Update below: Word broke last February that Moreland Properties LLC, a company owned by car seller Dealin' Doug Moreland, had bought KCUV/102.3 FM and KJAC/105.5 FM, two current Jack FM stations. Then, in late May, we let you know Moreland was partnering with ESPN's Adam Schefter and Lou From Littleton, aka Tom Manoogian, on the project. These players suggested that sports would be the focus of at least one of the outlets, and that's the proven to be the case. KDSP-FM debuts Monday at 102.3 FM -- and Moreland is enthusiastic about the launch.
The invaluable Denverradio.net site has published a KDSP schedule that features plenty of well-known local sports-talk names: Channel 4's Vic Lombardi and Gary Miller, plus Les Shapiro, Chad Andrus, Patrick Watson, Charles Johnson, Joel Klatt, Nate Kreckman and even Rich "G-Man" Goins, who was laid off by the Fox in April 2009 after nearly two decades at the outlet.
Moreland, who's making his first venture into media ownership with the stations, doesn't confirm all these names, noting that Manoogian, who'll serve as KDSP's station manager, handles the day-to-day operation. But he does note that Lombardi, Miller and Shapiro are definitely aboard.
Although plenty of observers see terrestrial radio as a business in irreversible decline, Moreland is considerably more bullish on its future. "We must feel that way, or we wouldn't have made the purchase," he says with a laugh. "We thought it was a great opportunity to get involved in the industry.
"Yes, advertising is down. It's down everywhere: on TV, in print, on the Internet. But we're confident the economy is moving forward and we feel that radio is a long-term, viable avenue for advertisers. I don't think it's going away. I don't think it's dead."
Moreland concedes that he doesn't use radio that much in publicizing his various auto dealerships: "I prefer the visual and the audio together," he allows. But he thinks sports talk, in particular, still has a lot of appeal. "You can sit in front of your computer and get sports, but if you're driving in your car and want live-and-local sports news, this is a great avenue to get it. People love to hear other people's comments, especially with the sports teams we have in the metro area."
Of course, there's not exactly a dearth of such programming available right now, what with 104.3 The Fan, Mile High Sports Radio 1510 and ESPN Radio 1600, not to mention big stick KOA, at 850 AM, which serves as the flagship for the Colorado Rockies and the CU Buffs.
"There is a lot of good competition out there," Moreland notes. "But we feel pretty confident with the people we'll have on the air -- and we've got a few surprises up our sleeve down the road."
The number of personalities who are jumping from other stations to KDSP suggests that money is being spent on the project, and plenty of it -- and when Moreland's asked if he'd like to make a play for Nuggets or Avalanche broadcast rights at some point, he answers in the affirmative. However, he stops short of guaranteeing success.
"We might stumble and fall. Who knows? But our management team is excited, our employees are excited, and we've got a lot of advertisers lined up who are excited about spending their hard-earned dollars on our station. We're giving them a heck of a value, and we're going to bring something new to the live-and-local sports scene."
Update, July 26: The debut of this sports-talk station, originally to take place on July 26 at 102.3 FM, has been changed to July 27 at 87.7 FM. Learn more at this post: "The Ticket: New sports-talk station on 87.7 FM, ESPN Deportes on 102.3, Jack stays at 105.5."
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