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Station to Station

A look at CPR frequencies across the state.

The properties in Colorado Public Radio's hutch have been multiplying so rapidly of late that its acquisition total may change before the ink on this page is dry. At present, its broadcast assets include:

• KVOD-FM/90.1 in Denver. Formerly KCFR-FM, the outlet took the call letters of KVOD, the commercial-classical provider founded by dying Rocky Mountain News columnist Gene Amole, after the real KVOD was switched from FM to AM and then put out of its misery entirely. It is Denver's primary classical-music source, a turn that Amole laments. He particularly dislikes CPR's approach to fundraising, and in an angry February 14 column, he slammed the network for using Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" as a tool for shilling ("Shame! Shame! Shame on all of them"), adding, "I don't have much longer to live, and you can bet your booties they hope that my death will come sooner than later, because I have been raising hell about these beg-athons for years." His conclusion: "Thank heavens I probably won't live to endure another one of these awful corruptions of public broadcasting."

• KCFR-AM/1340 in Denver. In recent years, the 1340 signal has featured talk, children's music, and programming aimed at Catholics. Colorado Public Radio purchased it in October 2000 for a price alternately reported as $4.2 million and $4.4 million. KCFR-AM broadcasts CPR's news programs.

• KCFC-AM/1490 in Boulder. Another station that's changed hands innumerable times, 1490 was most recently in the portfolio of Working Assets Broadcasting, a San Francisco company eager to establish a nationwide progressive-information network dubbed "Radio for Change." The firm spent a huge sum of money upgrading the studio before selling the station last summer to Colorado Public Radio for $1.1 million. The state-of-the-art facility is now effectively idle; CPR uses the antenna and transmitter to broadcast its news channel, but that's about it.

• KCFP-FM/91.9 in Pueblo. Colorado Public Radio picked up the station from the Colorado Broadcasting Foundation, a small Pueblo outfit specializing in religious programming, for the bargain price of $170,000. KCFP plays classical music.

• KKPC-AM/1230 in Pueblo. Licensed to Pueblo Community College for eight years, the station went on the block because of what the institution's money managers saw as high operating expenses. Colorado Public Radio, which bought the outlet last July for $325,000, broadcasts its news stream on KKPC to the greater Pueblo area.

• KPRE-FM/89.9 in Vail. Once a mere translator, this frequency was upgraded to full station status in 1994. At present, it's the only station in the CPR system to broadcast a mix of classical music and news programming -- the network's format prior to going two-channel.

• KPRU-FM/103.3 in Delta. A new frequency, KPRU began broadcasting CPR's classical stream last April, when the two-channel network came to life. Its signal is located between Grand Junction and Montrose and reaches both communities reliably.

• KPRH-FM/88.3 in Montrose. Upgraded from a translator in 1998, KPRH carries the news to some of the more populous segments of the Western Slope.

• KPRN-FM/89.5 in Grand Junction. The news source for the Western Slope's largest town.

• Eleven translators sprinkled across the state. Five of them carry classical music to Summit County (Breckenridge and Frisco), Leadville, Gunnison, Silverton and Dove Creek, respectively, receiving their signals from satellites; these gadgets are known in the trade as "satellators." The other six -- in Ouray, Parachute, Rifle, Craig and Rangely, plus a pair in Rio Blanco County, not far from Meeker -- offer news, and they work the old-fashioned way, by line of sight.

CPR reps expect approval of an application before the FCC to upgrade the Craig translator to full-station status, and they also hope to add another station in the Vail Valley. After that, who knows?

 
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