KUSA – In a stunning development within the Denver radio sports talk landscape, Big Al has left The Fan.
Alfred Williams, the popular co-host with Darren McKee on The Drive, has left the all-sports station KKFN 104.3 The Fan that devotes the bulk of its day-long conversation to the Broncos. The Fan made the announcement Thursday afternoon on its Twitter account.
After honoring a non-compete clause in his contract, Williams – who is known for his booming laugh, outsized, enthusiastic personality and the occasional out-of-left field opinions – will eventually work for KOA (850 AM/94.1 FM).
Williams, 50, was a standout on the University of Colorado Buffalo teams that played in back-to-back national championship games following the 1989-90 seasons, and the Denver Broncos during their back-to-back Super Bowl title seasons of 1997-98.
He found a successful second career in broadcasting as he just finished up his 15th year with The Fan.
"I owe my whole career to Bob Call and he was the most important thing in this entire process," Williams said of Bonneville International’s general manager. "He’s the reason I stayed through all the other negotiations and by the end of these contract negotiations, I didn’t have confidence that Bob would be the general manager anymore because he would retire.
"I’ve had runs from major companies in the past, but to stay with Bob and learn how to do radio the right way, and the way you treat people doing it, those were lessons learned from a great man. I’m getting emotional thinking of it because he’s meant that much to me."
The past 10 years, Big Al teamed with 'D-Mac' in the 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. time slot that has consistently been the No. 1-rated sports show among men, aged 25 to 54. There were times when their shows were so entertaining, they sounded like they were having a party and their listeners were invited. There were other times when Big Al and D-Mac would engage in captivating verbal tussles.
"I mean, I love the guy," Williams said of McKee. "Our kids grew up together since they were in first grade. He lives a mile away from me. He gave me a ride home after many shows. Hopefully, we can get the band back together at some point."
Raj Sharan, The Fan’s program director, said a search has already begun to find Big Al's replacement.
"I’m so thankful to Alfred for everything he’s meant to the station and me personally, and I wish him the absolute best going forward," Sharan said. "This is an extremely exciting opportunity that has already generated interest across the country and I’m confident we will find an entertaining and informative host that all of Broncos Country will be able to enjoy on their ride home."
Meanwhile, when Williams is cleared to work with KOA (non-competes generally last six months, which would put his start-up date around the start of the Broncos' 2019 season) he figures to team with two other local radio talk-show icons in Dave Logan and Rick Lewis, although the exact details of his new job has not yet been worked out.
"I'm unbelievably excited about the possibility of having Big Al on our team as a broadcaster, a talent and a man,'' said Tim Hager, region president of iHeartMedia. "Right now, I just respect Bob (Call) and Bonneville and everything they have going on as they transition from that great broadcaster and talent and man. Much more to come, but really exciting times.''
WATCH | The Fan NFL Draft Party 2018