St. John is hoping to ease the transition for listeners by tinkering with the format of KCKK-FM, which he also oversees. "We did some research and discovered that there's still a huge appetite for new music. So on KCKK, we probably won't be the station to break the new Garth Brooks single, but once the song is well-established and well-known, we'll pick up on it and mix it with some older stuff--not only from the Seventies and Eighties, but also from artists like Patsy Cline. We're hoping to broaden our demographic by going a little bit newer on one end of the scale and a little bit older on the other end."

The elimination of KYGO-AM's original programming has meant changes for its staffers. A handful of part-timers have been let go because there simply isn't anything for them to do anymore, but St. John says Jefferson Pilot, the broadcaster's parent company, is trying to make room for full-time air talent. "Doug Olipra, who did our news, is now going to oversee the news and public-affairs operations for all the stations. John Steele, who did mid-days, is helping us coordinate a lot of the overflow sports programming we run. Terry Jones, who did mornings, is going to do a country oldies show on Saturday and Sunday evenings, probably starting the weekend after Christmas. And we offered Rich Beall, who did afternoons, a new position, but he declined it; he has some investments that he wants to work on. But he's staying on until the end of the year."

What will be done with the 1600 AM signal in the future? "Instead of just turning it off, we decided to simulcast KCKK, which isn't perfect, but at least there's country on it for the old KYGO-AM listeners," St. John points out. "We'll probably keep doing that through the first quarter of next year, and after that, we'll go with something new." He hints that "there are a lot of ideas in the pot" in regard to what to try next, "but it probably won't be a music-based format.

"This has definitely been a personal loss for me. When you put this much time and energy and day-to-day work into a station, it's really a reflection of yourself. It's tough to let it go. And I love the music. But it's one of those things you have to do to move on to whatever's next."

Last year, Michael White, the man behind Denver-based NBT Productions, put together a benefit for two local charities--Santa's Toy Bag and the Adopt the Children program--that he dubbed "The First Annual Bella Ball." Three bands (Bella Coyote, Fast Action Revolver and 3.0), a comic (P.J. Moore), a jazz artist (Jack Wright), a performance artist (Eric Rieger), a poet (Tia) and three belly dancers (Letifa, Patty and Heidi) donated their time to the event, which was set to take place on December 7 at the Tivoli Brewery Restaurant in the Tivoli complex, which serves as the student center for the Auraria campus. But there was one small problem: The restaurant and nearby (america) nightclub were shut down several hours before the festivities because of what an Auraria spokesman cryptically described as "some violations under the lease." Thus, the happening was canceled, and White was unable to reschedule it before Christmas.

This year White hopes things will be different. On Saturday, December 13, at Seven South, NBT Productions is putting on this year's Bella Ball, which has been dubbed the "Second Annual," even though its predecessor did not actually take place. Rieger, Shannon Scott of KHOW-AM/630 and several unnamed poets, comedians and random performers are scheduled to appear in support of the Hectics, the Vermicious Knids and Product 626; a raffle for prizes will also be held. All proceeds are earmarked for Santa's Toy Bag, and attendees are encouraged to bring new toys for those less fortunate boys and girls out there. In the meantime, join me in a prayer that Seven South won't be shuttered prior to the show.

Following the release of 1996's KBCO Studio C, Volume 8, I was contacted by Scott Arbough of KBCO-FM/97.3, who informed me in no uncertain terms that I was a blithering idiot. For many of you, that's not exactly a news flash. The reason this time, though, was that I had not written about the disc in advance of its release. Since I'm desperate to be in Arbough's good graces, I promised myself to make amends this year. But unfortunately, I did not receive word from the station about the impending appearance of KBCO Studio C, Volume 9 until more than a week after my deadline and several days after it hit stores. Now, of course, all 25,000 copies of the platter, which benefited the Boulder County AIDS Project, have been sold, and I'm writing after the fact again--which is no doubt my fault. I could try to explain how this mistake occurred, but I'm just too dumb to know how I could have gotten KBCO personnel to have sent the material sooner. I promise I'll try harder next year.

Godmoney, a new film by director Darren Doane, features music by MXPX and others and stars Rick Rodney, the lead singer of Strife. It can be seen at 7 p.m. Thursday, December 11, at the Bluebird Theater, and after the screening, Rodney and Strife will play a set. Is it live or is it celluloid?

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