Brian Harvey, manager of KEZZ 94.1 FM, laughs with Nancy and Verne Lundquist while working to produce public service announcements for the $10K Day for United Way.

Photo by John F. Russell

Brian Harvey, manager of KEZZ 94.1 FM, laughs with Nancy and Verne Lundquist while working to produce public service announcements for the $10K Day for United Way.

ESPN Radio moves to FM in Routt County

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— 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

Comments

walt jones 2 years, 3 months ago

So how will any of us who live in rural Routt county be able to listen to any games broadcasted on ESPN? Guess we won't anymore as those FM stations don't reach where I live. Will have to listen to Bronco games on 550am instead.
I also wonder if the big wigs at KBCR are unhappy with Mr. Harvey as it sure looks like he had an agenda up and leaving KBCR to start this new station and took the sports programming with him.

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Rob Douglas 2 years, 3 months ago

For what it's worth, when Don Tlapek spoke with me back in March about the local radio scene here in Steamboat, I gave him several pieces of advice. My top suggestion was to talk to Brian Harvey. Don went one better and made Brian a business partner. A very smart business move. If you play the word association game here in Steamboat and say, "radio," the response will be "Brian Harvey." Brian has his faults, we all do, but Brian is a hard working young man who has a deep love for all things Steamboat. If Brian exerts a bit of effort to improve Harvey's Huddle by getting quality guests who know what they're talking about instead of the rut into which the show had fallen, he will create a professional product that will make NW Colorado proud. Meanwhile, Don has shown his commitment to the 'Boat by coming here to live and quietly getting to know this community as he slowly ramped up his radio venture. His product is good. His mid-day host on Lite Rock Easy 94.1 FM (Simulcast on 100.5 FM) is as good as anyone in the country. And, most importantly, Don has a long-term plan for enriching the local and state radio scene. As for ESPN. It is what it is. AM Radio is a dying breed and most News/Talk/Sports formats across the country are moving to FM. As for KBCR, well, maybe now the out-of-town owner - who stops by once a year to go skiing - will either sell the station to someone who cares or stop treating the station as the ugly step-child of his radio collection. As advertisers stop by to see Don and Brian, I suspect they will notice the difference. Bottom line: Competition is good and most all of us who still love radio will benefit. Don and Brian are bringing a fresh new product to our area. Folks should give it a listen.

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rhys jones 2 years, 3 months ago

As a former DJ at both KBCR and KFMU, I view these developments with interest. Live music on either band is a dying breed, in favor of automation and syndication. Half my last radio job was just babysitting the equipment, running a canned show. So ANY attempt at live production is a breath of fresh air.

Had I my 'druthers, my station would play Side B classics, the ones that never made it to radio playlists. There is a vast wealth of great old music, which never saw the light of air. So if anybody has the resources to launch such an endeavor, I know the audience would love it, would gladly assist.

Only one question: How about some Nuggets' coverage? That's our best team.

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bill schurman 2 years, 3 months ago

Hope that KBCR AM doesn't go to the likes of Sean, Rush, Ann, and the rest of the right-wing wackos. That would pollute the airways. Thanks Brian for taking ESPN with you. I was lost for several hours until chance found ESPN on the FM dial.

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walt jones 2 years, 3 months ago

It's great ESPN is still in town just seems a bit odd the way the change happened. I just think a no compete clause for a few years could have given to Harvey when he resigned from KBCR ownership since they are a big company.

Rob- Brian maybe a good guy but being he worked at most of the stations in town is about the same as seeing a long time bartender bounce around from bar to bar for work. Also maybe you want your show on Brians station now??

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jerry carlton 2 years, 3 months ago

Bill Takes right wing wackos to slow down the left wing pinkos that are turning this country into Sweden.

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walt jones 2 years, 3 months ago

Well I sure hope Don Tlapek and Brian Harvey are proud of the quality of ESPN radio constantly dropping off the air in it's first 4 days of being on the new station. What a joke.

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rhys jones 2 years, 3 months ago

Good luck guys!! I stumbled onto your signal this afternoon, you were still testing, and it sounded great!! There's always some early bugs. Rock on.

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