Sunday, October 14, 2007

Community Public Radio: KBUT-FM.

Did you ever wanted to take a tour of your public radio station? Have you ever wanted to meet the people you hear on the air? Have you ever been offered the opportunity to speak on the air? At KBUT-FM in Crested Butte, Colorado community radio means community participation--not simply community donations.

These are just some of the differences between big-time, professional public radio stations and small-town, community ones. Why don't you call your local, public radio station and ask for a tour, ask to meet the staff, and ask for your time to speak on the air. What will they say? I dunno, ask them!

Coordinated Fundraising: Public Radio and TV.

Last month, KGNU radio and KBDI television coordinated their fundraising with Amy Goodman, host of Democracy Now and author of STATIC: Government Liars, Media Cheerleaders, and the People Who Fight Back. Does your public radio or television station promote AND support personalities when they come to town. If not, why not? Do you suppose it helps your public radio station stays in touch with organizations from which they receive programming? Denver Westword promoted Goodman's visit here.

"Mamma Kat" of KUVO-FM.

Recently Mamma Kat of KUVO-FM was mentioned by 9News in Denver, Colorado. You gotta love the diversity of this station. For Blues, R&B and Jazz, Mamma Kat is voice of many hip generations.

Mugged in Malibu.

Do you have one too many--or ten too many--lame, public radio mugs taking up space in your kitchen? Have you ever thought about giving them away? Well, you can't take a huge tax break by donating you coffee cups to the cause, but the city of Malibu, California has arranged a novel way to recycle your cheap, ceramic mugs with the help of southern California public radio stations. Read about it here.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Denver Westword on Mario Valdes.

Michael Roberts of Denver Westword reports the passing of longtime KRCC-FM General Manager, Mario Valdes. Read Roberts' article and some reader comments here.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Memorial Service for Mario Valdes of KRCC.

A memorial service for former KRCC Station Manager, Mario Valdes, will take place this Friday, Sept., 21 at 1:00 p.m. at The Shove Chapel at Colorado College, 1010 North Nevada in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Mario was the heart and soul of public radio for Southeastern Colorado, providing inspiration to all of us who knew him and had the privilege of working with him. His knowledge of music, the arts, and pollitics (both inside and outside of public radio) were golden. He set up shop in a very interesting radio market for public radio and made it into something quite unique and essential. His achievements live on.
-Pete Simon

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Thank You Readers!

Colorado Public Radio Blog would like thank all its readers for viewing the site, adding comments, and giving us leads about Colorado public radio news, programming, jobs, and other happenings. During the past month, the blog has had over 1000 total visits from more than 600 unique visitors. Again, thanks.

President Bush Speaks to the Nation.

Tonight at 7:00 p.m. President Bush Speaks to the Nation. You can listen to it live in Denver on KUNC at 91.5-FM and KCFR at 1340-AM.

KUNC ran a live promo this morning that said "after the President's address," they'd carry the "Democratic response." KCFR ran a pre-recorded promo last night that said "Colorado Matters would be carried immediately following the Presidential address." Let's hope KCFR is carries the Democratic response too. My guess is that they would, but you'd think they'd actually tell listeners that BEFORE they'd promote themselves. You'd think, right?

To hear the address on your local public radio station in Colorado, check out the Colorado Public Radio Links area of this blog.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Colorado Public Radio in Denver Westword.

Frances Koncilja, of Colorado Public Radio Blog, attempts--yet again--to put the public back into Colorado Public Radio. Read some of her latest comments about CPR's problems in Denver Westword News, by Michael Roberts. If you have any questions for Frances, you can email her at Colorado Public Radio Blog.

The link to the Denver Westword article is down, but here is the text, relevant to Koncilja's comments about Colorado Public Radio.

CPR for CPR: When last we heard from attorney Frances Koncilja ("Going Public," June 14), she had resigned from her position on the Colorado Public Radio board to protest what she saw as an attempt by CPR chieftain Max Wycisk and chair Barry Curtiss-Lusher to change organizational by-laws in order to ramrod through a host of dubious proposals. Since then, she's created a Colorado Public Radio Blog, which has quickly developed into the go-to site for news about the state's public radio stations, including CPR. Among other things, she's posted documents that shed more light on her concerns.

The next big day in Koncilja's battle to save CPR from itself is September 19, when the board is expected to meet for the first time since putting many of the plans she criticized on hold. Via e-mail, she writes that her preparations for the session will include contacting local officials who appear on the network to "ask them to inquire of management why there is no diversity on the board and on air." She's also requesting input from "previous board members" plus "current sponsors and underwriters." She adds, "Even though I was not asked to submit anything" for the meeting, "I have."

As she understands, silence isn't always golden.
-Michael Roberts

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Eric Whitney on National Public Radio.

"Fort Carson is one of dozens of Army posts across the country that have recently created a Warrior Transition Unit to help wounded soldiers deal with the mental and physical health issues of their post-deployment." Listen to Eric Whitney's story on Weekend Edition Sunday, by following this link.

Whitney works for KRCC-FM in Colorado Springs, and he moonlights for Colorado Public Radio from time to time, by doing actual top-of-hour reporting during Morning Edition.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Dan Drayer returns to The Company Store.

Dan Drayer recently returned to Colorado Public Radio to host KCFR/KVOD Presents. I hope this finally means that KCFR Presents will actually present some interesting local content, rather than just re-broadcast its hodge-podge of NPR documentaries. The first part of the three-part series entitled Shakespeare in American Life was perfect for Saturday afternoon nap-taking--unless you were driving around town! I missed parts two and three. Go figure!

