All too often, the passing of a radio veteran goes unremarked upon by stations where the personality previously worked. So give KOA credit for tipping its hat to the cranky yet widely beloved Gus Mircos, who died on May 11 at age seventy.
Reporter Jerry Bell, who's been with the station for years in a number of capacities, assembled a fine tribute accessible here, complete with reminiscences from a slew of area personalities who've moved on to gigs with other radio or TV broadcasters -- among them Steve Kelley (now with Channel 31), Ed Greene (who delivers weather info on Channel 4), Carol McKinley (a reporter for Fox News) and even Keith Weinman, who's currently exiled to Fort Collins' KCOL radio. (Recall that Weinman left KOA after being arrested for assaulting his wife, Gail Fallen, in 1998. Fallen reportedly suffered two cracked ribs in the incident, for which Weinman served a six-year deferred sentence. Now, however, Weinman's KCOL co-host is... his now ex-wife, Gail Fallen.) In addition, KOA's Mike Rosen played Mircos' entire recitation of "Casey at the Bat," which station personnel would have loved for him to deliver on an annual basis -- but he was too curmudgeonly to comply.
More details on Mircos are available at Denverradio.net courtesy of moderator-in-chief Boondocker. The item, which can be found amid a salutory string of comments, notes that Mircos toiled at KOA for an impressive 22 years before being given the heave-ho in 1997. From there, he went on to a short-lived talker known as Ralph and even served as a classical host on KVOD for a brief stint. When that gig ended, he dropped out of public view and only resurfaced intermittently over the years that followed. But a generation of Denver radio fans will remember him for his sturdy pipes and his comic discomfort with the sort of perky gab that's de rigueur these days. A little grumpiness took him a long way. -- Michael Roberts