Friday, July 25, 2008

Switch off KVOD, Switch on Internet Radio?

Colorado Public Radio encourages listeners in Boulder, Colorado -- where KVOD on 88.1-FM is "spotty," according to CPR's Sean Nethery -- to switch to HD radio. Failing that, there is Internet radio. In this article from the Boulder Daily Camera, a "peeved listener" by the name of Carla Selby, finds that there are 127 classical music stations for her to listen over the Internet. And, she says that she won’t be listening to her old favorite anymore; that she "feels betrayed, and that [she] probably will never forgive them [Colorado Public Radio]."

It make you wonder. With 127 different classical music choices on internet radio, will Carla find yet another reason -- besides irritation and disappointment with CPR's decision -- to tune out KVOD? Why spend money on an HD radio -- especially when it won't work in Boulder anyway -- if for the same price or less, you can get an Internet radio and use the broadband connection you already have at home? And, what if Carla finds better classical music content on the Internet besides? What coy or evasive answer does Sean Nethery of Colorado Public Radio have prepared for that?


Anonymous said...

My 78-year old mother has both donated and listened to KVOD since 1999. She lives in the foothills west of Boulder.

CPR's decision to make KVOD a second-class station has cut her off. There is no internet access for her, and HD Radio's range is typically less than the carrier.

This was obviously a political decision. CPR wants to increase NPR's coverage before the election. They're losing a lot of donors as a result. I guess they figure Obama will give them a reward.

Jimmy James Jr. said...


To a certain extent, I agree, CPR made this decision for political reasons related to the DNC. CPR does not want to be a city WITHOUT public radio news -- NPR news, that is -- on FM like most other major American cities. However, I am not certain that this is really a Democratic verses Republican issue for CPR. Rather, this is a corporate one.

KGNU carries public radio news in both Denver and Boulder, largely from public radio sources which are arguably, left of center (Pacifica). KUNC (from Greeley) carries some NPR news programming, but does not broadcast 24 hours of news. Thus, CPR cannot afford to be embarrassed when the national media arrives that Colorado Public Radio -- a statewide NEWS source -- is only on the AM band in the Denver metro area, the center of their news network.

NPR News is about as mainstream as it gets -- they are the CNN of radio. And while an Obama administration might be more likely than a McCain administration to support more CPB funding for all public radio, the difference between their levels of support for public radio -- left, right or center -- will be negligible.

This is no political gift to Obama and the Democrats; rather a pretty self-serving decision for the solid mass of centrists who still like to paint NPR with a liberal brush -- centrists at BOTH NPR and CPR, which is why NPR has dumped most of its own cultural programming for news over the past few years. This is a corporate trend, plain and simple. Classical music doesn't make money, the audience is dying off, and these public radio organizations needs to stay in BUSINESS.


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