On the 'Net
Learn more about the changes at KRMR and contact staff at the station's new Web site, www.therangefm.co...
Steamboat Springs Goodbye Don Imus, hello Garth Brooks.
KRMR radio, on the dial at 100.5 and 107.3 FM, changed its programming Monday from talk radio to country music. The station is now known as "The Range" and has discarded well-known, national talk-radio hosts including Don Imus, Rush Limbaugh and Dr. Laura Schlessinger in favor of country stars such as Garth Brooks, Gretchen Wilson and Toby Keith.
"What it boiled down to was a business decision and an economic decision," said John Johnston, KRMR program director. "We've had some difficulties just breaking even in the talk format."
KRMR, which is affiliated with three other local stations, also has added former KBCR news director Harper Louden to its news department. Louden was fired from KBCR in August after a shake-up in programming and staffing at the station.
"Harper is doing news for all four of our stations right now," Johnston said. "She'll have an expanded role within the cluster, which has yet to be determined."
The programming change at KRMR has raised the ire of some Routt County residents who miss their morning dose of news and talk.
"This is unacceptable," Steamboat Springs resident Lynda Brees said Thursday. "I don't listen to anything but Imus - my whole morning is not the same. I know other people who are upset about this, too. It's definitely more than just me."
Cristin Frey, an account executive at NRC Broadcasting's Steamboat office, said Thursday that the station has received numerous phone calls regarding the lineup change.
NRC Broadcasting of Denver owns and operates KRMR. NRC also owns local stations KFMU, KIDN (known as JACK FM), and KQZR, or Z-Rock. NRC owns several Denver stations, at least 16 radio stations on the Western Slope, and "JACK FM" stations in Denver, Glenwood Springs, Avon and Aspen.
"Talk listeners are active listeners, so they're the type of people who are going to call in and take a stand," Frey said. "But the calls have been more about questions and curiosity than anything else."
Brees said she is a longtime, diehard fan of Imus, whose conservative morning talk show based in New York City includes politically oriented news, satire and an ever-changing cast of characters.
"You can get a lot of learning done if you listen to Imus - he's not all fluff and sports," Brees said. "It's like my daily soap, in a way, but with real news."
Johnston said the KRMR staff will miss the talk show format.
"It's sad for us because we're all big talk radio fans, but at the end of the day, it's a business," he said.
- To Mike Lawrence, call 871-4203 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org