Cook, Merrie Lynn, Beverly Martinez and Joe Tennessen were inducted into the Broadcast Pioneers Hall of Fame. Gene Amole died.
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