On July 8, iHeartMedia, the biggest power player in Denver radio, killed Orange & Blue 760, touted as "all-Broncos, all the time." Sources subsequently told us that the station would be replaced by a so-called freedom-talk format that would include conservative icon Rush Limbaugh, whose program was first acquired for broadcast on sister station KOA circa October 1993, in order to accommodate the impending arrival of ex-Broncos star Alfred Williams. Big Al jumped to iHeartMedia from 104.3 The Fan in February, but was contractually precluded from going on the air until August 28 at the earliest.
Now, the first phase of the operation has gone into effect. Freedom 93.7 (named for an FM signal obtained for $1.8 million that will air the same programming as 760 AM) went live a short time ago, and its lineup includes Limbaugh's show as well as two others already being aired by iHeartMedia in Denver — specifically broadcasts by Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck that are staples on another of its properties, KHOW.
The result will be one-stop shopping for locals wanting to hear the biggest names in conservative radio. But it also means substantial changes at KOA and KHOW, though Limbaugh, Hannity and Beck will be heard on the two Freedom 93.7 outlets as well as during their previous time slots on KOA and KHOW through August.
After that? The executives at iHeartMedia aren't saying yet — but according to our sources, KOA's weekday format will begin, as it does now, with Colorado Morning News. Afterward, however, listeners would hear Lewis & Logan, starring Rick Lewis and Dave Logan, currently the afternoon-drive show. (If things play out that way, Lewis, who's been doing double duty with an ongoing morning-drive gig at 103.5 The Fox, would be at the microphone for as many as six hours in a row on a daily basis.) Lewis & Logan is expected to be followed by talk-show host Mandy Connell in much the same early-afternoon time period she currently occupies, leading up to Williams and veteran iHeartMedia executive JoJo Turnbeaugh.
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For now, mark KHOW's schedule as TBD.
In a statement, Tim Hager, president of iHeartMedia's Denver cluster, says, "We are excited to welcome Rush, Sean, Glenn and a number of best-in-class personalities to Freedom 93.7. With massive FM coverage, a 50,000 watt AM signal and unmatched digital distribution, we are confident that Freedom 93.7 will quickly become a-favorite destination for Colorado talk-radio listeners."
Here's the weekday lineup of Freedom 93.7:
The Glenn Beck Program 7 a.m.-10 a.m.
The Rush Limbaugh Show 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
The Sean Hannity Show 1 p.m.-4 p.m.
The Buck Sexton Show 4 p.m.-7 p.m.
The Dave Ramsey Show 7 p.m.-10 p.m.
The Ken Coleman Show 10 p.m.-11 p.m.
Crime Stories with Nancy Grace 11 p.m.-12 a.m.
Ground Zero with Clyde Lewis 12 a.m.-5 a.m.
This Morning with Gordon Deal 5 a.m.-7 a.m.