Jack-FM lays off majority of staff

In the September 2008 Message column "Tim Brown Replaces KCUV With Jack-FM," Brown, the owner of Jack-FM, which has broadcast for several years at 105.5 FM, explained why fiscal reality had forced him to shut down his pet project, the much-beloved signal KCUV/102.3 FM. Since then, Jack-FM programming has been simulcast on both frequencies, and that continues to be the place. But the move hasn't stemmed the bleeding, and today, Brown reluctantly laid off the majority of the Jack-FM staff, including legendary Colorado program director John Hayes, who helmed KTCL/93.3 FM during some of its more adventurous periods.

Although Brown wouldn't talk numbers, he says, "Denver's basically going to as few people as the market can support now" -- which means that Zach Giltrap will now be programming the stations with help from staffers at Brown's radio properties in the mountains. (For a complete list, see this page on the website of Brown-owned NRC Broadcasting.) He adds, "I don't know if I see any bright spots in the future yet. I want to believe that radio will come back, along with all media. Radio, television, newspapers: We're all sort of going through it at the same time. For us, it's doing what we can do to survive the economic storm we're in -- and if things improve, we'll be hiring again. And obviously, the first people we'll be calling are the people we had to let go today."

Until then, more radio pros find themselves unemployed -- and the situation could well get worse before it gets better.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts