Photo by Will Sardinsky

It’s early on a cold winter morning. The sun has yet to crest over the eastern hills and a layer of ice is settled over everything outside. As residents of the Valley sip coffee, scrape windshields and commute to work, a warm, familiar voice on the radio assures them that they’re not alone.
For 14 years, Steve Cole has hosted the morning news on KDNK from 6 to 8 a.m. He is cherished for imbuing the National Public Radio broadcast with a touch of playful humor.
“If I thought anybody was listening, I’d be nervous,” joked the well-known voice, and not only from KDNK. RFTA enthusiasts may know that Cole is also the friendly “stop requested” voice announcing each destination. He has written numerous jingles for commercial radio and enjoys an expansive career as a musician, performing with the Bobby Mason Band in the heyday of Aspen’s local music scene. Nowadays, he plays saxophone and keys frequently at Heather’s in Basalt and other locales.
Cole’s broadcast career officially began some 40 years ago at KSNO when it was an AM station, though he remembers as a child taking song requests while operating a small plastic stereo on the patio. He later entertained with a “DJ shtick” during his college days at the University of Denver as a political science major.
Cole eventually moved from KSNO to KSPN, where he often hosted a five-hour midday show consisting mostly of music. He followed his friend and former KDNK station manager, Steve Skinner, to KAJX and landed at KDNK in 2008.
At the age of 70, Cole is deciding to step away from the news hosting gig after “kind of living in a different time zone for 14 years.” Cole said he looks forward to taking fewer naps and focusing on producing a CD or two. Nonetheless, “I’m just kind of cherishing each morning for now…”
Although he will no longer be heard almost daily reading the community calendar, a rebroadcast recorded during the morning news, Cole does plan to continue doing his music show on KDNK, alternating with Billy Bob’s Revenge on Tuesdays from 8 to 10 a.m. He will also continue with sports talk on “Bronco Babble” every Thursday at 4:30 p.m. Cole’s son, Anderson, joined the KDNK staff in 2021 and likewise commentates during “Bronco Babble”.
That is to say, KDNK is now searching for a part-time morning news host and reporter. Bilingual candidates are encouraged to apply. Contact for more information.
You can find Cole’s music at