CPR's OpenAir Will Take Over 102.3 FM, Currently an ESPN Affiliate Station

Esme Patterson performing in OpenAir's studio
Esme Patterson performing in OpenAir's studio
Courtesy of cpr.org

OpenAir is getting a new home on the airwaves at the end of this month, in the FM neighborhood. The station, part of Colorado Public Radio, was founded three years ago and has made a home and an impact over at 1340 AM. As of January 27, the station will move to 102.3 FM.

See also: OpenAir Live & Local Is a New TV Show Featuring Some of Colorado's Best Music

The plan to bring OpenAir to FM has been in the works ever since the idea of the station was floated around, says CPR President Max Wycisk. "It's been our goal ever since the station started," he says. "We always thought of AM as a beginning point."

Over the last three years, OpenAir has become a big player in the Denver music scene, something we described in a recent music feature. While being on FM doesn't increase the overall range, it does mean the station will be more accessible, and sound a little clearer.

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"Many people don't even know AM radio still exists," Wycisk says. He said the new channel space won't change OpenAir's focus programming wise, just "make it easier for people to hear."

The FM numbers were purchased from Front Range Sports Network, LLC for $5.75 million. It's currently broadcasting ESPN radio -- the frequency has been devoted to sports since 2010.

CPR bought the frequency through a loan of non-profit bonds that will be paid off through member donations over the next several years. No current money people have donated will go towards the purchase. Wycisk says that this financial model has been successful in the past, and now on FM, he "bets there will be plenty more listeners" to cover new fundraising goals.

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