Television news is frequently bashed for its superficiality. Frankly, a lot of those gripes are justified -- but not in the case of Adam Schrager and Raj Chohan of Channel 9 and Channel 4, respectively. In the run-up to the 2006 election, they did a fine job of examining the myriad claims made in campaign commercials via "Truth Tests" (the name given to Schrager's segments) and "Reality Check" (Chohan's umbrella term). Since then, Chohan has branched out to tackle other issues of the day under the same heading, while Schrager is developing Your Show, a new Sunday program devoted to current events. Wouldn't it be nice if these guys started a trend?
Because Channel 7 isn't partnered with one of the Denver dailies, the station's scoops aren't automatically ballyhooed, as Channel 9's are in the Post and Channel 4's are in the Rocky. However, the dogged Tony Kovaleski regularly forces the papers to follow his lead (and to credit his station), most recently with his first-rate work on the insurance-related controversy swamping Reverend Acen Phillips and the New Birth Temple of Praise Community Baptist Church. The kind of convergence Kovaleski's most interested in results in memorable stories.
Thirty years or so as an almost unassailable ratings champ has made 9News's 10 p.m. offering Denver's newscast of record. Anchors Adele Arakawa and Bob Kendrick are supplemented by a reporting team that ranges from veteran power hitters like Paula Woodward to next-generation journalists with something to prove -- and the combo of forecaster Kathy Sabine and sports anchor Drew Soicher has star power to spare.
After Ed Greene was transferred to the night shift, Channel 4's morning program began to drift in ways that suggested the station was ready to concede defeat in the time period. But recently, the show has received an infusion of energy from new meteorologist Stacey Donaldson, a recruit from Channel 31. Her quirky presence complements the efforts of hosts Tom Mustin and Brooke Wagner, not to mention Luan Akin and Lynn Carey, the city's finest traffic tandem. Once again, the race is on.
When Channel 9 and Channel 20 became sister stations, execs began looking for ways to share resources, including the human kind. One result was the four-hour morning programming block split evenly between the stations. From 5 to 7 a.m., familiar faces like Gary Shapiro, Kyle Dyer, Susie Wargin and Gregg Moss appear on Channel 9; then they repeat the feat from 7 to 9 a.m. on Channel 20 (while also appearing in update segments on Channel 9). The logistics of this task are considerable, and so is the workload. Still, Denver's most popular morning team makes doubling up seem like a snap.

Best Jazz Station Here or Anywhere

KUVO

Jazz radio signals are an endangered species in these United States, and for a while late last year, the folks at KUVO feared their station was bound for extinction, too. But while there have been painful behind-the-scenes changes and job cuts, the format appears to be safe for the time being. And that's great news, since KUVO, which JazzWeek magazine named the nation's best jazz broadcaster in both 2005 and 2006, remains a local treasure. Long may it swing.
Fewer and fewer stations employ local DJs today, instead relying on syndicated shows or far-flung jocks who voice-track long-distance, using the same playlists across the nation. So thank goodness for Radio 1190, the outstanding station at the University of Colorado at Boulder, which employs a constantly changing but consistently passionate staff dedicated to finding the greatest possible variety of new and exciting sounds, not serving up the old stuff like the aural equivalent of comfort food. Variety is the spice of Radio 1190, and it tastes great.
Joel Davis, the man behind TerraSonic, brings the world to Denver every Saturday afternoon. He's a veteran musical explorer, and his deep knowledge of indigenous sounds from around the globe results in a program that's simultaneously accessible and adventurous. Last year, the show moved from Radio 1190 to KGNU, and earlier this month, it became the first to air from the latter's new studio. This honor was appropriate, since TerraSonic specializes in breaking new ground.
At 1600 AM, KCKK had spun classic country for years -- but when execs at Lincoln Financial Media, the station's owner, decided to flip to ESPN programming, the format seemed doomed. Then Tim Brown of NRC Broadcasting rode to the rescue, striking a deal that moved the style to 1510 AM, call letters and all. The arrangement is a boon for sports fans even as it preserves one of the Denver dial's true gems -- a place where the country music actually sounds like country music. It's a kick.
The very airwaves that emanate from Studio 1430 AM feel a bit gentler, a bit less abrasive than those that beam from other stations. Judging by commercials for retirement communities and all-inclusive cruise vacations, as well as station IDs that extol the virtues of the Autumn Years ("Relax -- you've earned it," assures one soothing female voice), the station's primary demographic is the seventy-and-up set -- but the sounds themselves have classic, timeless appeal, from '40s big band to '50s swing to '60s pop. Studio 1430 plays it all with genuine reverence rather than retro shtick, spinning such artists as the Andrews Sisters, Duke Ellington and Frank Sinatra with equal respect. Go on, tune in, and just see how your day improves after a good long listen to "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy." You've earned it.

Best Of Denver®

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