Is this hiring and admission that CPR lacks sufficient programming relative to its amount of staff? If so, I wonder what other brilliant show ideas are in the works! Hey, I have an idea. Why doesn't CPR resurrect Midday Mozart. Mike Flanagan is the General Manager at Radio1190, but Charley Samson still works at KVOD. C'mon, let's repurpose!

Good luck to Dan Drayer with KCFR Presents and Charley Samson with KVOD Presents! It is better to have more people of substance at Colorado Public Radio than more people of process.

But I am confused. What is it that KVOD Presents? Classical Public Radio Network? Once again, Colorado Public Radio, your branding initiative confuses me. I guess that's what happens when Herr Goebbels is put in charge of the process.

Read the latest press release about Dan Drayer from Colorado Public Radio, which attempts to clear up any branding confusion. Still confused? Yeah, me too.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

I Feel Good!

Who's the hardest working "reporter" at Colorado Public Radio? It used to be Kirk Siegler of Aspen Public Radio; that is, until he moved to Denver to take a job with KUNC-FM.

Now the hardest working guy at CPR is . . . Eric Whitney of KRCC-FM in Colorado Springs! I can't wait for the the new Health Reporter to start at Colorado Public Radio in FY2009. Then they will have 1 whole reporter on staff.

In the meantime, you can catch Eric Whitney during Morning Edition on 1340-AM in Denver, and on 90.1 FM HD2 if you have an HD radio in your car, in hour pickup, in your house, in your boat, on your motorcycle, on your snowmobile, on your lawn mower, on your scooter, in your tractor--that is, if you haven't already donated all of your vehicles to "support the programming" at Colorado Public Radio.

Did I forget to mention that you can hear CPR are on the web at,, and podcasting all 30 minutes of Colorado Matters on the NPR website? It's called CPR Everywhere! They're HUGE! Colorado Matters is biggest 30 minutes of news in Colorado. Just ask them!

Here is a link to Eric Whitney's most recent feature on Colorado Public Radio. It is entitled, New Program for Wounded Soliders.

KAFM Gains CPB Qualification.

Guest Commentary, by Pete Simon

KAFM Gains CPB Qualification

For some of you reading this it may not sound like a big deal, until you delve into the history of grass roots, non-commercial radio in Grand Junction. The story of KAFM is one of battles lost and won through heightened expectations, lean times, perseverance, and amazing technical prowess.

KAFM, 88.1 FM, all 16 watts of it (the 88.1 signal blankets the Grand Valley), has just reached another milestone. It becomes the 16th (lucky number) non-commercial radio station in Colorado to gain certification from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). This enables the station to receive annual grant monies from CPB for Programming and Operations.

For nearly a decade, community volunteers worked to make KAFM a reality. It rose from the ashes of an orchestrated take over (and the firing of several dozen volunteers) of KPRN by the management of KCFR, Denver when it took over KPRN in 1991 to mark the beginnings of the KCFR/Colorado Public Radio empire.

Left in the dust were people who listened and participated in KPRN--a station started in the mid 1980s--which they assumed was a solid community asset. The original KPRN blended local voices, news, and events with NPR news and musical variety not available anywhere else on the Grand Junction radio dial. KPRN connected people down the street with those around the world; and in an instant it was gone, replaced by nothing but classical music and NPR news shows without the localism. The only news material to emerge from the new KPRN was produced for a so called state-wide audience; local flavor and soul was gutted. Fortunately, the community volunteer spirit at the old KPRN was able to rekindle at KAFM, and its founders deserve some kind of award.

Since KAFM signed on several years ago, someone was kind (and dedicated) enough to locate and provide an entire house for the people-powered station (that's how much the people in town love their local access radio). The ground floor of the building includes a 75-seat performance theatre, enabling KAFM to broadcast live music.

The CPB certification brings expanding possibilities for an entire community once given up for the whims of larger market radio expectations, often convoluted research, and extreme insensitivity.

It's time to celebrate.
Visit the KAFM radio website by clicking here.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

KAJX-FM hires PR Pro as News Director.

According to The Aspen Times, KAJX-FM hired Mitzi Rapkin. Rapkin most recently served as the Director of Community Relations for Aspen, Colorado. The Aspen Daily News reports that Rapkin formerly worked as a reporter at Aspen Public Radio, for National Geographic, and in Washington DC. She is filling the News Director position vacated by Kirk Siegler, who moved to KUNC-FM.

So for those news people who fear losing journalistic credibility after working in as advocates or activists in public relations and corporate communications, I guess there really is a second life--in public radio news and in radio station management.

KUNC-FM and The Colorado Statesman.

Jody Hope Strogoff, Editor & Publisher of The Colorado Statesman, is a regular political contributor to KUNC-FM, which can be heard throughout north central and northeast Colorado, including the Denver metropolitan area.

Listen here to her most recent conversation with KUNC's Jim Beers regarding the announced resignation of US Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez, an endorsement by US Senator Ken Salazar, and a political position held by Republican US Senate Candidate Bob Schaffer.

Community Service Grant Congratulations!

KAFM-FM, Grand Junction, Colorado.

: Grand Valley Public Radio Company, Inc.

KAFM-FM went on the air in 1999 to serve the residents of the Grand Valley in Western Colorado. The station broadcasts a variety of locally-produced music and public affairs programming. The station also houses a 75-seat auditorium where it offers live performances from local and national artists.

