Centennial-based Colorado Public Radio announced yesterday that it’s expanding into the Colorado Springs market. The long-established regional public radio powerhouse has acquired a new AM/FM signal is Colorado Springs — 1490 AM and 102.1 FM — which joins two new FM translators that were recently added in Boulder and Pueblo.
Contingent on Federal Communications Commission approval, CPR News will be heard on 1490 AM and 102.1 FM in Colorado Springs by spring 2017.
The organization is also hiring a locally based reporter who will join three additional positions based at the station’s Centennial headquarters.
KRCC general manager Tammy Terwelp isn’t worried about the competition.
“We’ve been here since 1951,” she said. “Our roots in the community are very deep. One reporter doesn’t make a radio station.”
Sean Nethery, CPR’s senior vice president of programming, framed the decision as one made to broaden the reach of public media statewide.
“We’re all in the business of serving the public,” he said. “This is part of our long-term plan to serve the state. We’ve never had full-time news service to Colorado Springs, the state’s second largest community.”
Former KRCC producer/reporter Noel Black welcomed the move.
“I think Colorado Springs will be well served by some competition in the public media market,” he said. “Colorado Public Radio brings a lot of resources to its mission to cover the entire state.”
That may be an understatement. With annual revenues of approximately $17 million, net assets of $23.8 million and a staff of more than 100, CPR could have a substantial impact on the local media market.
“Public media is more important than ever to Coloradans,” said Rocky Mountain PBS President (and former Colorado Springs resident) Amanda Mountain. “There are many exceptional organizations committed to engaging as much of the state as possible in order to reach those traditionally underserved by conventional media. It’s incumbent upon those of us who work in the industry to collaborate to create the strongest impact possible for those we serve.”