Harper Louden leaves radio station

KBCR news director terminated after 10 years; new director has no comment

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Harper Louden, longtime news director at KBCR AM/FM, said she was terminated Tuesday morning from the radio station.

— Harper Louden, longtime news director at KBCR AM/FM, said she was terminated Tuesday morning from the radio station.

Louden said new KBCR station director Brian Harvey told her at about 7:30 a.m. that the station "has eliminated its news position," and that the decision was effective immediately.

Louden said she was given no advance warning that the station was eliminating its news position and that she was not consulted before the decision was made.

"I was assured by management that there would be no other changes to the station. Clearly, that was not the case," she said. "It's hard for me because that was 10 years of my life, and it's even harder for me to accept the way it happened."

Louden said she did not know whether the station was going to continue covering local news, but that she heard Harvey was taking over the job.

When contacted Tuesday afternoon, Harvey declined to comment, saying, "It was not my decision." Harvey deferred comment to Tom Dobrez, owner of Cool Radio, the company that owns KBCR.

Dobrez would not comment on the termination, saying the company "has a policy not to comment on former employees."

Harvey began work Monday as KBCR's general manager. He recently moved to KBCR after being demoted from the same position for the Steamboat radio stations operated by NRC Broadcasting - KFMU, KIDN, KQZR and KRMR.

Louden, who recently started Bench Mark Trial Consulting, said she was looking forward to the future, and she may still consider staying in the Yampa Valley radio circuit.

"I'm not shattered by what happened, I'm certainly shocked," she said. "I've been approached by other stations, so I'd be open to see if those opportunities fit with my other endeavors. I'm not going anywhere."

Louden recently finished her master's degree in forensic psychology from Regis University in Denver. Bench Mark Trial Consulting specializes in preparing local attorneys for trial, performing mock trials, dealing with jury selection and preparing trial exhibits, she said.

Louden also has worked as a news reporter at KFMU and the Steamboat Pilot & Today as a reporter.

Corrected from an earlier version

Comments

jambo11 7 years, 8 months ago

I'm with you boodog. At first, I thought Ms. Louden was going to consult on hiking trails??? Obviously, an old school proofread would have possibly taken care of this. Are you a reporter? Happy Trials to you

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JazzSlave 7 years, 8 months ago

boodog:

You & I must have read different articles. The headline & 1st graph both say she was "terminated."

Seems clear to me.

You're right about the typo, though. When I read "trail consultant", I thought she was engaged in some sort of forestry/guided hike sort of gig.

A properly spelled typo isn't something spellcheck will catch.

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jambo11 7 years, 8 months ago

JazzSlave: Your right that "terminated" appears under what I consider the headline. When I scan for news, I usually read the big bold print on top of the story and if it seems of interest, I continue. I'm not not an expert in the writing field. It sounds like you with "1st graph" terminology (not sure what that is) has a writing background. Anyway, to the common folk, this is a confusing headline. I would also think someone who writes for a living knows that spell check can miss A properly spelled typo. I'm not sure but is spell check one or two words or both. I've always thought it was two. Dizzy Gillespie (Jambo Caribe)

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JazzSlave 7 years, 8 months ago

boodog:

I'm not defending the typo; you're absolutely right to point out some very sloppy editing.

steamboat_pilot:

Your diagnosis is most likely correct. I was in radio for quite a while. Chances are, KBCR found news to be a hard sell. That is, they were unable to round up enough advertisers to buy news sponsorships. If that was the case, Ms. Louden would have been drawing a paycheck for a position that generated little or no revenue for the station.

This is pure speculation; I don't listen to KBCR, nor do I know anyone at Cool Radio. However, in my experience, programming cutbacks are almost always the result of bottom-line financial considerations.

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jimbo 7 years, 8 months ago

Harvey was unprofessional/scheming at his last gig and I see his MO continues. Boycott Harvey and KBCR!!!!!

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JazzSlave 7 years, 8 months ago

jimbo:

You appear to have quite a chip on your shoulder re: Brian Harvey. Are you a former colleague? Did he send you (or a friend of yours) packing at some point?