The station becomes the 16th radio grantee to receive CPB funding in Colorado. Read about KAFM and all the other grantees here, from The Corporation for Public Broadcasting. The CPB made the announcement on August 23, 2007.

Endowments and Public Broadcasting.

KCME-FM in Manitou Springs has an endowment fund which "serves as both a savings account and an income stream" for "unexpected expenses and contingencies." You can contribute to it by following this link.

Does your public radio station have an endowment fund? If not, why not? And if so, do you know how, when, and why money is spent from the fund? Call or email them to find out.

Colorado Public Radio Funding from the CPB.

Here is a list of grant funding to Colorado public radio stations by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting during 2005. How did your public radio station fare? Did they spend taxpayer funds wisely? Why don't you ring them up or drop them a line to ask? After all, these are public airwaves.

Selected Jobs in Colorado Public Radio.

In honor of Labor Day, here is a list of some current openings at Colorado public radio stations. As you can see, not of these positions is with public radio "management." So remember, if you interview for any of these positions, make sure you laborers find out about the managers for whom you will be working. Also, many public radio stations also offer unpaid, volunteer opportunities; some corporatized public radio stations; however, do not.
  1. Corporate Support Associate at KUNC-FM in Greeley, Colorado. Job posting on the KUNC-FM site and job posting on the CPB website.
  2. Disc Jockey at KLNX-LP in Minturn, Colorado. DJ Application on the Radio Free Minturn website.
  3. Classical Music Host and Interns in Manitou Springs, Colorado. Music Host and Intern postings on the KCME-FM website.
  4. Web Developer/Programmer in Denver, Colorado. Job posting on the Colorado Public Radio website.

Friday, August 31, 2007

"Bob Edwards Weekend," on KUNC and KRCC.

For those public radio listeners who miss having Bob Edwards on National Public Radio, his XM Satellite radio show (distributed by Public Radio International) can be heard in Greeley, Fort Collins, Boulder, and Denver on KUNC-FM and in Steamboat Springs on KRNC-FM from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. on Sunday afternoons, and on KRCC-FM on both Saturdays and Sundays from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m.
*Thanks to a CPRB reader for the correction.

Cokie Roberts Coming to Colorado.

Cokie Roberts, of National Public Radio, will be in Denver, Colorado as the keynote speaker for The Women's Foundation of Colorado on Wednesday, November 14, 2007 at the Colorado Convention Center

Maybe one of the Denver public radio stations: KUNC-FM, KGNU-AM, KUVO-FM, or KCFR-AM can arrange to get this speaking engagement on the air, or get her into a studio to speak about The Democratic National Convention, the 2008 campaigns, working at NPR--you know, politics?

Another Public Radio Job in The High Country.

Aspen Public Radio has an opening for a Morning News Anchor and Reporter. If we're lucky, maybe we'll continue to hear stories from Aspen Public Radio on Colorado Public Radio and KUNC-FM.

Here is the job description, provided by The Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Beat the Retreat!

Colorado Public Radio goes back to future to do "beat reporting." A substantial grant from The Colorado Health Foundation by President and CEO, Anne Warhover, made this possible.

Now, KCFR News will hit the health beat--this time, with an actual news reporter, rather than another radio producer.

Read about Colorado Public Radio's recent grants here, see the job posting on the Corporation for Public Broadcasting website here, and read about it on here. Hopefully, KCPR can get this position filled before 2008. After all, their Managing Editor position is still vacant.

Steve Rauworth Retires from KSUT-FM.

Steve Rauworth, program director for KSUT-FM in Ignacio, Colorado retired today. Read the entire store here, from the Durango Herald.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Another Opening at Aspen Public Radio.

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting just posted another job opening at Aspen Public Radio on August 13th. Read about it here.

This position is listed as both a Classical Music Program Director and Classical Music Host/Producer. Does that mean the staff member who lands this lucrative job gets two paychecks or three?

Maybe one of the classical public radio hosts at CPRN is interested in moving from Denver (or Los Angeles) to Aspen? My guess is that it would be a pay cut though.

Kirk Siegler is on the move to KUNC.

News Director Kirk Siegler is moving from Aspen Public Radio to KUNC-FM. I wonder what that means for the hardest working reporter at Colorado Public Radio? My guess is that Eric Whitney of KRCC-FM in Colorado Springs becomes CPR's go-to guy for news reporting now.

Hey Eric and Kirk, send me some recent (and larger photos), unless of course you think that you have faces for radio! And in that case, I am sure someone ELSE will provide us the material.

"Colorado Remembrances," by Bente Birkeland.

If you're not familiar with Bente Birkeland, she is the only broadcast journalist posted full time at the Colorado State Capitol Building. She covers the Colorado Legislature full time when it's in session.

KRCC-FM pays half of her salary, and the other half is funded collectively by Rocky Mountain Community Radio member stations, a project originally started by KGNU as the Capitol Coverage Project.

She provides daily updates during the legislative session; 2-5 times per week. Bente has been on the job a little over 18 months now. KRCC-FM and Rocky Mountain Community Radio should be very proud of her and her work.

Listen here to one of her recent stories which aired on National Public Radio's Weekend Edition Saturday. Thanks to a Colorado Public Radio Blog reader for this post.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Of Missives and Mission Statements.

A couple of weeks ago, we posted the Mission Statements; both old and new, of Colorado Public Radio. And today, I noticed that KDNK-FM, also referred to as Carbondale Community Access Radio, has its mission statement posted to their website. Seriously, how succinct or wordy should a mission statement be? What do you think it should include?

