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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Westminster, CO

    Default What's the buzz? Colorado Springs AM station switches format from sports to marijuana UPDATE: Format Moves Online After One Month


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    What's the buzz? Colorado Springs AM station switches format from sports to marijuana

    Listeners of KREL in Colorado Springs might have wondered if someone had spread cannabutter on their morning toast Monday when they tuned in and got marijuana programming instead of the radio station's usual sports news and talk shows.

    If they turn their AM dial to 1580 again, they'll find out it wasn't a fluke.

    Southern Colorado Radio - SoCo Radio for short - has launched the nation's first radio station dedicated to talk and news coverage of the legal marijuana industry, and it's attracted dispensaries as advertisers and hundreds of followers on social media.

    SoCo Radio leased the former KREL-AM 1580 from Vero Beach, Fla.-based Pilgrim Communications on April 1 and began broadcasting Monday under the call letters KHIG.

    The new format focuses on a range of topics related to medical and recreational marijuana, with some programming on alternative medicine, yoga and related subjects mixed in, said Mike Knar, general manager and co-owner of SoCo Radio. The station previously broadcast all-sports talk and programming from Fox Sports and ESPN but had lost money for 10 consecutive years, he said.

    "We didn't want to lease the station and continue to lose money, so we said, 'Let's do something different and give voice to the marijuana industry.' Marijuana is socially acceptable, especially in Colorado, and is a big and growing business sector in this state. It made too much sense to pass up," Knar said Tuesday.

    The switch ignited interest.

    "I thought this would take weeks or months to take off, but the way this is accelerating is amazing," Knar said. Most people don't get a response like this on radio, let alone for an AM station."

    Six Springs-area medical marijuana dispensaries have signed on as advertisers, and the station's Facebook page ( attracted 450 likes as of 3 p.m. Tuesday, the station's second day of broadcasting, Knar said.

    SoCo Radio signed a three-year lease on the station with an option to purchase it, but Knar said the company may open negotiations soon with Pilgrim Communications to exercise the option if KHIG's popularity continues to grow.

    "I don't have much knowledge about this industry and I don't partake, so I am the world's worst expert on it, but I just saw a business opportunity," Knar said. "I have been trying to lease this station for two years because it has one of the better AM signals in the Springs."

    KHIG-AM is starting out with three local shows on weekdays: "Wake and Bake" from 7 to 9 a.m., "High Noon" from noon to 1 p.m. and "High Drive" from 5 to 7 p.m. Topics will run the gamut, from policy to products. One recent show featured an interview with the head of Colorado's marijuana enforcement division.

    It also broadcasts three hourlong newscasts daily from the Los Angeles-based National Marijuana News service and fills the rest of its 24/7 schedule with broadcasts from the Chicago-based RadioMD network, said Len Williams, program director for both KHIG and sister station KJME-AM 890, which has an all-sports format.

    SoCo Radio, owned by Knar and his wife, Lori, operates eight AM and FM radio stations in Colorado Springs, Pueblo and Walsenburg.

    They started the company nearly three years ago and began with KFEZ 101.3 FM; its flagship station is KCBR-FM 98.5, which offers a mix of country, rock and pop music under the name "Tailgate."

  2. #2

    Default KHIG's Pot Talk Moves Online After One Month

    From Radio Insight:

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    On the one month anniversary of its launch, the first station dedicated to Marijuana Talk has moved online. 1580 KHIG Colorado Springs has flipped to a simulcast of SoCo Radio’s Shopping/Classic Hits “Easy 101.3” KFEZ Walsenburg/Pueblo. The prior format remains online at The format change is connected to the death of station owner Dr. Gene Hood on April 24. Hood’s will insisted that his Pilgrim Communications sell their Colorado holdings upon his death. Both KHIG and KFEZ are operated by Mike Knar’s SoCo Radio via LMA.


  3. #3

    Default Colorado Springs AM Sold

    From All Access:

    PILGRIM COMMUNICATIONS, INC. is selling AC KFCS-A (formerly KHIG-A)/COLORADO SPRINGS, CO to MICHAEL KNAR's WESTERN RADIO LTD. for $250,000 in a promissory note.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Westminster, CO


    The sale of KFCS 1580 AM between Western Radio and Pilgrim was "DISMISSED PER LICENSEE'S 8/12/15 REQUEST" in an FCC broadcast actions posting today.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Colorado Springs, CO


    AM 1580 is currently playing Spanish music.



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