Your angry ranting might be more compelling with a little more context.

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flipside 7 years, 8 months ago

actually harper drew quite a bit of advertising, fwiw. and the news staff at the pilot doesn't generate any revenue either. the rest of the paper support the news department.

harper was a great local reporter. she had integrity, strong contacts, great work ethic and a nice delivery.

she will be missed.

and to kbcr, great job cutting a local personality by a station that hired harvey because of its commitment to being "local" - what a load of bs.

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JazzSlave 7 years, 8 months ago

379664:

As I've already mentioned, I've never listened to KBCR. Can you recall any advertisers specifically associated with Louden's newscasts? Something along the lines of "KBCR News is brought to you by..."?

The SP&T's article quoted Cool Radio as saying that KBCR had "eliminated its news position."

Despite a previous poster's assertion, I find it very difficult to believe that any business would deep-six a service that was generating positive cash flow.

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JazzSlave 7 years, 8 months ago

379664:

You write:

"I do find it interesting that a station would want to purposely omit a news segment from its line up."

Again, I suspect it's a bean-counting bottom line financial decision.

During one of my early small-market radio gigs, I was doing a one-man morning show. I took it upon myself to include local news on my show collected, collated, and written by yours truly. It required a S&!^LOAD of effort on my part.

My show began at 6AM, & I arrived at 3:30 to call all the local cop shops for incident reports scribble out the details & write an airable story. I'd surf the net for relevant stories & re-write them for broadcast (for those - like NRC Broadcasting - who are effing CLUELESS, there is a HUGE difference between print copy & broadcast copy).

Any other show-prep (contesting, promotions, local interest segments, lifestyle bits, & overall listener involvement & phone interaction) was done the day before. The entire 2.5 hours prior to my start time was spent producing newscasts.

I did this, not because my bosses wanted me to, but because I believed (& still believe) that local news is a critical component of local radio and service to the community.

The bosses lauded my exertions, but never made any special effort to sell the product. I found that to be sufficiently frustrating that I told them I was ready to 86 the news and get some more sleep. They paid some lip-service to my efforts and made noises about how "golly we sure hope you don't drop that part of your show", but it was clear to me that they really didn't give a rip.

About that time, a couple of businesses stepped up (unsolicited) and asked about sponsoring the news, and the service continued.

Which is just a very long-winded way of responding to your query. If it ain't making money, a station won't have any qualms about "purposely omit[ting] a news segment from its lineup."

You state that: "Since the inception of XM Radio, I rarely listen to local stations." Unless I've missed something, XM doesn't broadcast local Steamboat/Routt County news in their broadcasts; so it's not unreasonable to conclude that you and other Steamboat/Routt County XM subscribers find local news on the radio to be unimportant.

Cool radio may have arrived at the same conclusion.

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jimbo 7 years, 8 months ago

Jazzslave: Been around the 'boat long enough to know the MO...how many times does someone get hired then demoted then flips back and forth as ownership changes only to fool them into thinking they have some long time local talent...long time maybe..talent...not so much.

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JazzSlave 7 years, 8 months ago

jimbo:

Spent enough time in the industry to know that personnel (whether it's management, sales, or talent) shifting from station to station is unremarkable & nothing to write home about; and not necessarily evidence of some dark agenda.

I don't regard Harvey as much of a talent, but that's my purely objective professional assessment. Given the name-calling you've engaged in on this & the other radio thread, your issues with him appear to be personal.

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jimbo 7 years, 8 months ago

Jazzslave:

What are you the thread police?...Mr expert on everything?...if you must know... I do have friends who were co-workers w/ BH who felt treated unfairly and wrong by BH and know clients who felt shafted......I can tell you have not lived in our valley very long....have fun.

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JazzSlave 7 years, 8 months ago

jimbo:

"thread police"... lol

Just curious. Been here four years.

Touchy today, aren't we...

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Matthew Stoddard 7 years, 8 months ago

Jimbo-

I've lived in the valley for near 30yrs, and while I've never worked for Brian as an employee, I've known him for over a decade.