These details also caught my eye in Colorado Public Radio's proposed mission statement:
  1. Highest Priority: Classical Music, and
  2. Priority: Local Content.
As far as I know, classical music is what Colorado Public Radio broadcasts exclusively under its KVOD brand. If it is the highest priority, are they branching out into other music formats? If so, which ones? Triple-A, County Western, World Music, or Jazz? The word highest, also suggests that classical music is most important music format among a group of at least 3 like items; grammatically it does. High, higher, highest? Good, better, best? Remember grammar and usage?

Also, Colorado Public Radio produces exactly one, 30-minute local news show, called Colorado Matters, under its KCFR brand, which broadcasts 7 days per week for a total of 7 hours (including full-length repeats). There are 168 hours of news, information, and entertainment broadcast on KCFR every week. Colorado Matters accounts for 4.2% of the programming content, not counting the Colorado Matters redundancies during Morning Edition.

In terms of quantity, that seems that local content is a fairly low priority. Perhaps it's really the quality that matters; not the quantity? Or maybe I fail to understand the meaning of the word priority? By the way, Colorado Public Radio has some job openings, even one in the news department!

Aspen Public Radio Job Opening.

Aspen Public Radio is looking for a News Director. Anyone looking for a low-paying job in a high-cost area of Colorado? Trust-funders or millionaires with journalism degrees might have an edge here. Or maybe they'll let you telecommute from somewhere else? Denver perhaps?

Friday, August 10, 2007

Senator Ken Salazar on KRCC-FM.

Senator Ken Salazar came home during the August recess to meet with Colorado citizens regarding Pinon Canyon. Listen to this story on KRCC-FM, Colorado Springs.

Democracy Now!

Award-winning journalist Amy Goodman, host of the daily, grassroots, global, radio/TV news hour Democracy Now!, is on a national speaking tour to mark DN!'s 10th anniversary and launch her second book with journalist David Goodman, Static: Government Liars, Media Cheerleaders, and the People Who Fight Back. Read about her visit to Denver here.

KGNU and KBDI Channel 12 welcome Amy Goodman to Denver for a live lecture and book signing to benefit KBDI Channel 12 and KGNU Community Radio.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Whad'ya Know? Bill Husted Mentions KCFR.

Too bad Bill Husted forgot to mention that Colorado Public Radio is a statewide network which also covers Boulder and Pueblo on the front range, some areas of the mountains, and the western slope. Maybe someone at CPR should give him a call to wake him up a bit. And, perhaps they can remind him that The Denver Post is read throughout the State of Colorado too?

Read his entire entertainment roundup in The Denver Post here. Bill reports that National Public Radio's "Wait, Wait . . . Don't Tell Me" will be taped Thursday night at Chautauqua, with scorekeeper Carl Kasell and panelists, but [that] this week's crew has not yet been announced."

Anyway, this show airs on KUNC-FM, Saturday, August 11th at 11:00 a.m. Or, you can Wait, Wait, Wait to hear it on KCFR-AM, Saturday, August 11th at 1:00 p.m. Tom Bodett, Kyrie O'Connor, and Paula Poundstone, are the panelist along with Carl Kasell and host Peter Sagal.

KOTO-FM Transmitter Problems in Telluride.

Read the entire article about KOTO-FM from the Telluride Daily Planet here.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

KDNK-FM Fundraiser on August 25th.

The 5th annual KDNK Blues and BBQ Fest on August 25, 2007 is a benefit for local, community radio station KDNK. This one-day event in downtown Carbondale, Colorado features great food and music and sees about 1,500-2,000 people each year. The event is free to the public. Also, check out the groovy new KDNK website.
Press release provided by Sonicbids.

KUNC-FM in the Boulder County Business Report.

GREELEY - Public radio listeners in the Boulder Valley can now pick up Greeley's KUNC loud and clear at 99.9 FM, thanks to a translator that went live on July 24. Read the entire article from the Boulder County Business Report here.

KYGT-FM "The Goat" on YourHub.

Here is a link to an article in The Denver Post about KYGT 102.7-FM The Goat; a community radio station broadcasting in the Clear Creak Valley.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

CPRB Guest Commentary, by Anonymous.

Regarding KUNC, the signal improvements usher in a new era for public radio in metro Denver. It places the number of public and/or community radio listening choices closer to the number of choices enjoyed by people living in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Boston, and Philadelphia; even in the middle of Iowa. In those and other spots around the country, petty public radio turf battles have taken a back seat to the concept of maximum public service. Unfortunately in Denver, that has been far from the case, and [it] has severely limited the variety of music and expression that has been possible.

The same numbers of FCC-regulated frequencies for non-commercial FM stations exist in Colorado as elsewhere, but other places haven't had the nasty political battles that have taken place within the public radio family in Colorado. The battles of decades past to keep out a strong FM presence for KGNU and KUNC into Denver metro have been documented.

What does all of this mean, now? Some of us who have not been able to receive upwards of 7 public radio signals in the same market may wonder what in the world do that many public stations program in a [single] market for listeners.

To give you a hint at what's possible, I invite you to go on-line to listen to the fare produced for national audiences by KCRW, Santa Monica, California, and [other] Los Angeles basin public stations in Pasadena, Long Beach, and Los Angeles; KUSC, KPFK, [and KPCC]. Do the same for Boston, New York City, San Francisco, and other markets where 4 or more public stations exist. When you hear the variety that is possible, remember this: many of the programs you hear are produced for public stations around the country. In fact, there are hundreds of programs distributed via public radio satellite, which could fill several stations in each market. Sadly, politics within the public radio family can limit those choices. The problem is reinforced when many of us are just unaware of the possibilities.

