KOTO radio takes over the universe | Culture & Leisure
KOTO Radio kicks off summer fundraising with Guest DJ Day Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Under the themed banner “Across the Universe,” KOTO will feature an out-of-this-world lineup of eight guest DJ programs, along with stellar giveaways and all the cosmic camaraderie listeners can handle.
“The ‘Across the Universe’ theme came from our expansion of the signal to Ridgway and enjoying the fact that the town is only 40 miles away,” explained KOTO General Manager Cara Pallone. “The goal is to raise $65,000 over two weeks for general operations and ongoing equipment needs, including signal expansion at Ridgway.”
Last year, the Federal Communications Commission approved KOTO’s application to extend its signal to Ridgway within three years. With new KOOK call letters and a new frequency at 90.3 FM, the tower will be located
just outside of Ouray on Gold Mountain Ranch, a rugged 1,200-acre property with 100 historic mining claims. Once a property lease agreement is signed with the site owners, the station will find and hire a radio frequency engineer to assess the site and provide a list of supplies and equipment needed.
“It’s quite a remote location, so we plan to have the equipment and erect the tower in the fall, but with the delay, it may have to be in the spring,” Pallone said.
The location of the new tower sits on a 9,300 foot precipice that overlooks the Ouray box canyon and is already home to towers for KURA (Ouray High School radio station), Colorado Public Radio, Property Management Services emergencies, major cell providers such as Verizon, and other Internet and data providers.
“There aren’t many places with this kind of coverage that are accessible with existing infrastructure,” explained Keller Herrin, Gold Mountain Ranch’s director of operations for the past five years. “The main concern is making sure the infrastructure is in place to handle the elements of all seasons.”
Herrin added that Gold Mountain is proud to partner with KOTO, which has served area voters for decades.
“Our hope is that the planned location at Gold Mountain will allow for an expansion into the Uncompahgre Valley that will result in future success and longevity for KOTO,” he said.
Friday’s guest DJ day kicks off at 9 a.m. with the Pinhead Extravaganza, followed by The Astronaut Hour with locals and former astronauts Brewster Shaw and Joe Tanner. At 11 a.m., the San Miguel Power association “lights up”.
At noon, travel writer Maribeth Clemente will host a special edition of “Travel Fun” with guests Steve Togni, General Manager of Mountain Lodge Telluride, and Noah Sheedy, Principal of Telluride Ski & Snowboard School. Clemente has collected incentive bonuses from Mountain Lodge, La Cocina de Luz, Aveda Telluride Spa, Cindybread, Counter Culture and Mesa Rose and Grocery in Norwood.
After being a KOTO ski instructor and DJ for 19 years, Clemente said, “KOTO is my family. I love being part of the ski school family and my KOTO family.
Natalie Binder and Jodie Wright, representing CampV and One Architects, respectively, will take to the airwaves at 1 p.m. and deliver a stellar mix of songs from past favorite musical performances at Planet V, plus some fun giveaways.
“CampV often feels like another universe even though it’s only an hour’s drive from Telluride,” Binder said. “We’ve launched an arts and music festival called Planet V, so this theme is perfect for our team.”
At 2 p.m., Bärbel Hacke will host a special edition of his Sunday morning “Beatles Brunch with Bärbel” called “Beatles Bash”, during which, as Hacke said, “You donate, I play your song from the Beatles”. She will shoot original LPs and 45s.
“The first time I was on the air was in 1981 with a special report on protests in West Germany against the placement of more cruise missiles,” said Hacke, who hosted a morning show called “Morning Dew” and an evening show called “The Season of the Witch” over the years. “KOTO is the voice of Telluride and beyond. KOTO keeps the Telluride vibe alive, with community members young and old, from all walks of life.
At 3 p.m., join the Glucksterns as they rule the KOTO galaxy with “Lucky Stars.”
“My last name, Gluckstern, translates to ‘lucky star’,” said local Sarah Gluckstern. “My dad, Steven, whom we honor during this guest DJ hour, had a truly universal impact during his time on this planet.”
While on the air, the Gluckstern family plans to tell stories, feature a song that relates to Steven, and perform some of his favorite tunes, including classical, rock, and electro.
“Gear Treks with Richie Parkhill & Erik Dalton” will wrap up the guest DJ day from 4-5 p.m.
Donate $50 and receive a KOTO Solar Shirt while supplies last. Donate $100 and listeners will automatically be entered into two draws – one for a SOL GalaXy Paddle Board and the other for a two-night Peaks Hotel & Spa package, which includes a massage.
KOTO’s summer fundraiser runs until September 2. To make a donation, go to koto.org., or call 970-728-4333.