John Owens Hanging Up The Mic

By: Don Ward
By: Don Ward

The job was hard enough to get, let alone to keep!



John Owens won his job here at KKTV.  He beat out other competitors in an on-air contest the likes of which would never happen now.  Thank goodness it happened then.

In 1980  KKTV had a "you-pick-our-next-sports-director contest."  Each contestant did the sportscast for a night and J.O. beat them all and got the job.  John told me once he almost didn't get to be part of it, he was kind of a last minute entry.  It paid off, the smooth operating, slang-inventing sports fanatic got a job telling all of us about the stuff he loves...sports!.   

No one, not even the ever optimistic Mr. Owens, not even his game-calling, future-seeing alter ego "The Oracle" could have imagined that the gig would last nearly 30 years.   Few probably imagined it would last even a tenth of that.   Many jobs in TV simply don't last that long and often don't end the way the job-holders want them to.  It's hard to imagine any job in TV these days being filled by contest.

Like so many sports fans who grew up in Colorado Springs I remember watching John way back then.  I was just starting High School (sorry John) , John Elway was just starting college, and the Colorado Rockies were still more than a decade away from starting anything.  John Owens started a remarkable run on Southern Colorado television.....a run that he's now decided to end.  I've been out at charity events and public appearances with John many times and every time, everyone we run into knows who John is, and wants to say hello and shake his hand and thank him for his work.  We'd all like to thank him for his work too.

Some of you may not know that KKTV was a second career for John.  He put in 20 years in the US Air Force before this whole TV thing started. 

If someone wrote the book of TV in Southern Colorado, there would almost have to be a chapter, just for John Owens.  It would be a long chapter, and a funny chapter with a happy ending....because as John puts it, he's now going to do what HE wants to do!  That book would also have an epilogue for John because he's not finished with sports at KKTV....he's just going to do a few things here and there.  We're all thrilled here that John is making this change, and making the call on how it's handled.  We should all be lucky enough to spend 29 years doing something we love, then ramping it down on our own terms.

So 29 years ago John won his job...and for decades after that he won new fans and new viewers every time he hit the air.  We know we'll see him at the station from time to time, and when we see him here, you'll see him on the air, just like you have since way back then.....since way back when the Broncos were still coached by Red how many of us remember that?

Best of Luck John!

We'll talk again soon.






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