With KUNC finally available Denver-metro wide, a lot of this will play itself out, as the increased variety of public radio signals will hopefully lead to less repetition in the programming offered between one public station and another. For now, KUNC brings Fresh Air with Terry Gross at 7:00 PM and World Café with David Dye from 8:00 to 10:00 PM weeknights [Colorado Public Radio broadcasts Fresh Air with Terry Gross at 10:00 AM and 8:00 PM]. Those two shows alone will shake things up, but there's a lot more to chose from, especially with KUNC's weekend schedule that you can check out.

What a concept! More democracy [and diversity] for public radio listeners. It has to be a good thing!


For some more Denver radio conversations, please check out Denver Radio.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

800 and counting . . .

CPRB thanks all its readers for a second great week. Thus far, CPRB has had over 800 visits! Special thanks also to the dedicated managers and staff of all public radio stations throughout Colorado who have provided their comments, ideas, and insights--especially the thoughtful employees of Colorado Public Radio.

Colorado Public Radio's Revised Vail Plan.

Read Colorado Public Radio's revised Vail Plan for HD radio here.

The below excerpt is especially interesting, " . . . key CPR-produced programs such as Colorado Matters."

Colorado Public Radio through is partnership with KUSC-FM in Los Angeles produces programming for the Classical Public Radio Network, and Colorado Public Radio produces Colorado Spotlight. At CPRB, we are not sure if Colorado Spotlight is heard in Vail, Colorado, but this statement might lead readers to the conclusion that Colorado Public Radio has a lot more CPR-produced news programming than they actually do, and it might also lead readers to conclude that Colorado Matters could not be heard in Vail, but for the change to HD radio.

If this is true, then why can Colorado Public Radio broadcast National Public Radio produced programs in Vail, Colorado without the change from a mixed format and a change to HD radio? Maybe they just choose not to broadcast Colorado Matters in Vail? Just a thought.

Eric Whitney of KRCC-FM on NPR.

Eric Whitney's report on Fort Carson soldiers from KRCC-FM ran on National Public Radio program Day to Day on August 3rd, 2007.

KUSC-FM Has Reason to Celebrate.

KUSC is Colorado Public Radio's classical music partner called The Classical Public Radio Network, which broadcasts throughout Colorado under the brand name KVOD.


Classical KUSC/91.5 FM station President Brenda Barnes had reason to cheer when the spring Arbitron ratings came out in July.

"We have an embarrassment of riches when it comes to public radio in Los Angeles and all the public stations are doing well in reaching audience. The latest book for KUSC represents the largest audience KUSC has reached in its history."

"While that is good news, we also know that listeners are sampling our station because KMZT moved classical music to the AM (1260). So to keep those listeners, we have to ensure that we are doing a good job. It will take a couple more books for the audience picture to shake out for KUSC so we can determine what our audience growth will actually look like."

"In terms of audience, we saw an across-the-board audience increase in every day part. The largest audience for KUSC is midday Monday through Friday – the typical pattern for music stations. Our opera audience on Saturday morning and Sunday evening is also large as is the audience for our Sunday morning choral music program."

"(Demographically), 32 percent is between (age) 54 and 63. The number of people who tune in at any given quarter hour is 25,600 and our cume (number of different listeners) is 513,000 (weekly)," she e-mailed."

"KUSC also made two important hires: Dennis Bartel and Rich Capparela. The latter was with KMZT until it switched its FM to country."

NPR Correspondent Speaks in Aspen.

Here is a link to the story by The Aspen Times. Lourdes Garcia-Navarro is a correspondent for National Public Radio.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Colorado Confidential Bust Doug Lamborn Again.

You can read out it here. Once again, the Congressman is going after funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. By the way, if anyone is interested in participating in the following blog about US Congressman Doug Lamborn, please send an email so that we can hook you up.

CPRB Commentary, by Jimmy James Jr.

COMMENTARY PART 2 (with corrections)
CPRB Readers,

Today, I want to continue to address some great comments and questions from one of our many Anonymous readers of (and posters to) Colorado Public Radio Blog. You can read Commentary Part 1, by Jimmy James here.

Anonymous states: Thanks to HD radio, today's FM stations have the capability to transmit multiple programs on a single frequency. On HD1, KVOD (90.1-FM in Denver) has never sounded better on FM. On HD2, KCFR (1340-AM in Denver) has never sounded better on FM or AM. And CPR's stations are not alone. Eleven (11) other Denver stations are multicasting with two channels. Others will follow.” {Hyper links, parenthetical additions, and other emphases added by CPRB authors}.

Jimmy James responds: Colorado Public Radio Blog authors agree; multi-casting programs in digital-only format, using existing bandwidth on both the AM and FM band, is a sea change in terrestrial broadcasting. Colorado Public Radio Blog authors never suggested otherwise. Qualitatively and quantitatively, HD radio may provide substantially more programming at higher fidelity, but HD radio’s successes or failures will be measured by the degree to which listeners adopt and invest in upgrades (and entire replacements) of their existing and completely-functional equipment, and to the extent that listeners choose HD radio over other means of digital receipt (via computers, portable music players, podcasts, WiFi radios, and wide-area wireless networks).

