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Veteran radio host moves to morning TV

SANTA FE, N.M. — He hosts ‘Morning Brew’ on uPUBLIC Channel 26

For 26 years Larry Ahrens was one of the most recognizable voices on local radio. Today, the voice is back, but this time on television as the host of “Morning Brew With Larry Ahrens,” airing weekdays on uPUBLIC TV, Channel 26, on the Albuquerque Comcast cable system.

The one-hour show airs live at 7 a.m. and repeats at 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. It is available to 135,000 households in Comcast’s Albuquerque metro market.

“Our mission is to be as local as we possibly can be, so we feature local business operators, entrepreneurs, community groups and people who do interesting things and give vibrancy to our community,” says Ahrens.

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Guests have included the quarterback of the New Mexico Stars arena football team, the artistic director of a young actors’ theater group, local hip-hop dancers, city councilors, county commissioners, District Attorney Kari Brandenburg, state Attorney General Gary King, and former New Mexico Congresswoman Heather Wilson.

“The whole purpose is to show that Albuquerque is a really cool place to live and there’s a lot going on,” says Ahrens, who co-hosts with Erin Muffoletto, also a TV newcomer who Ahrens describes as “a natural talent.”

TV anchor Dianne Anderson co-hosted what was then the first local FM talk station. He subsequently worked in marketing and consulting, and finally in sales for Comcast.

Ahrens, 63, hosted a top-rated morning radio show on KKOB-FM for 26 years, leaving in late 2007. That was followed by a two-year stint on KAGM-FM, in which he and former “The guys from uPUBLIC TV at Comcast approached me about hosting a live morning TV talk show,” Ahrens says. “That was in January 2012 and it took us until March of this year to get it on the air. We just wrapped up our 12th week and just signed our first sponsor. We purposely waited until the show was on a good six or seven weeks, so we could work out the bugs and be sure it was sponsor worthy.”

Going from radio to television was “a little bit of a stretch,” but still a fairly easy transition. “I can’t believe at this age, I still get to do this,” he says, “and I’m having a ball.”

New venues

In other media news, two former Albuquerque radio veterans, Milt McConnell and Jim Villanucci, have wound up in the Portland, Ore., radio market.

Cumulus Media-owned radio stations in Albuquerque, was recently named senior vice president and market manager of the Alpha Broadcasting stations in Portland. He had been a presence in the Albuquerque market for 27 years.

left KKOB in late February after his contract was not renewed.

He has a degree in engineering and started his radio career in Las Vegas, Nev. He also worked as a stand-up comedian and as a writer for “Tonight Show” host Jay Leno.McConnell, who in January stepped down as general manager of the

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