Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Denver Radio: Atlitude To Launch Its Version Of Sports Talk

Sports Talkers Kyle Keefe, Vic Lombardi
The increasingly competitive Denver sports talk radio scene is shaking yet again with the addition of a long-expected power player: Altitude, the Stan Kroenke-owned regional media outlet.

The Denver Post reports Altitude Radio will debut on Friday — the day of the Rockies' home opener — on KKSE 950 AM.

KSE Radio Ventures, a division of Kroenke Sports & Entertainment, purchased the frequency from Entercom Communications in December. Mile High Sports Radio president James Merilatt will serve as program manager while maintaining his role as owner of the independent radio station on 1340 AM, though he will step back from day-to-day operations.

Kroenke and Mile High Sports have worked together since 2010, when Mile High Sports became the Nuggets' and Avalanche's radio partner on, incidentally, 950 AM.

Late last year, KSE lured away longtime KCNC-Channel 4 sports anchor Vic Lombardi to serve as host for Nuggets and Avalanche coverage, adding a level of gravitas to its programming. It drew him, in part, with a promise to give him a radio show on the new network.

KKSE 950 AM (5 Kw) Red-local Coverage
"We're guys in our 40s, have families, play golf and love sports," said Lombardi, who was most recently on KKFN 104.3 The Fan's morning show, and will host a show from 1-4 p.m. with Altitude anchor Kyle Keefe. "Our show will be more lighthearted than everything else. We're going to pound the Broncos when the Broncos need pounding. It's still a Broncos town, but not every day, seven days a week."

The station's lineup includes a stable of other top Denver sports radio talent. Josh Dover, who has produced shows with Mile High Sports, The Fan and The Denver Post, will host "The Morning Scoreboard" from 6-7 a.m. The morning drive will feature Tom Helmer, Altitude TV reporter Lauren Gardner, and one of the biggest talents in the market, former Nuggets player Scott Hastings. Lombardi and Keefe carry on from 1-4 p.m., and former ESPN Denver host Nate Kreckman will reunite with former Broncos center Tom Nalen to handle the afternoon drive from 4-7 p.m.

The network will then broadcast play-by-play of its owner's teams — the Nuggets, Avalanche, Colorado Rapids and Colorado Mammoth. But how pointed will hosts be in their criticism, especially for the bigger three, all of which have repeatedly missed the playoffs in recent years?

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