Colorado Public Radio for example, became an early adopter of HD radio, through a substantial grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (for Vail) to upgrade to HD radio (CPRB could not find links to the CPB grants Colorado Public Radio received for Denver and Boulder). In other words, the CPB subsidized these upgrades, which were also undoubtedly paid for by CPR's members. Colorado Public Radio (like many other large, metropolitan public radio stations and networks), should be heartily commended for applying for and receiving these grants, and for properly joining that substantial financial largesse with the contributions from individual, corporate, and foundational supporters.

In the case of one Denver-area commercial station mentioned in the list provided by Anonymous, KBCO 97.3 FM (which broadcasts in Denver and Boulder, Colorado, and for which Colorado Public Radio’s KCFR 1340-AM likely possesses significant listener overlap), this station’s choice of discreet programming on 97.3-FM HD-2 is called KBCO’s Studio C; a separate service which is transmitted commercial-free. So, it is not simply a simulcast of what the radio station otherwise offers on another radio frequency or radio band.

By contrast KCFR-AM News & Information and KVOD-FM Classical Music (Colorado Public Radio's actual station call letters in Denver, and the brand names by which CPR identifies them throughout its statewide network) are serving up the same content, and perhaps different ratios of the same content (as is the plan for Vail), but they are not really serving up distinctly different content.

In short, qualitative difference and quantitative differences can and should be considered together--not separately--when one gauges the decision of transmitting in HD (not simply the capability to do so). Serving the same basic food in an upscale restaurant could certainly make one’s restaurant experience more palatable; however, it does not make the food tastier—especially when the check arrives.

Anonymous further states: Ever since Frances Koncilja went public about her disagreements with Colorado Public Radio’s Board, the prospect of selling the AM stations has been represented as a travesty that would deprive listeners of service. Either classical or news programming would be broadcast on HD2, making it available only to listeners who own HD radios. Far worse things could happen to a format.”

Jimmy James responds: The above comments greatly gloss over the disagreements that Frances Koncilja had with the Colorado Public Radio Board and Management. Without speaking for her, I will briefly discuss each of her issue here. As well, she has many entries on Colorado Public Radio Blog where interested readers can view her opinions, observations, comments, and the actual supporting documents she uses to make her case. In sum, here are her disagreements, listed in not particular order or precedence:

  1. HD Radio: HD radio (generally) and HD radio (specifically) in Vail, Colorado. Since we have already discussed many issues pertaining to HD radio generally, I will address Frances Koncilja’s issues with HD radio, specifically in Vail, Colorado. First, Colorado Public Radio broadcasts a mixed format of news and information (KCFR-AM) and classical music (KVOD-FM) on a single FM station in the Vail Valley (89.9-FM KPRE). This circumstance is likely due to the fact that there are no usable FM frequencies in the non-commercial band or affordable frequencies in the commercial band for Colorado Public Radio to acquire.

    Second (according to Frances Koncilja), the planned move to HD radio by CPR in the Vail Valley was decided by Colorado Public Radio Management, with insufficient Board discussion, without supporting research, significantly devoid of community dialog, and absent listener and listener-subscriber input. CPR broadcast changes will greatly affect Vail listeners, because owners of standard AM/FM radios will receive either 24 hours of news OR 24 hours music; whichever CPR decides to broadcast on the primary, FM frequency. The same deprivation will happen in Denver, Boulder, and Pueblo, Colorado if Colorado Public Radio makes the same decisions on behalf of its listeners and listener-subscribers in these markets too.

    Thus, Colorado Public Radio lacked diligence in its decision to rollout HD radio in one of its affiliate markets. So, to represent this disagreement as a criticism of HD radio per se, is fallacious, in that it is overly general. As a Colorado Public Radio Board Member, what Frances Koncilja expected from the Colorado Public Radio Board and Management was transparency and inclusion. What novel ideas in public radio!

  2. The Board: Board Membership total size and diversity representation are two related disagreements that Frances Koncilja has with Colorado Public Radio. During her four years on the Board, it shrunk from more than twenty (20) members to just eleven (11). And, it was Colorado Public Radio’s tentative plan to further decrease the Board to nine (9) total members (*this item was withdrawn on motion); presumably bolstered by and unknown collection of members who comprise CPR's Community Advisory Group. And while gender diversity is well-represented on CPR’s Board, racial diversity is not—it is absent. Thus, shrinking the total size of the Board will further reduce the opportunities for people of color to represent Colorado’s diverse constituencies. Real inclusion and genuine diversity--brilliant!

  3. Board Subsidy of KCFR Content Development: In addition, Colorado Public Radio’s newly-formed, but substantially smaller Board of Directors, may require that each member of the new-and-improved Board to commit to giving or getting contributions to Colorado Public Radio at or above the $25,000 level. In the past two years for example, Colorado Public Radio Board Members have authorized a combined amount of $500,000 to be spent on the the so-called KCFR News Colorado News Initiative, allowing management to dip into reserves if necessary. *CPRB does not know however, the exact amount of money Colorado Public Radio has spent thus far on the two-year-old News Initiative.

    In Frances Koncilja’s opinion, the investment so far has not netted the quality and quantity of news content expected, given the high contribution costs by the present Board Members. Will future financial infusions result in substantive news or music programming changes? Fiscal discretion and oversight--outstanding!

