Is KOA's investment in Broncos and CU Buffs sports legend Alfred Williams paying off? The flagship of iHeartRadio's local outlet seems to think so. The station announced on Thursday, December 26, that it is extending "Big Al"'s contract by five years.
“Big Al has set the standard for afternoon drive radio,” said Tim Hager, president of iHeartMedia Denver, in a statement. “This long-term renewal is a testament to Al’s impact and importance to iHeartMedia, KOA, our partners and his legion of fans throughout Colorado. Not only is he a tremendous talent and a great man, but he is the type of guy who you want on your team no matter what you are doing, and we are so glad he’s a part of our team.”
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Williams's show may have a dedicated fan base, but it's relatively small compared to the program that came just before his that recently moved to Freedom 93.7 in Denver: Rush Limbaugh's syndicated talk show. In August, KOA had a 4.0 audience share, meaning four out of every hundred people listening to the radio were tuned into the station, according to industry magazine Talkers. That slid to 3.0 in September, when Williams's show debuted, and 2.4 in October. The station notched a slightly better figure in November: 2.5. Meanwhile, Freedom 93.7 went from a 0.8 share in August to a 2.1 share in October.
The argument could be made that listeners are simply still warming up to Williams, who played with the Broncos when they won the Super Bowl in 1997 and 1998 and was an All-American linebacker at CU Boulder. Williams got his start in radio at 104.3 The Fan, teaming up with Darren "D-Mac" McKee on The Drive until February of this year, when Williams announced that he would leave the station and join KOA.
Williams welcomed the contract extension: “I’m happy and excited to sign a multi-year extension with one of the most dynamic and innovative companies in the world,” he said in a statement. “I’ve learned so much in a short time about the strength of iHeart and I’ve met radio giants and artists that would make anyone blush. I’m still learning about all the areas that I can contribute to, and I’m amazed by the many opportunities this role gives me to connect with the Denver community and do what I love."