Steamboat Springs Brian Harvey has managed every radio station licensed in Routt County.
So it only makes sense that after 25 years as a local radio personality, salesperson and manager, he will work for two new radio stations cropping up in Steamboat.
After resigning from his most recent, six-year stint at KBCR on Wednesday, Harvey will take the reins at KEZZ 94.1 FM in early August.
Shortly afterward, a new talk radio station, KTYV, will launch at 98.9 FM.
“I had a good run,” Harvey said about his time at KBCR. “It was great for me. I got to learn about the (country music) format and how powerful that format is, how many people listen to it. And I loved doing the sports talk because I’m just a nut about it.”
Don Tlapek, a Denver resident who moved to Steamboat almost a year ago, is fulfilling a lifelong dream by launching these two stations. He’s worked in radio, television and entertainment his entire career but always has wanted to own his own stations.
“My idea was to program for the 35-plus market,” Tlapek said. “Just from listening to the radio, it seemed like unless you liked country music, there wasn’t a whole lot on the radio for someone over 35 years of age. There’s always going to be a place for radio. And I thought that market we’re going after was underserved.”
KEZZ has been online for about 3 1/2 months, playing soft rock and classic rock from Fleetwood Mac and Adele to John Mayer and the Eagles.
Tlapek is a managing partner at Radio Partners, LLC, which is under a lease agreement to purchase KEZZ. The company already owns KTYV, which will begin broadcasting in the coming weeks. Towers for the stations are located on Walton Peak and Emerald Mountain.
Tlapek said bringing in Harvey — and his sports talk show Harvey’s Huddle, which will broadcast on KTYV — is an ideal scenario.
Harvey will be an equity partner in the stations.
“It seemed like a good fit,” Tlapek said. “All his qualities that he had, I needed. I needed someone to be on the air, someone with production capability and someone that knew the advertisers.”
Making the rounds
Not only is his voice well-known in the community, but Harvey’s face also is a common sight at local events.
Aside from working at and managing local stations KFMU, KIDN, KRMR, KBCR and more, Harvey’s emcee skills are sought after for events ranging from the Cardboard Classic to the Steamboat Marathon. Remember the St. Patrick’s Day Chute Bump-Off? That was Harvey announcing the action.
He’s called high school sports games and launched the satirical theater company Pirate Theatre more than a decade ago.
None of that will change, he said.
“I’m not going anywhere,” he said about his new position. “If they want me, I’ll still do the marathon, the parade.”
He said diversity of the FM radio dial can be a boon for radio in general and that it’s still a viable medium even in the digital age.
“We’re like a newspaper,” he said. “You have your country section, your sports, your news … as long as the dial is diverse, we need these stations.”
Tony Mauro, vice president of operations for Cool Radio, which owns KBCR, said Harvey was an asset to the company during his time there.
"Brian is an excellent broadcaster," Mauro said. We wish him the best in his new venture."
To reach Nicole Inglis, call 970-871-4204 or email ninglis@ExploreSteamboat.com