Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Colorado Public Radio Translator Woes Continue

Summit Public Radio replaces KVOD-FM from Denver with KCME-FM from Colorado Springs: Summit Public Radio, serving population centers throughout Summit County in Colorado's central highlands -- including the ski resort of Breckenridge and the town of Frisco -- has replaced Colorado Public Radio content the Summit County translator (read: radio signal repeater system) with KCME 88.7-FM, public radio of Colorado Springs, CO.

This move is consistent with providing classical music to Summit County residents, a role somewhat filled by KVOD-FM when it used to broadcast a strong signal from 90.1 FM in Denver. The new KVOD signal at 88.1-FM in Denver is too weak to relay a signal to the Summit County system, thus prompting this change.

When the Summit system was in its infancy in the 1980's, technical staff from the county confirmed that it was possible to receive public radio signals (from atop Summit County peaks) from Colorado Springs, Denver, Greeley, in Colorado and even from Laramie, Wyoming for re-broadcasting on FM translators across Summit County. The only signal that is shut out of this equation is KVOD at 88.1FM, with only 1,200 watts of authorized power.

With Empire Builders at play, there has to be something looming . . .

Will CPR find a way to once again offer its particular blend of classical music from KVOD-FM to Summit County? While the new 88.1-FM signal is inconsistent and unreliable, delivery of KVOD via alternative technology, such as an ISDN telephone line or a microwave link could be possible (and pricy). But, who's counting when you're on the Colorado Public Radio mission?

If CPR makes a play to take back Summit County's 89.3FM translator from KCME, will enough time have elapsed for the Summit County faithful to fully ascertain the classical music offerings from KCME to decide which service they prefer? This also raises the question about metro Denver's classical music devotees and what would happen if THEY had the same ability to hear a strong signal from KCME. Stay tuned . . .

Among their other offerings, Summit Public Radio also carries KUVO Jazz 89 in Denver, KUNC-FM in Greeley, and KBCO from Boulder. To see a complete run-down of stations carried by the system, and other information, go to Summit Public Rado, which we link to on the Colorado Public Radio Blog site.

Note: This isn't the first time that Colorado Public Radio has failed to do its homework while attempting to serve a community with an FM translator. Their inconsistent service provided for the isolated community of Meeker, Colorado is a case in point. The downtime for CPR's translator there is deplorable -- so much so that Meeker should not even appear on CPR's Station Map (not an actual coverage map, by the way).

Placing a translator there in 1991 was risky at best due to terrain problems and the distance between Meeker and the "parent" signal from CPR's satellite station in Grand Junction, Colorado. If Meeker's 2,500 residents had a ski resort or other glitterati attractions nearby, CPR would have this place on a much higher pedestal, like most public radio listeners across Colorado who enjoy a far-more dependable signal -- day in, day out. As a result of CPR's inaction and indifference, the good folks of Meeker-- a town that does not have a radio station of its own -- are left with consistent radio signals coming from two translators; one of them is a religious station; the other a tired commercial country music station out of Craig, Colorado.

So much for MISSION, eh Max? And, Summit Public Radio . . . it's time to change your logo!


Anonymous said...

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Get more information and submit your music to

For more on Becca Levy, visit

Save Lives with Your Talent!

Nicole Van Eden

Vice President/ Public Relations

Illumina Records & Promotions


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