After last month's abrupt cancellation of the morning show starring Larry Ulibarri and Kathie J, KS 107.5 has replaced the audience favorites with the crew of Tony V, Cedes and DJ Chonz. It's a surprising team-up, given that both Cedes and Chonz left the station last year.
Westword's Kyle Harris broke the story about the ousting of Larry and Kathie J on March 30. Esther-Mireya Tejeda, vice president of corporate communications and public relations for Entercom, 107.5's owner, revealed that "the Larry and Kathie J morning show on 107.5 is canceled. As of Monday, April 3, they will no longer be on air."
The breakup was preceded by the departure of longtime Larry and Kathie J on-air partner Kendall B in January — and she added that it followed a failed contract negotiation: "Unfortunately, despite our best efforts, we could not come to an agreement on terms. Larry and Kathie have been an important part of the station for many years. We wish them both well, and we are now looking forward to our nationwide search for the station’s next morning show."
The reaction to this news from KS 107.5 listeners was swift and passionate. Clearly, a huge number of listeners were upset by the turn of events — and that put increased pressure on management to come up with a new combo that fans would embrace.
In the end, the station invited two former staffers to return.
Cedes spent five and a half years with KS 107.5, mostly during late nights, before splitting in January 2016 and heading back to her home town, San Diego. In an interview with All Access Music Group, John E. Kage, a former program director at 107.5, said, "How often do you see an air talent do what Cedes just did? With a rock-solid opportunity to continue her successful run at night in Denver, Cedes chose to believe in and bet on herself and say 'It's time for me to step up into afternoons or mornings.' And she chose to walk away to head home to San Diego to ready herself for that opportunity."
Clearly, Cedes's morning wish has come true — right back in Denver.
A few months later, in May 2016, DJ Chonz, who parlayed weekend gigs into weekday mixology and hosting slots, announced his own resignation from KS 107.5. However, he didn't leave the market. Instead, he concentrated on marketing himself under his own name and that of his longtime collective, Radio Bums, profiled by Westword way back in 2004.
Like Cedes, Chonz was lured back to the station by the chance to work the morning shift alongside Tony V, known for helming the 10 a.m.-to-3 p.m. program at 107.5.
This morning's inaugural show found the trio expressing respect for Larry and Kathie J — a smart move — even as they introduced themselves to a new audience.
On social media, early reaction was mixed. One listener wrote, "Not the same after losing Kathy J. And Larry U. Sorry but not sorry, KS 107.5 isn't the same anymore." But another respondent was more open to the new grouping, posting this: "WTF...Chonz and Ya Girl Cedes are BACK?!?!? There's a move in the right direction — Congrats!! Lets do this!!"
Here's the first break from today's debut.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.