ESPN Radio moves to FM in Routt County | SteamboatToday.com

ESPN Radio moves to FM in Routt County

Brian Harvey

— Those searching for sports radio will have to turn the knob to a new FM station.

On Wednesday, ESPN Radio stopped broadcasting on KBCR's 1230 AM and now is being broadcast as Sports on FM on 98.9 FM and 97.7 FM.

Radio Partners, a new radio group in Steamboat Springs, is operating the new FM stations, which went on the air Sunday. The group also runs the Lite Rock station Easy 94.1 FM. The station began broadcasting in March and can be heard on 94.1 FM and 100.5 FM.

Longtime Steamboat radio man Brian Harvey left KBCR radio in July to be general manager of Radio Partners. He said ESPN chose not to renew its contract with KBCR because ESPN wanted to be on the FM frequency.

"ESPN is trying to move all of their affiliates off the AM to the FM," Harvey said.

While AM can transmit farther, the sound quality is not as good.

"You're seeing fewer and fewer stations on the AM dial," Harvey said.

KBCR's Paul Ackerman said that the radio station now is simulcasting its 96.6 FM Big Country Radio station on its 1230 AM signal and that his company is considering future plans.

According to a news release, Radio Partners' FM ESPN stations will carry the bulk of the ESPN Radio Network programming such as the popular "Mike and Mike" morning show. The new station also will be home to broadcasts of the Denver Broncos and University of Colorado Buffaloes football teams.

"And we're proud to put Sports on FM in Steamboat," Radio Partners managing partner Don Tlapek said in the release.

The new FM radio stations also will be home to broadcasts of Steamboat Springs High School football, hockey and boys lacrosse games.

Harvey will continue being the play-by-play voice for those games and also will host the "Harvey's Huddle" show from 4 to 6 p.m. Mondays and Thursdays.

Harvey said Radio Partners has radio antennas with strong signals at Steamboat Ski Area and Emerald Mountain. He said the reason for dual frequencies for each of the stations is that Radio Partners agreed to purchase two FM translators, which had been used by another station.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247 or email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com