KBCO Abandoning Boulder

KBCO -- KBoulderCOlorado -- established in 1977 and as much a part of the Boulder landscape as the Flatirons, Chautauqua Park and the University of Colorado campus, is planning to pull up stakes this spring and move from its central Boulder studio to the Clear Channel Media complex at the Denver Tech Center. The Tech Center and Boulder are about 40 miles and light-years apart.

The station was founded by Bob Greenlee, a successful local businessman and at one time a Boulder city council member and also mayor. He sold the "world class rock" station to San Diego-based Noble Communications in 1987 with the stipulation that the station remain in Boulder. Noble sold out to Jacor Communications of Cincinnati in 1996, and Clear Channel Communications of San Antonio in turn bought Jacor in '98. Therefore, KBCO hasn't been owned by a Boulder entity since pocketed $27.3 million for the station 22 years ago, but it still felt and sounded like part of the community.

The illusion that KBCO was still a Boulder station continued because the studios remained in town even after Clear Channel became the owner. Clear Channel owns seven other metro Denver stations, including KHOW 630 AM, KKZN AAM 760 KOA 850 AM broadcasting talk/news, as well as four FM radio stations, including KBCO at 97.3 FM.

Station manager Scott Arborough claims that nothing will change, because KBCO's license reads Boulder, that its transmitter is stop nearby Eldorado Mountain and that that the staff will remain. And commute. Yeah, right!