Today, August 28, iHeartRadio is finally making official something we initially revealed on July 15: Former CU Buffs and Denver Broncos star Alfred Williams, who announced that he was leaving his top-rated program at 104.3 The Fan in February, will be paired with veteran iHeart exec JoJo Turnbeaugh for an afternoon-drive program on KOA, at 94.1 FM and 850 AM. But now we know when his debut will take place: 3 p.m. Tuesday, September 3.
The timing of this revelation is hardly coincidental. As we noted way back in April, Williams's contract with the Fan included a non-compete clause that didn't expire until August 28 — which just happens to be today.
Greg Foster, KOA's vice president for programming, shrugs off questions about frustration over having to wait for six months before Williams could return to the airwaves.
"It’s not uncommon in media for a personality to sit-out a certain period of time — that's the business," Foster points out via email. "But it’s been worth the wait. The timing of Big Al joining KOA couldn’t be better. We’re at the start of the Broncos and Buffs seasons, so there’s a lot of great talk content, and Al’s legion of fans can’t wait to hear what he has to say."
Here's the complete KOA schedule, which goes into effect on the 3rd:
5 to 9 a.m.: Colorado Morning News with April Zesbaugh and Marty Lenz
9 a.m. to noon: Logan & Lewis with Dave Logan, Rick Lewis and Kathy Lee
Noon to 3 p.m.: Mandy Connell
3 to 7 p.m.: Big Al & JoJo with Alfred William and JoJo Turnbeaugh
7 to 11 p.m.: Broncos Country Tonight with Ryan Edwards and Benjamin Allbright
Late-night and overnight programming, meanwhile, will spotlight the likes of Coast-to-Coast AM With
George Noory and This Morning With Gordon Deal.
One of the biggest questions after Williams signed up with KOA revolved around Logan, Lewis and Lee, who have been delivering the outlet's afternoon show since January 2017. Because Logan and Lewis, who also team up for Broncos radio broadcasts, are among the highest-paid iHeart staffers in Denver, plenty of local media observers found it hard to believe they'd be given a mid-morning slot, when listenership (and revenue) tends to be considerably lower than during the drive-time periods. But that's exactly what happened — and the move certainly makes life easier for the three stars.
How so? Lewis and Lee have been doing double duty, combining forces on the 103.5 The Fox morning show hours prior to the start of the KOA gig. Now they'll be able to work straight through, as opposed to needing to return after an extended daily break. Logan, meanwhile, has long had a conflict in the afternoons owing to his side hustle coaching football, currently at Cherry Creek High School. The new schedule presumably means he won't have to skip radio sessions during the prep pigskin season.
The executives at iHeart have gone out of their way to make sure Logan stays happy. Earlier this week, they announced that he had signed an extended ten-year agreement with the firm to continue doing play-by-play for the Broncos in addition to expanded on-air duties that will include weekly appearances on Broncos Country Tonight.
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The ten-year pact is certainly unusual in a medium as volatile as radio and may be unprecedented in the Denver market. To Foster, though, the deal makes perfect sense.
"Few radio personalities in America have the stature of Dave Logan," he allows. "He’s been part of the fabric of KOA and the Broncos for decades and is certainly the most recognizable voice in Colorado. Entering into a long-term agreement is simply a testament to Dave’s tremendous skills and his importance to KOA."
As Williams prepares to make his KOA bow, more changes are in the offing for the Fan. As we reported this morning, the team assembled in the wake of Williams's departure — Darren "D-Mac" McKee, his ex-partner, and Broncos Ring of Famer Tom Nalen — will be breaking up in a matter of weeks because Nalen is moving back to his original home state of Massachusetts for family reasons. In October, the Fan will counter Big Al and JoJo by putting D-Mac together with not one, but two onetime Broncos, Tyler Polumbus and Nick Ferguson.
The head-to-head competition over the airwaves may be livelier than anything that happens on the field.