  4. Board Governance, Company Mission Statement, and CPR Control: Finally, Frances Koncilja believes that the Colorado Public Radio Board spent inordinate amounts of time, effort, and financial resourses (in the form of consultant costs paid to Bill Charney of Charney Associates), to re-work Colorado Public Radio’s Board Governance Rules and Company Mission Statement (this board governance item was also withdrawn on motion, and it was agreed to commence a new governance process). Further, she believes that Colorado Public Radio management inefficiently and ineffectively spent these scarce resources on onerous administrative details when other issues appeared to be more urgent. Leadership and guidance in governance--unthinkable!

We will leave it to the readers to review past posts and comments on Colorado Public Radio Blog and in Denver Westword to determine the veracity of Frances Koncilja’s statements, claims, and arguments. If you post your comments on CPRB, Frances Koncilja will attempt to answer each one, as best she can and as time permits.

At Colorado Public Radio Blog, we welcome discourse about the issues surrounding public radio in Colorado. Once again, thanks for reading CPRB.
--Jimmy James Jr.

Current.Org Mentions Colorado Public Radio Blog!

Colorado Public Radio Blog receives a mention by Current.Org; the public broadcasting trade magazine. Read about it here.

The CS Fine Arts Center and KRCC-FM

KRCC-FM reports the grand re-opening of the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, yesterday, August 2nd. Listen to the entire story from KRCC-FM here.

The Aspen Music Festival on Performance Today.

The Aspen Times reports that "Seven Aspen Music Festival and School (AMFS) students will be featured on Performance Today, the American Public Media show (since it was moved from National Public Radio on January 16, 2007) hosted by Christopher O’Riley and set to hit the airwaves in the fall."

"The show, which can be heard on 250 stations around the country, including
Aspen Public Radio on Fridays at 2 p.m., will be recorded live in Harris Concert Hall on Sunday, Aug. 5 at 8 pm. Tickets are $30. The session will also feature interviews and performances by some of the country’s best young musicians, along with a little humor."

Thursday, August 2, 2007

CPRB Commentary, by Jimmy James Jr.

CPRB Readers,

Today, I want to address some great comments and questions from one of our many Anonymous readers of (and posters to) Colorado Public Radio Blog.

Anonymous asks: "Why the apparent reverence for CPR's so-called 'legacy' AM stations? A 'legacy' of what? Weak signals and poor transmission? Static? Whining? Buzzing? Fading out in underpasses? And let's not overlook AM's tinny audio quality, which is very fatiguing to the ears."

Jimmy James responds: These are all great questions. My definition of legacy is, “of or pertaining to old or outdated computer hardware, software, or data that, while still functional, does not work well with up-to-date systems.” And to this definition, Anonymous agrees when s/he states, “Indeed, AM technology is antique . . . ”. So, a fully functional antique then? Well, that really sounds like the definition of legacy to me. And, the legacy AM band is still being used a lot, despite its less-than-perfect qualities.

Jimmy James continues: However, then anonymous uses some definitional trickery (one might even call it, linguistic creativity) to suggest that the AM stations “Colorado Public Radio acquired . . . in 2001,” are not “old” to they who acquired them. While this is historically accurate, it changes the meaning of legacy to rather refer to “anything handed down from the past, as from an ancestor or predecessor.” Obviously, Colorado Public Radio paid for (presumably with listener contributions and/or grants), and therefore, did not receive 1340-AM Denver, 1490-AM Boulder, or 1280-AM Pueblo as “hand downs.”

And in the opinion of Anonymous (and presumably Colorado Public Radio), the single reason it was done was “to serve CPR's news and information listeners in Denver, Boulder and Pueblo.” CPRB agrees with this statement, that Colorado Public Radio believes that they (the company) made a rational decision to serve its listeners. We will leave it to others to decide the wisdom of this decision. At Colorado Public Radio Blog, we are neutral with regard to that decision, or this particular statement made by Anonymous.

Finally, the last sentence here that AM stations are “not exactly the stuff of which 'legacies' are made," is just more of the same—definition changing for the sake of misdirection or style.

Anonymous states: "But (Surprise!) technology has marched forward. Thanks to HD radio, today's FM stations have the capability to transmit multiple programs on a single frequency. On HD1, KVOD has never sounded better on FM. On HD2, KCFR has never sounded better on FM or AM. And CPR's stations are not alone. Eleven (11) other Denver stations are multi-casting with two channels. Others will follow."

Jimmy James responds: Of course, HD radio is of better quality than analog FM, just as analog FM is of better quality than analog AM. CPRB authors have never made a claim stating the technical merits of these terms or technologies, including multi-casting. Of course, Colorado Public Radio Blog authors and its readers are not the least bit surprised about “ . . . technology marching forward,” which is why in the original post that Anonymous rebutted, CPRB mentioned streaming bit-rates and their relationship to audio quality (fidelity), to broadband, and to the many digital technologies and services which most households in America already possess. Luddites indeed!

For example, a Pew/Internet: Pew Internet & American Life study from back in August 2004 said that “Broadband Penetration [was] on the Upswing: 55% of Adult Internet Users Have Broadband at Home or Work." By 2005-2006, broadband penetration continued to grow in the United States and indeed, even faster worldwide. And by 2010, total broadband penetration in the US is estimated to be 62% of all households or 71 million total broadband subscribers. Of course, some of these statistics are a 2-3 years old, but they support the point that many people and households in America already possess a means of receiving digital, radio broadcasts delivered in both high- and low-quality streams. Additionally, in many American households the ratio of computers to users continues to rise, as membership declines and computer purchases rise. Thus, many American households have at least two digital radio receivers; one for each computer attached to the broadband pipe.

