Colorado Public Radio Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colorado_Public_Radio

Colorado Public Radio
TypePublic radio network
United States
Broadcast area
AffiliationsNational Public Radio
The Colorado Public Radio studios in Centennial, Colorado.

Colorado Public Radio (CPR) is a public radio state network based in Denver, Colorado that broadcasts three services: news, classical music and Indie 102.3, which plays adult album alternative music. CPR airs its programming on 15 full-power stations, augmented by 17 translators. Their combined signal reaches 80 percent of Colorado.[1] CPR also manages KRCC, the NPR member station in Colorado Springs, in partnership with the station's owner, Colorado College.

As of 2013, CPR had 440,000 weekly listeners, 47,000 contributing members and annual revenue of $14 million.[1] In early-March 2019, CPR acquired hyperlocal news site Denverite from Spirited Media to bolster its web news coverage for locals.[2][3][4][5][6]

CPR is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization. Private support from listeners, corporations, foundations and partners accounts for approximately 95 percent of CPR's total budget.


The first station in what would become Colorado Public Radio, KCFR (90.1 FM) in Denver, went on the air in 1970. The station was initially licensed to the University of Denver. In 1973, KCFR began carrying programming from National Public Radio (NPR), beginning with All Things Considered.Morning Edition was added in 1979. More NPR programming was added the following year when the network began to distribute programming via satellite.

KCFR separated from the University of Denver in 1984, becoming a community-licensed public radio station. That same year, KPRN in Grand Junction signed on the air. In 1991, KPRN merged with KCFR, forming the new entity, Colorado Public Radio. The original plan as proposed to the Western Slope listeners and the FCC during the license acquisition phase was to continue providing original localized programming for the needs of the Western Slope audience. But despite protests from those listeners, within a few years the KPRN studios were closed, all volunteers and news staff positions were eliminated and it became a satellite station of KCFR.[7][8]

CPR added more satellite stations in the following years, including KPRE Vail in 1994, KCFP Pueblo in 1996, and KPRH Montrose in 1998. CPR also began adding other low-power translators, sometimes in competition with existing public radio stations. Stations in other areas not served by CPR, like KDNK in Carbondale, complained that CPR would also send out fundraising solicitation letters to KDNK listeners leaving the impression that they could thank CPR for receiving popular NPR programs like All Things Considered or Morning Edition, sometimes resulting in misdirected donations.[7]

Until 2001, CPR's format was a mix of NPR programming and classical music. However, in 1999, CPR bought Denver classical music station KVOD, a prelude to providing both a 24-hour news format and a 24-hour classical format.[9]

In 2001, CPR attempted to purchase the University of Northern Colorado's FM station KUNC in a closed-door deal with then-UNC president Hank Brown. When the pending deal was announced to the public, KUNC immediately raised over $1,000,000 in a week of emergency fundraising as a successful counteroffer to CPR's, thus ending CPR's plans to acquire the KUNC radio network.

In 2001, KCFC Boulder, KKPC Pueblo and KPRU on the Western Slope joined the CPR network. In 2004, CPR brought KVOV in Glenwood Springs on the air as part of its statewide network. In 2008, CPR's news service moved to 90.1 FM, and 88.1 FM carried CPR's classical service in Denver. In 2011, CPR launched the new-music station OpenAir on 1340 AM as KVOQ, and in 2015, OpenAir switched to broadcasting as KVOQ-FM on 102.3 FM in Denver/Boulder, and KVXQ (now Classical KVXO) on 88.3 FM in Fort Collins.

On January 17, 2020, Colorado Public Radio and Colorado College announced that Colorado Public Radio would take over the management of KRCC, the primary NPR member station in Colorado Springs. While Colorado Public Radio will handle all operations, Colorado College will continue to hold the license and the station will still be operated from Colorado Springs. Initially, the station's format of NPR news during the day and adult album alternative music at night remained the same. However, the station's daytime schedule was tweaked slightly to match that of CPR's all-news network, and KRCC added CPR's daily statewide news program, "Colorado Matters." As part of the agreement, Colorado College and Colorado Public Radio will collaborate on a "public media center" that will be home to KRCC, the Colorado College Journalism Institute, and Rocky Mountain PBS' Regional Innovation Center.[10][11] CPR had expanded to Southern Colorado in 2016 with the purchase of Manitou Springs-licensed AM station KXRE, but in April it switched that station to a simulcast of KVOQ.

