Meet Mandy Connell, Peter Boyles's successor at KHOW

Last month, KHOW yakker Peter Boyles was fired following an incident involving his producer; after a false start, he subsequently took over the morning-drive slot at KNUS.

Now, KHOW is moving on with Mandy Connell, who's currently a radio host in Louisville. A short time ago, she was officially introduced as Boyles's successor on the station. Continue for what she said and more about her blend of upbeat chatter and (you guessed it) conservative politics.

Connell's hiring doesn't come as a surprise. Within days after Boyles was sacked, a radio insider told us she was the likely choice. The delay in the announcement is likely due to her commitments in Louisville, where she will continue to appear for a few more weeks.

Why was Connell chosen? For one thing, she's been seen as a rising star at Clear Channel, KHOW's owner, and her tone and style is very different from Boyles's. This suggests KHOW is devoted to creating a new morning audience around Connell, rather than fighting to hang on to Boyles fans who have likely followed him to KNUS.

During this morning's introduction of Connell, who spoke on the phone from Louisville, Ross Kaminsky, a KOA host who's been doing KHOW fill-ins for much of the time since Boyles's ouster, she stressed her excitement about coming to Denver and noted that it was the fulfillment of a long-term goal.

"My husband actually retired out of Fort Carson in 1996," she noted, "and when I met him seven years ago, one of the first things he said to me was, 'I'm here in Florida now, but eventually, I'm going to move back to Colorado.' And we decided to honeymoon in Colorado, and we vacation in Colorado.... I'm so glad to make my husband's dream come true."

One of the area's biggest attributes from her perspective? "I love the low humidity, because my hair looks awesome."

More seriously, Connell said, "People in Denver seem to be there because they want to be there. It's not like that everywhere."

As for her history, she described herself as "a latecomer to the radio game." She was working as a flight attendant for Delta when a radio professional on one flight "thought I was funny and told me I should go to broadcasting school." She did, and after getting trained, "I went to work at an Orlando station where they do 'hot talk'...a lot of jokes about genitalia and passing gas. We had Howard Stern in the morning and it went downhill from there."

From there, she continued, "I did sports radio for a couple of years, which was a lot of fun, and then went back to doing news. Then I managed to get my own show in Fort Myers, Florida. I was there for five years, and then I was lucky enough to get hired in Louisville," at WHAS. "I'm not a newbie; I've been doing this for about sixteen years. But it feels like it came out of nowhere. And it's what I love to do."

At the outset of the conversation, Kaminsky said he was going to avoid talking about issues, albeit in the context of a shot at "Colorado's governor and the Democrat legislature," who he accused of trying to make life in the state worse than it should be. But a few moments of topicality slipped in.

Continue for more about new KHOW morning host Mandy Connell.

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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

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