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Will Jacor make a run at Stern? Jacor definitely tried to steal Stern from the Hawk in the days leading up to his station's decision, Juris says, predicting that the King of All Media will soon be heard on KBPI-FM/106.7. But Howe swears that's not the case. "Howard Stern is probably a better fit for KBPI than he is for the Hawk. But I've said for many years that the way we do things here is very local and very responsive to the pulse of the community." He adds a well-placed shot at his competitor: "He said in your newspaper that listeners had been telling them that they wanted Howard Stern--and now he says they don't. So either they had bad information or bad research or bad instincts or bad management. The whole thing is a mess."

It may not be over, either. A reliable source says that the Hawk signed a five-year, $3 million agreement with Stern for his show. Depending upon the pact's provisions, the station's decision to renege might well be considered a breach of contract. Stern spokesman Don Buchwald did not return calls in regard to questions about potential legal action against the Hawk, but a previous Stern-related suit against Chicago's Evergreen Media over a similar matter suggests that litigation is entirely possible. Stern could be roaring in Denver after all--but from a courthouse, not a radio.

One last thing: Jay Marvin, whose final show on KHOW-AM/630 was supposed to be on September 18, isn't quite ready to leave Denver yet. Negotiations with his new outlet, WFLA-AM in Tampa, have dragged on for longer than he expected, and while he waits for them to be resolved, he plans to fill his regular 3-7 p.m. time slot as often as he can. His return will likely be for only a matter of weeks and is dependent upon his health, which has been shaky of late (he missed several shows last week due to illness). But if he's feeling up to it, he'll be back at his old desk for a while longer, dispensing his own special brand of justice. "With everything that's going on these days, I can't just sit around," he says. "There are things I need to talk about."

You can say that again.

--Michael Roberts

Backbeat's e-mail address is: Michael_Roberts@westword.com. While you're online, visit Michael Roberts's Jukebox at www.westword.com.

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