So, if you have cable broadband or a digital subscriber line (DSL) connection at home, you can maximize the costs you already pay (for Internet, telephone, and television service) by listening to thousands of your favorite radio stations online; not to mention the digital-quality music subscribers probably also receive from their cable or satellite television provider. And, the digital quality of the stream is determined by the bandwidth subscribers already pay for, and the quality (bit-rate) at which radio stations choose to stream.

Finally, most American households (especially households which include children, teens, and younger adults) also have and use many other digital devices commonly referred to as portable music players, digital audio players, MP3 Players, and/or hard-disc drive players like Apple’s I-Pod. Once again, my original post points out that many Americans already own digital players, which when combined with broadband connections, computers, online music services, podcasts (audio and video,) and web streams (radio and television), provide high-quality content along with portability. Colorado Public Radio Blog simply suggested that readers of the blog might maximize the digital technology they already had—investing in upgrading and purchasing these items in place of HD-radio, given the current costs of HD radio investment.

Of course it is true that if HD radio becomes popular and HD radio technology become commodifed to the degree that computers, broadband, and portable music players have, then prices for HD radio receivers (for both automobile and home) will likely drop. In fact, they have already dropped substantially in the past few years. However, these costs are not nearly as low as Anonymous suggests, especially if the average American household attempts to replace every existing (standard) AM/FM radio with an comparable HD model.

Anonymous provides this link for pricing comparisons with Ibiquity Digital Corporation:

Jimmy James responds:

HD Tabletop Radios

  1. Sony HD Radio (coming soon): $199.
  2. Accurian by Radio Shack: $199.
  3. Boston Accoutics Receptor Radio HD: $299.
  4. Cambridge SoundWorks 820HD: $299.
  5. Directed Electronics: DHHD-1000: $249.
  6. Polk Audio I-Sonic Entertainment System: $599.
  7. Radio-Osophy HD100 Receiver: $99.
  8. Sangean HDR-1: $249.
  9. Visteon HD Jump: $299.
  10. Visteon HD Pulse: $199.

HD Stereo Components (tuners)

  1. Audio Design Components: prices not listed.
  2. DaySequerra Components: $1595 to $7995.
  3. Rotel Components: $199 to $795.

HD Automotive Adapters

  1. Dice Electronics HD Dice Module: $199.
  2. Directed Electronics: Directed Car Component DMHD-1000: $199.

HD Automotive Radios

  1. JVC KD-HDR1: $199.
  2. Sony XT 100-HD: $199.
  3. Kenwood KTC-HR100: $199 (tuner box only).
  4. Alpine TUA-T500HD Tuner Module: $199 (tuner box only).

Jimmy James continues: Colorado Public Radio Blog provided the Cambridge SoundWorks 820HD at $299 (tabletop) and the JVC KD-HDR1 at $199 (automobile) as fair representations of current HD radio costs to the consumer--$500 to replace one tabletop HD radio and to replace one automobile unit. We also indicated that installation costs, shipping and handling, and taxes were extra. Thus, the link that Anonymous provide does not refute, rather it defends our claim. By stating that “prices begin at $99 and will decline further,” is factually correct, but it is also misleading.

If we take these ten, tabletop HD radios (as a representative sample) for example, add up the suggested retail prices (before any additional costs listed above) and then divide by ten (the number of total radios), the average price for an HD radio (today) is $269. As you can see, this number is slightly less than that example given by Colorado Public Radio Blog, but substantially more than the “starting at $99” provided by Anonymous. Public radio listeners are astute media consumers, and they know this tactic of starting at quite well. If however, we drop the high- and low-priced radios ($599 and $99 respectively) from the calculation, and summed the remaining eight table top HD radios, the average price drops to $249 per radiostill very close to the $299 originally quoted by Colorado Public Radio Blog.

Finally, how many AM/FM radios does the current American household own and use? Well, if my household is representative, we have and we use all of the following:

  1. Two cars; two AM/FM radios with standard CD capability.
  2. One home entertainment system with AM/FM tuner.
  3. Two clock radios with AM/FM tuners.
  4. One portable AM/FM radio in the basement.
  5. One AM/FM shower radio.
  6. One FM-only tuner on a flash player.
  7. One portable AM/FM at the office.

As you can see, AM/FM radios are pretty ubiquitous--we have nine total non-HD radios in use in one home! So, how many HD radios will you buy to replace the ones we already own? At what cost? Will you buy one, two, or more? If you only by one--perhaps an inexpensive $99 one with cheap, tinny-sounding speakers--where will you place it in your house? In other words, which one will you replace? Will your take your new, single HD radio with you from room to room or from home to work--and back? From your home to your car? There is one radio from Visteon designed just for that dual purpose, by the way.

And, at what price will you pay for HD radio sets when you already have digital devices (computers, televisions, and handhelds) that deliver high-fidelity news, entertainment, and music in ways you already listen? Logical people make economically rational decisions, especially when given complete information--the costs and benefits--regarding their purchases.

At Colorado Public Radio Blog, we welcome the debate about the true costs and benefits of HD radio, so please come back later to this blog where Jimmy James Jr. will continue to comment on points, observations, and arguments posed recently by Anonymous, because as Robert A. Heinlein said, “There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.”

--Jimmy James Jr.

Thank You from Colorado Public Radio Blog!

Colorado Public Radio Blog thanks all of its readers for a very successful first week. So far, we have had nearly 500 visits to the site! Special thanks also to the dedicated managers and staff of all public radio stations throughout Colorado. This blog would not be possible without your assistance. Thank You!