Colorado Public Radio (CPR) is a public radio state network based in Denver, Colorado that broadcasts three services: news, classical music and OpenAir, which plays adult album alternative music. CPR operates a 30-signal, statewide radio network accessible to 80 percent of Coloradans. As of 2013, CPR had 440,000 weekly listeners, 47,000 contributing members and annual revenue of $14 million.
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.
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.
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
In 2001, CPR attempted to purchasing 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, irate devoted KUNC listeners 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 on 88.3 FM in Fort Collins.
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. As of 2015, 13 signals broadcast CPR News throughout the state of Colorado. Over the years, Colorado Public Radio’s newsroom has received a number of journalism awards, including RTNDA Edward R. Murrow Awards, Public Radio News Directors Incorporated (PRNDI) Awards and Colorado Broadcasters Association (CBA) Awards.
*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.
|Aspen||101.5 FM||K268BJ (KVOV)||Classical|
|99.9 FM||K260AL (KVOD)||Classical|
|Colorado Springs||94.7 FM||K234AJ (KCFP)||Classical|
|Cortez||102.5 FM||K273AE (KVOD)||Classical|
|Dove Creek||88.7 FM||K204DZ (KVOD)||Classical|
|Fort Collins||88.3 FM||KVXQ||OpenAir|
|Glenwood Springs||100.1 FM||K261AI (KVOV)||Classical|
|Grand Junction||89.5 FM||KPRN||News|
|Gunnison||88.5 FM||K203BB (KPRN)||News|
|89.1 FM||K206BE (KVOD)||Classical|
|Meeker||91.1 FM||K216BP (KPRN)||News|
|Ouray||91.5 FM||K218BE (KPRN)||News|
|Parachute||88.3 FM||K202BI (KPRN)||News|
|Rangely||91.1 FM||K216BO (KPRN)||News|
|Old Snowmass||93.9 FM||K234BJ (KVOV)||Classical|
|Thomasville||93.7 FM||K229AI (KVOV)||Classical|