CPR News[edit]

CPR News includes a locally produced program called “Colorado Matters,” local newscasts throughout the day and national/international news from sources like NPR and the BBC. Over the years, Colorado Public Radio's newsroom has received a number of journalism awards, including RTNDA Edward R. Murrow Awards,[12] Public Radio News Directors Incorporated (PRNDI) Awards[13] and Colorado Broadcasters Association (CBA) Awards.[14]

The Taxman[edit]

In 2017, CPR produced a three-part podcast broadcast on the radio entitled The Taxman. Produced by Rachel Estabrook, Nathaniel Minor, and Ben Markus, it gives the story about the Taxpayers Bill of Rights, or TABOR, in Colorado. It follows the man who created it, Douglas Bruce, and how it affected the state government. All three episodes were released on November 13, 2017, and narrated by Rachel Estabrook and Nathaniel Minor.[15]


CPR's full-power stations are split between three services. Seven broadcast NPR news and talk, five air classical music with hourly NPR news updates, and three air adult album alternative music.

*NOTE: Italics denote low-power translator stations. Many of the listed translators are owned by county cooperatives, and may change stations or frequencies with little notice. This listing does not include KRCC and its satellites, which are owned by Colorado College and managed by CPR.

Location Frequency Call sign Format
Aspen 101.5 FM K268BJ (KVOV) Classical
Boulder 1490 AM KCFC News
106.3 FM K292GW (KCFC) News
99.9 FM K260AL (KVOD) Classical
Carbondale 90.5 FM KVOV Classical
Cortez 102.5 FM K273AE (KVOD) Classical
Craig 88.3 FM KPYR News
Delta 103.3 FM KPRU Classical
Denver 90.1 FM KCFR-FM News
88.1 FM KVOD Classical
Dove Creek 88.7 FM K204DZ (KVOD) Classical
Fort Collins 88.3 FM KVXO Classical
90.9 FM K215FM (KVOQ) Indie 102.3
Glenwood Springs 100.1 FM K261AI (KVOV) Classical
Grand Junction 89.5 FM KPRN News
Greenwood Village
102.3 FM KVOQ Indie 102.3
Gunnison 88.5 FM K203BB (KPRN) News
89.1 FM K206BE (KVOD) Classical
Manitou Springs
(Colorado Springs)
1490 AM KXRE Indie 102.3
102.1 FM K271CK (KXRE) Indie 102.3
Meeker 91.1 FM K216BP (KPRN) News
Montrose 88.3 FM KPRH News
Ouray 91.5 FM K218BE (KPRN) News
Parachute 88.3 FM K202BI (KPRN) News
Pueblo 91.9 FM KCFP Classical
Rangely 91.1 FM K216BO (KPRN) News
Old Snowmass 93.9 FM K230AN (KVOV) Classical
Thomasville 93.7 FM K229AI (KVOV) Classical
Vail 89.9 FM KPRE News
88.5 FM KVQI Indie 102.3


  1. ^ a b "Colorado Public Radio". Charity Navigator. Retrieved 23 June 2015.
  2. ^ "Colorado Public Radio buying online news site Denverite". AP NEWS. 2019-03-06. Retrieved 2019-03-07.
  3. ^ Roberts, Michael (2019-03-07). "Inside Colorado Public Radio's Purchase of Denverite". Westword. Retrieved 2019-03-07.
  4. ^ Krewson, Chris (2019-03-06). "Colorado Public Radio to acquire Denverite from Spirited Media". Medium. Retrieved 2019-03-07.
  5. ^ Rose, Jonathan (2019-03-06). "Colorado Public Radio purchasing hyperlocal news site Denverite". www.bizjournals.com. Retrieved 2019-03-07.
  6. ^ Falk, Tyler (2019-03-06). "Colorado Public Radio acquires local Spirited Media website". Current. Retrieved 2019-03-07.
  7. ^ a b Michael Roberts (1997-06-12). "Feedback - - Music - Denver". Westword. Retrieved 2013-08-12.
  8. ^ Steve Behrens (1991-05-27). "Battle of Grand Junction, 1991". Current.org. Archived from the original on 2013-08-13. Retrieved 2013-08-12.
  9. ^ "Application Search Details, File Number: BPED-19960926MD, KVOD". Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved 24 August 2015.
  10. ^ Wayne Heilman (January 18, 2020). "Colorado Public Radio will take over operation of KRCC". The Gazette.
  11. ^ "Colorado Public Radio And Colorado College Announce Partnership To Expand 91.5 KRCC Public Service And Create New Public Media Center". Colorado Public Radio. January 17, 2020.
  12. ^ "2015 Edward R. Murrow Awards". Radio Television Digital News Association. Retrieved 23 June 2015.
  13. ^ "2014 PRNDI Award Winners Outdo Fierce Competition". Public Radio News Digital Incorporated. Retrieved 16 July 2015.
  14. ^ "Colorado Broadcasters 2014 Certificates of Merit" (PDF). Colorado Broadcasters Association. Retrieved 23 June 2015.
  15. ^ Markus, Nathaniel Minor, Rachel Estabrook, Ben. "How Douglas Bruce And The Taxpayer's Bill Of Rights Conquered Colorado". Colorado Public Radio. Retrieved 2017-11-17.

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