"K-High" left the FM airwaves in Denver for a fourth time on May 1, 2010. Since then, the station has stayed alive via Internet Radio at www.khigh.co and www.khigh.net.
Since the station went off the "air", there has been much disappointment, and many complaints from loyal fans. This page will explain the situation.
Here's why K-High is not currently available on FM:
In April 2010, Bustos Media LLC of Sacramento (former owners of 101.9 FM) decided to sell the 101.9 frequency and transmitter facilities to Way-FM, a Christian broadcasting group. Way-FM executed an immediate LMA or Local Marketing Agreement with Bustos Media to take over the programming content of 101.9 on May 1, 2010. This gave Way-FM control over what was broadcast on 101.9 FM, and they changed the format to their network Christian Rock programming.
The entire staff of of KKHI-FM 101.9 was dismissed from their jobs due to the takeover.
Steve Hamilton, former Operations Manager of KKHI-FM 101.9, decided to keep the station alive by taking over the internet streaming side of the operation, and has used his own personal funds, along with monies from some advertisers, to keep the station alive at www.khigh.co since May 1, 2010.
A new company by the name of MediAlchemy, LLC was formed by Hamilton, which took control of K-High's Internet broadcast. MediAlchemy is based in Denver, Colorado.
At this point, due to the difficult financial situation faced by most radio companies and the unstable economy, there are no local radio companies interested in picking up the Smooth Jazz format. This is a trend that has been happening across the country. Since the summer of 2010, dozens of FM Smooth Jazz stations have switched to more profitable formats. There are now fewer than 10 FM stations broadcasting Smooth Jazz in the United States. However, a number of Internet Radio stations have surfaced, keeping the music available to their local markets, and to the World.
The situation boils down to money. The Smooth Jazz format generates revenue, however the profit margin is not sufficient to satisfy the financial goals of large radio companies. The Smooth Jazz audience is smaller than that of formats like Top 40, Rock, Country and Adult Contemporary.
Internet Radio is one of the fastest-growing forms of electronic media. K-High's operating costs are substantially lower than those of FM stations, and the our current operation can be sustained indefinitely through local advertising revenue.
Internet Radio vs. FM
The primary concern most people mention is that Internet Radio is only available on the Internet, which up until recently, implied using a computer. Thus, most listeners believe they can only tune in while they are sitting near a computer. However, new products are already on the market which allow listeners to tune in K-High, (or any other Internet Radio station) on phones, in cars and through home entertainment centers. These devices are becoming more readily available, and are generally inexpensive.
There are many advantages to K-High being on Internet Radio, and locally-programmed.
1. We have the opportunity to cater the station to Colorado's unique tastes.
2. We can respond immediately to listener requests for specific music, the direction of the station's format, and the on-air personalities, without waiting for corporate approval.
3. As technology moves forward, it is being predicted that Internet Radio will overtake AM and FM within the next few years.
While there may be some temporary inconveniences to accessing K-High, it will become easier to listen from virtually any location in the very near future. As wireless internet improves, and new listening devices enter the market, Internet Radio listeners will be "untied" from their computers. K-High will be more accessible, and with higher sound quality than traditional radio.
Through the support of our advertisers, and our loyal listeners, K-High has been able to maintain its existence, and keep the music available via its streaming service.
The History Of Smooth Jazz On Denver Radio
Contemporary, (or "Smooth"), Jazz was first introduced to the Denver audience in the late 1980s when “The Wave” debuted at 94.7 FM. This was a network-programmed station, with some local talent in prime-time slots. The Wave eventually evolved into KHIH, or “K-High” under the ownership of Adams Radio, Inc.
Adams Radio sold 94.7 in 1993 and K-High moved to 95.7 following the decision by Jacor, Inc. (now Clear Channel Communications), to pick up the brand. The station existed on that frequency for several years before Clear Channel changed 95.7 to KPTT.
Almost immediately, Jefferson Pilot Communications picked up the Smooth Jazz format and created “CD 104.3”. Although the “K-High” brand was not used, the format was similar, containing mostly Contemporary Jazz. In March 2008, Lincoln Financial, (formerly Jefferson Pilot), dropped “CD 104.3” in favor of all-sports programming and created “104.3 The Fan”, Denver’s first FM sports-talk station.
The last incarnation of “K-High” on Denver FM radio launched on June 9, 2008 under the ownership of Bustos Media of Sacramento, CA. Bustos had owned the 101.9 frequency for several years, and before changing it to K-High, the station was called “La Gran-D” and featured a Regional Mexican format. Bustos decided to switch to Contemporary Jazz in the hopes of increasing ratings in preparation to sell the station.
On June 9, 2008, the station became KKHI “K-High” at 101.9 FM. After the launch, the station’s ratings increased from a 0.0 to a 1.7 share in the first year of operation. However, marketing and promotions budgets were limited, and the 101.9 signal was weak, effectively serving only 60% of the Denver market. Despite these disadvantages, the station remained stable in the ratings, and advertising revenues.
In early 2010, as part of corporate-wide restructuring, Bustos Media put 101.9 on the market. An offer was made by Way-FM, a Christian broadcasting group based in Nashville, TN. The offer was accepted in mid April, and terms of the sale were completed on April 30, 2010. Way-FM took control of 101.9 immediately after executing an LMA or Local Marketing Agreement with Bustos Media. This allowed them to change to their Contemporary Christian music on May 1,2010.
Since May 1, 2010, K-High has existed on Internet Radio at www.khigh.co. The ".co" extension is intended to represent "Colorado", since the station is based in Denver.