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Chaffee County gets a new radio station

Brief by Central Staff

Media – December 1996 – Colorado Central Magazine

KBVC, a new FM station, should be reaching most of Central Colorado by now. It broadcasts from Mt. Princeton at 104.1 mhz and 600 watts.

Mark Elliott, the station’s manager, was still testing when we went to press, so he wasn’t sure how far his signal would reach.

“Buena Vista and Salida, for sure,” he said. “We have good reason to hope the signal will reach Leadville and into South Park, perhaps as far as Fairplay. We might also get over Poncha Pass into part of the San Luis Valley. But in the mountains, you never know until you’re actually on the air.”

The station’s format will be modern country music, delivered via satellite, with a minute or two of ABC news on the hour.

KBVC (BVC as in Buena Vista, Colorado) will eventually operate from Buena Vista, Elliott said, but at the moment, it’s renting space from KVRH in Salida.

The two stations are separate operations, but they’re not strangers. Bill Murphy owns KVRH; his daughter, Riley, currently a telecommunications lawyer in Washington, D.C., owns KBVC, and Elliott is her fiancĂ©.

Riley, who grew up in Chaffee County, says “it has a very bright future, and I wanted to come back to my roots.”

The arrival of an all-music country station may mean some changes in KVRH’s music programming, which has already eased away from country and toward “adult contemporary.”

Bill Murphy assures us that KVRH’s commitment to local news, talk, and commentary continues, despite all the changes in the airwaves. His signal seems to be reaching farther these days — friends in Westcliffe and Leadville tell us they’re getting KVRH now.

When we arrived here in 1978, KVRH was all you could get in Salida. Since then, repeaters have brought in two public-radio stations, KRCC and KUNC, along with a religious station, KWBI, and a Pueblo country outlet, KCCY.