While I've never asked any of his employees their thoughts on the matter, those that I know have never said anything bad about him.

I've worked with Brian in countless plays/musicals in the Steamboat Community Players and with his own company of Ski Town Productions. I've never had a bad experience working with him. I've also done voice-over work for him, and never had a problem.

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flipside 7 years, 8 months ago

the point is not whether Harper should have stayed, obviously that was a business decision - eliminating the news director position - and no reflection on herself and she certainly shouldn't take it that way.

the real point is the unprofessional way it was handled ... i mean, c'mon someone gives you 10 years of their life and they don't deserve a proper sendoff? instead you call them in at 730am on a tuesday and say see ya?

the other issue is kbcr's outright hypocrisy. i mean, don't crow about what a "local" station you are now that you have some "personality" who's been around local radio for a while (and was so good he got demoted from his last job) - and then fire your LOCAL news director - someone who actually gave credibility to the idea that kbcr is committed to being local ... yeah they're so committed, they run a national music program most of the day, with a dj that's who knows how many hundreds of miles away ... real, local, radio kbcr - what a crock and what a classless move.

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suzieloo 7 years, 8 months ago

Sounds to me like maybe Harper had another business she was getting off the ground...so maybe, just maybe there were other issues that we don't know about that got her fired. Do you have all the facts? Think about it. There are 2 sides to every story.

Jimbo...you have anger issues. In fact, you might seek help for that. But you are amusing. I think Brian is a great guy and he has done a terrific job. But by all means, keep slamming him. You're funny. I imagine you all angry in your basement apartment, talking angrily to yourself and throwing darts at a picture of "BH."

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jimbo 7 years, 8 months ago

SuzieLoo...you have judgement issues...funny,mad? neither...two sides remember..you like him/i don't....go ahead and spend your energy imagining all you want...many pretty much hate the guy, it sucks he thinks he is the voice of our valley, he is just a no talent/schemey cheese fest, now he will try and be a martyr.... we are all allowed our opinions based on facts right? right...you can be the president of his fan club I guess. wooohooo. thanks and see ya on the trail...

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jambo11 7 years, 8 months ago

I think you all should have a big snowball fight come first snow (man made of course). And I thought I was freaky waisting time on the "trial"/"trail" typo. Honestly, it's sad to say but this as good as it gets for news in the little valley. People get hired, people get fired. Now for something really important: Trivia? Who is the Artist that wrote this song??? I'm not from here I just live here grew up somewhere far away come here thinking I'd never stay long I'd be going back soon someday

it's been a few years since I got here seen 'em come and I've seen 'em go crowds assemble, they hang out awhile then they melt away like an early snow

onto some bright future somewhere down the road to points unknown sending postcards when they get there wherever it is they think they're goin'

I'm not from here I just live here can't see that it matters much I read the papers and I watch the nightly news who's to say I'm out of touch

nobody's from here most of us just live here locals long since moved away sold the played-out farms for parking lots went off looking for a better way

onto some bright future somewhere better times on down the road wonder if they ever got there wherever it was they thought they'd go

hit my home town a couple years back hard to say just how it felt but it looked like so many towns I might've been through on my way to somewhere else

I'm not from here but people tell me it's not like it used to be they say I should have been here back about ten years before it got ruined by folks like me

we can't help it we just keep moving it's been that way since long ago since the stone age, chasing the great herds we mostly go where we have to go

onto some bright future somewhere down the road to points unknown sending post cards when we get there wherever it is we think we'll go

Anyone know of any decent jobs around???

Happy trials

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DRCaddell 5 years, 1 month ago

Thanks jambo11 for the reference to the James McMurtry song "I'm Not From Here." It shows that a transient social framework is not unique to Steamboat. Neither is the gossip mill unique to Steamboat, nor the chilling mechanics of corporate decisions.

I would also like to speak to Brian Harvey's character because I've worked with him and believe that he is a very decent and talented guy. On the topic of local reporting, perhaps the "Community comments" is the best source for the real local's story?

Now Harper Louden is the host of the TV18 "Steamboat Today" show. As one door closes another opens - I believe that change is good.

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