Best TV Newscast -- Morning 2007 | Channel 4 | Best of Denver® | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Denver | Westword
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


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.
Bret Saunders handles his show so smoothly that his efforts don't always receive the attention they deserve. He's got eclectic musical tastes -- he regularly writes about jazz for the Denver Post -- and if KBCO's sonic signature restrains him to some degree when it comes to song choices, he more than makes up for such limitations with banter, commentary and interviews that are typically smart, feisty and funny as hell. It takes hard work to make things look so easy.
Air America Radio, which supplies most of AM 760's content, isn't in the best of health; the network filed for bankruptcy last year, and while it was subsequently purchased by Green Family Media, the recent departure of comic-turned-senatorial-candidate Al Franken doesn't help. But Jay Marvin gives local liberals an excellent reason to keep tuning in. He may be less excitable than he was during his stint with KHOW in the '90s, but he remains an impassioned commentator who's able to balance righteous indignation with personal warmth. He's the talk of the town.
A reprint of a Washington Post story that ran on page one of the December 3 Denver Post included a subhead identifying former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld as "Donald Armsful." It was probably a spellcheck error, but there's always the possibility that a Rumsfeld sympathizer at the Post got into the file. After all, Rumsfeld really did have his arms full.

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