Station pulls the plug on Andrew Kole Show
The Andrew Kole Show, the locally-produced afternoon radio show known for its occasional controversy and relentless irreverence, is no longer on the air.
Host Andrew Kole said he was called into the offices at KNFO at about 2 p.m. yesterday and told that he was being cut from the lineup. The programming change ends a 13-month run for The Andrew Kole Show on KNFO in the 4 p.m. “drive-time” slot.
“After 13 months, I kind of felt like I was being hung to dry,” Kole said a few hours after the meeting.
Josh Behrman, general manager of KNFO, said the show was eliminated to make way for broadcasts of Denver Nuggets basketball games.
“We wanted to add the Nuggets to our schedule at KNFO because we’ve been so successful with our broadcasts of the Avs, Rockies and Broncos,” he said.
But even if it is no longer being broadcast via radio, the show lives via television on Grassroots Channel 12. The community television station had recently made arrangements with Kole and the management at KNFO to simulcast the show from its studio in Aspen.
The agreement called for the radio station to solicit advertisements and the television to solicit sponsorships independently of each other, and then both broadcast the show live at 4 p.m. every day.
The venture was plagued with difficulties, however, especially after local phone service provider Qwest missed an appointment to install digital telephone lines needed to broadcast over the radio from the Grassroots studio in the Red Brick School House.
Now that Kole is without a radio outlet, his show will be seen, and heard, exclusively on Grassroots TV.
“Everyone around here talks about `local character,’ but this is the only show that’s about character – the character of Andrew and the character of the people he has on the air,” said Grassroots station director Damian Panetta.
Kole’s show was broadcast as scheduled on Grassroots at 4 p.m. yesterday, and several regular listeners called in to find out what happened. After learning the show had been cut, one woman declared, “That sucks. Are you so bummed?”
Kole said the meeting with Behrman and the station’s programming director lasted just eight minutes, and he was pretty upset by the time it finished. They told Kole he was being eliminated so the station could move the start of The Jim Rome Show, a popular national sports-talk show, back an hour from 5 p.m. to 4 p.m. and begin broadcasting the Nuggets games, which often begin after 7 p.m.
Kole doubts that KNFO’s decision had anything to do with broadcasts of Nuggets basketball games. He pointed out that the station managed to work his show in around Colorado Rockies baseball games and Colorado Avalanche hockey games.
“That makes no sense,” he said. “They didn’t have Jim Rome on at 4 p.m. when they ran the Rockies.”
Kole said he thought the decision would have a detrimental effect on the diversity of the valley’s radio landscape. “This was the only locally produced program, the only one where people could call in and state their views without being misquoted,” he said.
Behrman declined comment when asked if there was an incident on The Andrew Kole Show that precipitated its cancellation. He also declined to say whether the show was making any money for the station.
“I consider Andrew a friend,” he said. “He did a great job for us, and he’ll no doubt do a great job for Grassroots.”
Behrman added that the station is planning to start a locally produced morning talk show, but he has not contacted any of the potential hosts he has in mind. Kole was told he would not be considered for the job.
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