More Messages: Back in the Box
The second item of the December 21 Message column concerned ESPN Radio's shift from KLZ/560 AM to the former KCKK, at 1600 AM, as well as the break-up of Tim Neverett and Jim Armstrong, hosts of 560's stellar a.m. gabfest The Press Box. At the time, Armstrong, a Denver Post columnist, had already committed to join Irv Brown and Joe Williams afternoons on Sportsradio 950/The Fan. As for Neverett, he was uncertain where he'd land -- but in the end, he stayed put. He's currently hosting The Press Box solo for KLZ, which is now affiliated with Sporting News Radio.
"I had been looking at other opportunities in and out of town," Neverett says, "but the timing wasn't going to work out for some other things. This turned out to be the best situation for me."
Neverett adds that he's "not thrilled Jim Armstrong isn't back. Believe me, if things could be different, Jim and I would still be doing the show together -- but that powers-that-be didn't want that. So at this point, it's just going to be me."
For sports aficionados, this ain't a bad outcome. The Press Box duo had great chemistry together, but Neverett is a veteran performer who's more than capable of keeping the boat moving ahead without a partner at his side manning the other oar. Moreover, he provides a local perspective that's not available on ESPN Radio, which is broadcasting the syndicated Mike & Mike in the Morning program opposite the Box. Granted, Mike & Mike is serviceable, but it's not nearly as strong as ESPN Radio's afternoon-drive offering, Sports Bash, whose host, Erik Kuselias, is perhaps the best nationwide sports yakker on today's airwaves.
On top of his KLZ gig, Neverett is being kept busy by the new MountainWest Sports Network. He's calling games for the service (he spoke to yours truly from Las Vegas, where he'd done play-by-play for a UNLV basketball matchup the night before) in addition to hosting Around the Mountain, a weekly roundtable that debuts at 9 p.m. tonight; Comcast subscribers can find the network on Channel 411.
According to Neverett, the combination of these gigs "allowed me the opportunity to stay in Colorado. So I took it."
The result is a good move for Neverett -- even though he isn't going anywhere. -- Michael Roberts
Update: Mere hours after penning praise of Sports Bash, host Erik Kuselias made an irritating announcement on the Tuesday edition of his program: He's leaving the show at the end of the week in order to host NASCAR NOW for ESPN2 television. That's good news for KLZ, which finally found a decent afternoon-drive host: Dave Benz of Fox Sports Net Rocky Mountain. But for Kuselias fans who don't give crap one about NASCAR (like yours truly), the result of this move is a significant loss.