Landmark Glenwood radio station changing hands |

Landmark Glenwood radio station changing hands

Dennis WebbPost Independent StaffGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

Photo courtesy of The Frontier Historical Society Museum

Venerable Glenwood Springs radio station KGLN evokes childhood memories for Gabe Chenoweth.”It’s sentimental for me. It’s a station both my parents grew up listening to – I grew up listening to, to a certain extent,” he said.Now an ownership group that includes Chenoweth is planning to sell the station. But the new buyer is managed by someone who also has fond early associations with KGLN, the AM station with its radio tower looming above Sixth Street in downtown Glenwood Springs.”I remember being in the Glenwood Springs pool and I remember seeing that radio tower there. I knew then, in junior high, I wanted to be in radio,” said Jim TerLouw, of MBC Grand Broadcasting in Grand Junction.Colorado West Broadcasting Inc., which also owns KMTS in Glenwood, has agreed to sell KGLN to MBC Grand, which operates six stations. In addition, MBC Grand is applying with the Federal Communications Commission for an AM radio station to be located in Silt.Chenoweth said MBC Grand “made a very generous offer to us that we felt it made sense to pursue.”He said MBC Grand has agreed to pay $250,000 for the station, which besides the FCC license includes such assets as the radio tower, real estate and broadcasting equipment.Chenoweth said he believes KGLN went on the air in 1951, and to his knowledge it was the first station in Garfield County.Colorado West, which formed in the 1970s to put KMTS on the air, bought KGLN in 1988.Over the years, Colorado West has tried different formats for the station, from Spanish-language to all-news, and now soft adult contemporary. But Chenoweth said Colorado West had hoped for better listenership.”KMTS has always really been the flagship station, anyway. I think this will allow us to focus our efforts where they’re most fruitful,” he said.KMTS features a mix of country music and local news, sports and other programming. Proceeds from the sale could be used to help KMTS and pay off debts, he said.Despite a widespread shift in listenership to FM stations from AM ones over the decades, TerLouw said MBC Grand has done well with AM radio, with stations that focus on politics and other news (KNZZ) and sports and talk (KTMM). He said AM radio reception is far better than FM reception in canyons and mountainous terrain.MBC Grand’s other stations include Magic 93; Moose Country; KSTR, with a rock format; and Colorado 92.3, which used to be called KJOY.TerLouw said MBC’s main owner is Richard C. Dean, who owns a TV station in Allentown, Pa., and started his first two Grand Junction stations in 1989 after vacationing in the area. TerLouw called Glenwood “an exciting area,” and KGLN a good opportunity.”The station, we think, has a lot of potential. We’d like to do some different things, which we’re discussing,” he said. “… It’s been a local thing in Glenwood Springs for years and years and years. We want to polish its star again,” he said.TerLouw said the Silt venture will take more time. Just getting FCC approval could take years, he said.The FCC opened up the opportunity for a Silt AM station several years ago, and MBC Grand and another party wanted to pursue it. But that party is no longer interested, so MBC Grand applied for the frequency, TerLouw said.Chenoweth called MBC Grand “another established Colorado company that has owned many radio stations for a long time.” He said part of Colorado West’s comfort in selling KGLN comes from knowing who is buying it.”It is going to a good home,” he said.Contact Dennis Webb: 384-9119dwebb@postindependent.comPost Independent, Glenwood Springs Colorado CO