In an attempt to counter, or at least partially compensate for, all the bad radio news in these parts -- incidents at the heart of blogs such as "The Bloodletting Starts at Clear Channel Denver," "Shakeup at KOOL 105, The Mix and The Wolf" and "Jack-FM Lays Off Majority of Staff" -- here's a rare positive development. Tyler Maun is leaving his gig as co-host of The Fast Lane, a program heard weekday mornings on Mile High Sports Radio, at 1510 AM -- and he's doing so by choice. Better yet, he's actually landed another job in radio, and it's one he really wants. He'll be serving as the play-by-play man for the Myrtle Beach, South Carolina Pelicans, the Advanced Class A affiliate of the Atlanta Braves.
"I've always wanted to do play-by-play," Maun maintains. "It's been my dream since I turned in a fake book report when I was in sixth grade. We were told to do something creative, so I made up a fake basketball broadcast from a game that was in a book I read. And when my teacher handed it back, there was a note on it that said, 'Great job. Maybe this will be a career path someday.'"
A Denver native, Maun got his journalism degree from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln -- something that "doesn't make me too popular around here," he jokes -- before returning home in 2007 at the behest of Mile High Sports Radio. At first, he served as producer for former morning host Tim Neverett, a past Best of Denver winner. When Neverett left in favor of a Sporting News Radio post, after which he was hired to serve as the voice of the Pittsburgh Pirates, Maun took over the show and tweaked the format a bit. "The original idea was to do an all-sports news show, sort of like a morning radio SportsCenter kind of deal," he says. "We've gone through a couple of changes, but mostly kept the same format."
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The result has been "a great opportunity for me," Maun says -- and he's equally upbeat about Mile High Sports Radio as a whole. "We're the little station that could," he stresses. "I don't think anybody expected us to still be around a year and a half later, let alone that we'd be able to land the Nuggets and the Avalanche," whose games are now heard on 1510 AM.
So why leave, especially considering that Denver is a much bigger place than Myrtle Beach? Maun says it wasn't because he feared becoming a layoff victim, like so many of his peers in the area. He points out that Mile High Sports Radio has thus far avoided making staff cuts, and he had no indication that any were on the way. Rather, he's always wanted to do play-by-play fulltime -- a desire that was only strengthened by the chance to helm pre-game, post-game and half-time broadcasts for Denver University hockey and basketball contests this season. So when he heard about the Pelicans opening, he leapt at it. Maun concedes that the Myrtle Beach move represents "a considerable step back in the size of market." However, he adds, "It's a good step forward in what I eventually want to accomplish.
"I won't even be 24 until June, and I've already had so many great opportunities," he goes on. "Mile High Sports Radio has been the best possible launching pad I could have asked for in my career. I've been really lucky."
No kidding. These days, there seem to be fewer and fewer happy endings in radio -- let alone happy beginnings like his.