By Joel Warner
By Michael Roberts
By Alan Prendergast
By Michael Roberts
By Michael Roberts
By Amber Taufen
By Patricia Calhoun
By William Breathes
Meanwhile, nothing much has been heard publicly from the folks at today's KVOD, who continue to play music at 1280 AM even as they struggle to combat misinformation. According to Jim Conder, the station's program director, one widely held false impression involves the current ownership of the outlet. You see, KVOD had been part of Texas's AMFM until that firm was swallowed up by another Texas conglomerate, Clear Channel -- but because Clear Channel already held the maximum number of Denver-area signals allowable under Federal Communications Commission regulations, it was placed into a trust. Then, a few weeks back, KVOD was purchased by Latino Communications. However, that transaction won't be official until the FCC signs off on it, which could take a couple of months, thereby leaving the station with no real overseer at present. Not that Latino Communications' Zee Ferrufino doesn't already sound like the man in charge. He's pledged to transfer KVOD's call letters to CPR and to donate the station's catalogue of recordings as well -- actions that may run counter to FCC regulations requiring new owners to keep their distance until a sale is officially approved.
"It seems like a violation of the prior interference rule to me," Conder says. "And I don't know why they would need our library anyway, since the only things they wouldn't already have are things they wouldn't play anyway. So to me, the only reason they'd need our library is to keep anyone else from owning it -- and for a public radio station, that doesn't seem really fair."
At this point, Conder says many of the listeners with whom he's spoken are looking forward to Denver's classical-radio future because of Ostrow's column, not realizing that much of it was pure conjecture. But Christopher Marshall, an afternoon host at KVOD, has been hearing a different tune. "The listeners who've been calling are aware that we're going away, so I'm hearing a lot of remorse," he says. As for the ownership confusion, he says that not having a boss is fun for now, but the enjoyment won't last much longer. "Since no one's in charge, we're like rats with the cheese -- except we're in cages on a conveyor belt on the way to the crusher."
Power to the people: When CPR staffers take over KKYD, they'll have 1,000 watts with which to play. That's one-fifth the amount available at the current KVOD, and even less by comparison with KVCU, the invaluable University of Colorado at Boulder station that can be found at 1190 AM -- by day, at least. Although KVCU remains rated at what general manager John Quigley refers to as "a pathetic 110 watts" at night, the FCC recently allowed the crew to boost its daytime intensity from 5,000 to 6,800. This increase, which went into effect mid-month, may not sound earth-shattering, but Quigley says "it really solidifies our coverage in Denver, which is great, and will allow us to be heard solidly from Castle Rock to the south and to Fort Collins and Greeley to the north."
This power shift was made easier by the purchase during the summer of a new, adjustable transmitter. Approximately $20,000 of its $50,000 pricetag was covered by the take from an April pledge drive, and Quigley is confident the station will raise even more during its upcoming fund-collection frenzy, which runs from November 1 through 10. He adds that recent Arbitron ratings show KVCU's audience is growing: "We had the highest number of listener hours of any non-commercial station aside from the religious stations. What that tells us is that our listeners don't surf around much; they turn the radio on and leave it there. So I guess they must like what they're hearing."
As well they should.
Muddy waters: Is it just me, or are you a little puzzled by the way Denver media outlets suddenly seem to be letting KBPI off the hook in regard to the so-called Mudfest ("KBPI Wrecks the Rockies," October 5)? Last week, videotape surfaced that seemed to support the contention of KBPI insiders that the private property near Boulder where DJs Willie B., D-Mak and Marc Stout (plus a veritable army of four-wheelers that rendezvoused with them) got down and dirty in late September had been the site of mudding shenanigans since the mid-'90s. But while this revelation, if it proves true, means KBPI may not be liable for causing as much damage as was initially thought, it doesn't exactly absolve one and all from any blame. The defense seems to be, "Sure, we were trespassing, but a lot of other people have been doing the same thing for years!" -- to which my mother would likely respond, "And if a lot of other people jumped off a cliff, would you do it, too?"
Okay, Ma, you're right -- but I wish you'd get some new material.