But while Kendall is off traditional airwaves for the first time in years, he has no plans to disappear. He’s just launched a new YouTube channel, The Kendall B Show, that essentially takes his longtime morning program to the ubiquitous streaming site, and he has several other projects in the hopper, too. “As far as the future for me, the future is now,” he says.
Westword‘s recent post about Denver’s most and least popular radio stations noted that the medium’s demise has been greatly exaggerated. A 2021 study found that 88 percent of Americans, or around 293 million people, still listen weekly to terrestrial radio, the term applied to stations that reach ears by way of old-fashioned broadcasting towers. (The total is said to exceed those who use Facebook each week.) Apply that 88 percent to a recent estimate of metro Denver’s population at 2,796,400, and it adds up to approximately 2.46 million local listeners.
Only a small percentage of those are tuning in to Jammin’ 101.5, though. The signal landed at number 25 of 39 local outlets among listeners age six and older in the July report from the Nielsen ratings service. No wonder the station, which specializes in a format dubbed “Rhythmic Adult Contemporary,” is cutting costs. As of today, September 7, its website lists only one host: Slim, who helms the 3-7 p.m. weekday shift.
Kendall B understands the economic realities of radio well, and he harbors no ill will toward the company. “I’m thankful that they let me have a final show,” he allows. “A lot of radio people don’t get that chance. They’re just fired, and you find out where they are by looking them up on Facebook or Twitter.”
Prior to joining Jammin’ in 2017, Kendall B spent seventeen years at KS 107.5 and was best known for partnering with Larry and Kathie J, a team that’s faced plenty of challenges, too. They were ousted at KS 107.5 in 2017 over a contract dispute, after which they launched an Internet radio station sponsored by the Green Solution, one of Colorado’s largest marijuana dispensary chains. But that wasn’t built to last, and neither was a stint at Jammin’ and affiliate Flo 107.1 that ended in 2020. Since then, they’ve produced a Larry and Kathie J podcast, although the most recent episode debuted in June.
Between his departure from KS 107.5 and his arrival at Jammin’, Kendall B signed up with Futuri Media, and he continues to work that gig. “They’re in Cleveland, and they gave me the chance to not only write news stories and entertainment stories for them, but to also teach radio stations how to step up to the plate with show preparation services, streaming and things like that. It can be a challenge to teach an old dog new tricks sometimes: A lot of places want to stick with what they’ve been doing. But today you can have apps and podcasts that meet the consumers where they are. If they’re not up at six in the morning, they can listen at seven at night and you still get credit in the ratings if it’s been less than 24 hours.”
That he stuck with Futuri even after landing at Jammin’ wasn’t that unusual, he notes: “Radio doesn’t pay what it used to. The perks aren’t what they used to be. So most radio people have several hustles in order to make it work.”
For this reason, Kendall B created a YouTube station in which he offers tips to travelers based on his own journeys. And now he’s branching out with the YouTube version of his Jammin’ specialties. “I love the music, and I love the people Jammin’ serves on a day-to-day basis, because it’s the stuff I grew up with, along with current music that I love, too,” he says. “I’m not a DJ playing music that I don’t like. This is my music.”
He notes that “there are people who make their living on YouTube. All you need is 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours in a year. The numbers can be small or big, but you can get into sponsorship deals with other companies. It can be lucrative if you work hard at it, and that’s what I want to do.”
Nonetheless, he concludes, “that’s not the main purpose for the channel. The main purpose is to show people that I’m not dead, gone, retired. I’m still doing what I do, and if I can give them good content, that’s how it grows. Hopefully I’ll reap the financial rewards from that as part of the other stuff that I’m doing.”