CENTENNIAL, Colo., Oct 6, 2017 – Max Wycisk, President of Colorado Public Radio (CPR), today announced that he will retire on June 30, 2018. Wycisk’s career at CPR has spanned more than four decades, first as an on-air announcer and then program director before becoming president in 1978.
Wycisk is responsible for transforming CPR from a single-signal radio station to today’s statewide network, which includes three distinct services – CPR News, CPR Classical and CPR’s OpenAir – that are broadcast on 34 signals across the state and online, providing Coloradans with in-depth, thoughtful and meaningful news and music.
“While the world has undoubtedly changed over the past 40 years, CPR’s mission has remained steadfast and our importance has grown,” said Wycisk. “The organization is stronger than it’s ever been, a testament to our dedicated staff, the donors who support us and the hundreds of thousands of people who rely on us each and every day. It’s been an honor to lead the development of a vital community resource that’s uniquely positioned to have an even greater future ahead.”
Notable highlights of Wycisk’s leadership include:
- Led the separation from the University of Denver, enabling CPR to become a fully independent non-profit organization in 1984
- Added 10 additional signals in key areas across Colorado between 1991 – 2001, helping CPR realize its vision to be a statewide network
- Transformed CPR from a dual news and classical music format to full-time news and full-time classical on two separate signals in 2001; added a third service dedicated to new and independent music – CPR’s OpenAir – in 2011
- Built the largest broadcast and digital audience in the organization’s history – currently about 600,000 broadcast listeners and about 200,000 digital users (Source: Nielsen Audio Spring/Fall 2016 and Google Analytics)
- Increased CPR’s annual operating budget to $17 million, which comes from various foundations, over 600 underwriters and more than 53,000 donors – the largest donor base in the organization’s history
- Grew staff to 122 current employees, more than 30 of whom were hired in the past five years
Wycisk’s influence extended throughout the public media system as well, having served on the board of National Public Radio twice and as board chair of the Station Resource Group. Wycisk also received the William H. Kling Award for Innovation and Entrepreneurship from Public Radio International in 1996.
“On behalf of the CPR board of directors, we thank Max for his service and for the many notable accomplishments achieved during his tenure,” said Dean Salter, chair of the board. “Max is recognized as a pioneer in public broadcasting, and his vision set CPR on the path to its current success. He leaves one of the strongest public radio organizations in the country with a sound financial base, a talented and committed staff and loyal listeners. We look forward to an orderly transition to ensure the continued success of CPR.”
To assist in the nationwide search for Wycisk’s successor, CPR has retained Blinkhorn, L.L.C., a firm with substantial experience in recruiting leaders for media organizations, including public media.
Colorado Public Radio is a non-profit 501(c) (3) organization that produces and curates in-depth and meaningful news and music, establishing thoughtful connections to Colorado for listeners seeking to be informed, enlightened and entertained. Roughly 95 percent of CPR’s funds come from the private support of listeners, businesses and foundations.
CPR News delivers in-depth, insightful and impartial news and information from around the world, across the nation and throughout Colorado, examining its relevance to our state and connecting it to our community.
CPR Classical takes listeners on an in-depth exploration of thoughtfully curated music – with an emphasis on Colorado’s classical community – providing context to a broad range of meaningful and compelling works from past to present.
CPR’s OpenAir takes listeners inside the world of new and independent music – exposing them to up-and-coming artists and highlighting Colorado’s local music scene.