Normally we don’t care about job hires at local radio stations, but considering all the press we gave to last weekend’s inaugural High Plains Comedy Festival, it only makes sense that we’d follow with any relevant news.
So here it is: Andy Juett, the festival’s co-founder and curator, has been named sales manager of Denver’s Comedy 103.1 FM, the city’s only all stand-up comedy radio station.
That’s potentially huge for High Plains, since the festival was a mostly DIY affair this year with funding and publicity coming from sponsors like Illegal Pete’s and Denver Relief — and whatever grassroots support Juett and co-founder Adam Cayton-Holland could drum up in the comedy community.
But what does this mean for the High Plains going forward? Will 103.1 get involved and make it a bigger, more official affair?
Juett, who starts Tuesday, said all those decisions rest with station manager John E. Kage (whom I profiled earlier this year for The Denver Post). But he didn’t rule out the possibility if it seemed “appropriate,” which we’re taking to mean “profitable for the station.”
“Bob Call (general manager of station owner Lincoln Financial Media) and I had talked very early on when the station came about, but it just wasn’t the right time so I pursued a different opportunity,” Juett said this afternoon. “But the station has continued to grow and now I’m excited to help it do that in a very sales-focused way.”
Juett’s background at radio properties like Max Media will certainly help that, but so will his track record of producing and performing comedy around town at shows like “The Grapes of Rad,” “The Grawlix” and “The Chuck Roy Show.”
“We talked about (High Plains) before I came in and I divulged everything I was pretty much working on or have worked on so that there was a clear idea of what I was doing,” Juett said. “Some people outside of their day jobs are in a rock band, some people do mongoose squats like Ben Roy. And I do comedy.”
Juett said he hopes to bolster the station’s revenue and make it a sustainable presence in the Denver market, as well as boosting the credibility of the comedy scene here. As for the “unbelievable” (Juett’s words) success of the first year of High Plains?
We have a feeling if Juett is still at Comedy 103.1 this time next year, the event stands a good chance of getting much, much bigger. Stay tuned.