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David Sirota to permanently replace Jay Marvin on AM 760

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Jay Marvin has been unable to helm the AM 760 morning show since early March due to a life-threatening health crisis we've documented in this space.

The recovery process continues -- but syndicated columnist David Sirota, who's been Marvin's primary fill-in, has now been named the permanent host for the program. And Sirota says Marvin precipitated the move.

"We've been talking about this for months and months and months," Sirota says. "I've always told him, 'You make the call.' And ultimately, he did."

Sirota is friends with Marvin, who'll be commenting on this topic later today, and considers him a mentor.

"He's been a fantastic coach," Sirota notes. "He's taught me so much, even when he was so sick, about the mechanics of talk radio. If I've had a problem on the show, I've been able to ask him, 'How do you do this?' And he's been amazingly supportive.

"You may think doing good radio is easy: You just sit in front of a microphone. But it's really an art form. It takes a lot of study, and Jay's really helped me get better, telling me, 'Listen for this. Do this. Do that.'"

As a result, Sirota concedes, "I've definitely learned on the job -- and I guess I should apologize to the audience for that." After a laugh, he adds, "Of course, I'm still learning -- and I've definitely learned to enjoy it. It's been a good experience and a good opportunity."

In his columns, Sirota often writes about subjects from a national perspective. But he enjoys the micro approach every bit as much as the macro one.

"I've particularly enjoyed getting to cover and talk about and examine what's going on right in the community," he says. "Not just the issues, but getting to know callers, getting to know local organization heads and politicians. I've lived here for three years now, and this has been a really great way to meet and interact with a lot of people."

That said, he says "we try to mix things up. We get down to the most nitty-gritty local stuff, but we also go to the municipal and state and national levels. And we're not doing politics every single hour of every single day. We talked about Tiger Woods a couple of days ago, and got into the question of whether kids should be allowed to drink chocolate milk at school."

From the beginning, Sirota stresses, "I let everyone know I was holding down the fort for Jay. People would ask me what the deal was, and I'd say, 'I'm filling in. Hopefully, Jay will get better soon.'"

Now, however, he and the AM 760 audience will be able to move forward "with more clarity," he believes. Even so, he's under no illusions that the transition will be a snap.

"They're big shoes to fill," he points out. "We get calls every single day from people wondering how Jay's doing -- calls and e-mails from people all over the country. I have a lot of work to do to earn the respect and trust of the people who've been following Jay throughout his career."

To do so, he plans to stick close to home. He's currently working on his third book, about "the intersection of 1980s popular culture and modern politics today," but after it's done, probably next spring, he'll limit his promotion far more than he did with his previous tome, which he hyped via a 45-city book tour. "I'm not one of those people who loves to travel," he says. "I'm thrilled I have an opportunity to be anchored here in Denver and doing a show that focuses on the community."

He's feeling other emotions, too.

"I'll be frank with you: I'm a little nervous about it," Sirota says. "I hope I'm up to it."

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