Stay tuned

We hear there could be big news coming early next month about the bank named First National 1870. And we’re told the news will change the face of Downtown El Paso.

As of now, First National 1870 has three locations in El Paso – Downtown in One San Jacinto Plaza, which is the former Chase building, one on the Westside and one on Alameda.

First National 1870 is a division of Sunflower Bank, which is headquartered in Denver. You may remember that First National 1870 was formed back in 2017 after the big merger of Kansas-based Sunflower Financial and El Paso-based Strategic Growth Bancorp Inc., which included Capital Bank and Guardian Mortgage in El Paso.

El Paso native William D. Sanders, who was chairman of Strategic Growth Bancorp, served as co-chairman of the holding company.

Anyhoo, expect a formal announcement in early February.

Radio news

Some familiar names – and voices – are gone from the IHeartRadio stations in El Paso. Last week, the company laid off market VP for programming Bill Tole, a DJ and radio executive there for 26 years. He used to host Sunny 99.9 FM’s morning show, and was recently on in the afternoon.

Drea Thomas, a production and on-air personality who’d been on and off the air for 24 years, was let go, along with Adrienne Acosta, who appeared on Power 102’s morning show.

Also gone from Power 102, IHeart’s top 40 music station, are Mark E Mixx, Eddie Mixx, Jay Smooth and Monica Castillo, the midday jock.

IHeartMedia’s El Paso stations are Power 102.1, Sunny 99.9, 96.3 KHEY Country, News Radio 690 KTSM, Fox Sports Radio 1380 and Hot 93.5.

Across the country, as many as 1,200 IHeartRadio employees were let go, including dozens of popular on-air personalities. The company – which used to be Clear Channel Communications – owns more than 850 stations.

Food news

Albertsons is going to renovate its Chelmont store, located at 5200 Montana and Chelsea in Central El Paso. A spokesperson says the work should begin towards the end of 2020.

Over the past few years, Albertsons says it’s invested more than $15 million in remodeling its other six local stores. It also closed one, at 9111 Dyer and Hondo Pass, in Northeast El Paso, last summer.