Friday, September 29, 2006
Radio Host Losing Morning Talk Show
By Rick Nathanson
Journal Staff Writer
It was a surprise to Larry Ahrens, too.
This morning, the well-known morning radio personality will tell his listeners that today is his last day at talk radio station KAGM-FM (106.3). The station is owned by American General Media.
Ahrens said he learned Thursday during a noon phone conversation with AGM's general manager, Scott Hutton, that the all-talk format of KAGM was being changed to Spanish music and that his show was being canceled.
The oldies Spanish music format now heard on AGM-owned station KZNM-FM (106.7) will move to the KAGM frequency, Ahrens said. KZNM will become a jazz station.
The format change at KAGM will happen at 6 p.m. today, Ahrens said. He was not certain when the jazz station would sign on.
Neither Hutton nor other managers from American General Media returned phone calls to the Journal.
"It really shook me up. You don't like to get news like that," said Ahrens, whose show aired weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. "Oh, sure, I'll miss it. But I won't miss the 4 a.m. wake-up call."
Earlier this year, Ahrens started a public relations firm with Tom Garrity, a local public relations consultant. "I'm going to devote full time to that," he said. "But I don't want this to be the last day of my radio career."
Ahrens began working at KAGM in January 2005. "I signed a five-year contract with an option for five more years," he said. "They'll buy out some of it."
A mainstay of the morning radio market, Ahrens began working at KKOB-AM in March 1980. He left in December 2004 after nearly 25 years.