By Kathy Walker, News Director
850 KOA is the legendary news/talk 50,000 watt station that has been serving the Denver, Colorado market since 1924 – making it one of the earliest licensed stations in the United States. They can be heard in 30 states and most of Canada and Mexico. Like other stations owned by Clear Channel Media + Entertainment, KOA uses the iHeartRadio platform to stream its webcast. KOA has won numerous awards and has been honored by NAB for their public service efforts.
News Director Kathy Walker took a few minutes to fill us in on her experiences at KOA.
Why did you become a radio journalist?
It’s a good fit for me. I love to write, work quickly and love being “in the know.” Radio matters. I grew up watching a blind aunt get all of her information from radio news. It stuck with me as being important.
How do you stay on top of global events and choose what to cover?
In the newsroom, we are constantly watching the wires, emails, twitter and television – and monitoring our radio stations. We try very hard to rely on audience research and our ‘vision’ of the target listener to help us determine which things our audience wants to know about. We have a great reputation in Denver for covering weather and traffic, too.
How has technology changed your daily work routine?
There are many more inputs. We get in touch with people now via email, facebook and twitter, not just the telephone. The ability to share and edit audio now is SO much easier than before. I love how quickly we can move information – including pictures – across platforms.
Where do you see the future of Radio News going?
I believe it is bright. We can reach people wherever they may be and on many types of devices.
Do you enjoy your work?
It is a really cool job. I get to spend ALL DAY learning about new things and talking to very interesting smart people. We have a great group of outstanding journalists in the Denver newsroom. Everyone is bright and quick. It’s a great environment to work in.