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Sports Radio In Denver Is About To Heat Up

It’s been widely speculated that the Denver sports radio market will become a little more crowded in 2016. However that didn’t look to be the case two weeks ago. 105.5 ESPN announced they would be exiting the format which set up a situation where 104.3 The Fan would have little competition.

But to borrow a line from Lee Corso, “Not so fast my friend“.

Barrett Sports Media has learned that iHeart will flip 760AM from its current “Real Talk 760” News/Talk  format to sports. The station will launch with Fox Sports Radio serving as its network affiliate, Dan Patrick anchoring mornings from 7a-10a and Colin Cowherd hosting middays from 12p-3p.

Additionally, 760 will add some local flavor to the lineup. Broncos Play by Play voice and KOA afternoon drive personality Dave Logan will host weekdays from 10a-12p with Susie Wargin, and the afternoon show will include Andy Lindahl as part of the mix. The station is finalizing its decision on a co-host.

There may be some other additions at some point, and with talent like Scott Hastings, Nate Kreckman, Cecil Lammey, and Mark Schlereth available, along with former FAN Programmer Nate Lundy, the company clearly has options it can explore.

But they better act fast because there’s another shark lurking in the water!

Yesterday, it was learned that KSE Radio Ventures, a subsidiary of Kroenke Sports & Entertainment, is purchasing KRWZ (950 AM) from Entercom Communications. Once the sale gets approved, KSE will have four brands under their portfolio, KRWZ-AM, and KIMN-FM 100.3, KXKL-FM 105.1 and KWOF-FM 92.5.

KSE is also the owner of the Pepsi Center, the Colorado Avalanche and the Denver Nuggets.

No format has been announced yet for 950AM but it’s expected that the oldies format which currently airs on the station will give way to a sports talk format during the early part of 2016. One benefit for KSE is that the Nuggets and Avalanche have the majority of their games already airing on 950AM.

104.3 The Fan currently leads the ratings race and they’ve re-added the ESPN affiliation and hired a new PD (Armen Williams). On the other hand, morning show host Vic Lombardi’s contract is coming up for renewal, and KSE is rumored to have interest. They hired Lombardi earlier this month to join the Altitude Sports television network.

With 760 flipping to sports and Kroenke’s group on the verge of taking control of an AM brand and likely entering the sports radio picture, 2016 figures to be an interesting one in the Denver market.

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