Celebrating 40 Years ... Thanks to You!  Take a walk down memory lane.
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What CPR's 40th Anniversary Means
Several community leaders have shared their thoughts about CPR's 40th anniversary.

Colorado Public Radio's first station KCFR 90.1 FM in Denver, begins broadcasting, at the time licensed to the University of Denver. Listen to the sound of CPR in 1970.


Michele Norris, Robert Siegel, Melissa Block, and Guy Raz, hosts of NPR's "All Things Considered."
Photo credits (clockwise from top left): Stephen
Voss, Steve Barrett, Steve Barrett, Ron Aira.

Colorado Public Radio begins to carry programming from National Public Radio (NPR), beginning with “All Things Considered.” The program now reaches more than 12 million people nationwide each weekday and consistently ranks among the highest-audience radio programs in the United States.

Learn more about the history of “All Things Considered.”


Steve Inskeep and Renee Montagne, current hosts of NPR's "Morning Edition."
Photo credits: Debbie Accame and Sandy Huffaker.

“Morning Edition” begins airing on CPR. Today, “Morning Edition” draws public radio's largest audience at nearly 13 million listeners every weekday. Learn more about “Morning Edition.”


Tom and Ray Magliozzi, hosts of "Car Talk."
Photo credit: Richard Howard.

NPR launches the first ever nationwide, satellite-delivered radio distribution network to serve a growing network of about 250 stations, allowing Colorado Public Radio to provide more timely programming.

The satellite system also ushered in a decade that saw an explosion in new national programs for public radio, including “A Prairie Home Companion,” “Fresh Air,” and “Car Talk.”

1982   CPR begins work with the Colorado Division of Telecommunications and other organizations to plan for extending public radio to more areas of Colorado.
1983   For the first time, CPR broadcasts a full week of music using only CDs. Following this milestone week, CPR continued to use records along with CDs until enough CDs were available. Today, CPR's classical music library is the most extensive in the state, encompassing more than 30,000 CDs.

Colorado National Monument, a National Park near Grand Junction, Colorado.
Photo credit: Grand Junction Visitor & Convention Bureau.

CPR separates from DU and becomes a community-licensed public radio station, one of the first stations in the country to make such a transformation. Coinciding with this change, operations for CPR are moved to a different building just off the DU campus.

KPRN 89.5 FM in Grand Junction signs on the air, and with funding from the Public Telecommunications Facilities Program, builds a series of translators to provide public radio services to western Colorado.


The observation tower at Stapleton International Airport.
Photo credit: Flickr user chi_cowboy.

Continental Airlines Flight 1713 crashes at Stapleton International Airport during an early season snowstorm on Nov. 15. The plane was en route to Boise, Idaho.Greg Barman reported on the event for CPR. Listen now: full-length story or two-minute excerpt.
1991   The boards of directors for KCFR and KPRN merge to form Colorado Public Radio.

CPR installs a satellite broadcast system, continuing a history of innovation to provide broader access to quality news and classical music programming statewide.


Neil Conan, current host of
NPR's "Talk of the Nation."
Photo credit: Anthony Nagelmann.

NPR debuts “Talk of the Nation,” convening national conversations on current events Monday through Thursday, and science and technology on “Science Friday.” In September 2010, “Talk of the Nation” aired on nearly 330 public radio stations, including Colorado Public Radio, with a total of 3.2 million people nationwide listening each week.

Vail, Colorado.
Photo credit: Flickr user followcarl.

Fully funded by the local community, CPR installs a translator to reach central Vail, and work begins to raise funds to build a fully licensed station to better serve listeners in the area.
1994   CPR's network continues to grow. With community funds, a federal grant, and an individual challenge grant, KPRE 89.9 FM in Vail signs on as CPR's third station.

Pueblo's Union Depot.
Photo credit: Flickr user Icky Pic.

Colorado Public Radio extends its reach to southeast Colorado, welcoming KCFP 91.9 in Pueblo as the fourth station in the network.

Based on early success expanding to Grand Junction, Vail, and Pueblo, CPR's board of directors develops a five-year plan to establish a statewide news and classical music radio network.

1998   In partnership with Los Angeles public radio station KUSC, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Colorado Public Radio begins offering a national 24/7 classical music service reaching listeners in Denver, L.A., and 17 other metro areas nationwide.

“Eye to Eye,” one of many public art installments in Montrose.
Artist: Mary Zimmerman of Paonia, CO.
Photo credit: CityofMontrose.org.

Communities in southwest Colorado gain access to Colorado Public Radio's news and information programming as KPRH 88.3 FM in Montrose signs on as CPR's fifth station.

Columbine Memorial in Littleton, Colorado.
Photo credit: Flickr user moonglampers.

Colorado Public Radio and NPR provide extensive coverage of the historic shootings at Columbine High School.

Listen to NPR Senior National Correspondent Linda Wertheimer's story from April 23, 1999, one of many that she produced at CPR's studios while covering the event.

2000   Based on 10 years of feedback from audiences statewide, CPR's board of directors announces a plan to provide both full-time news and full-time classical music.

The Flat Irons in Boulder, Colorado, as seen from Chautauqua Park.
Photo credit: Flickr user Kevglobal.

CPR launches statewide full-time news on KCFR 1340 AM; 90.1 FM switches to all classical with KVOD as its call letters.

Joining CPR at the same time were: KCFC 1490 AM in Boulder, offering news; KKPC 1230 AM in Pueblo, offering news; and KPRU 103.3 FM on the Western Slope, offering classical music.


Ryan Warner, host of "Colorado Matters."

Colorado Public Radio launches “Colorado Matters,” a daily news interview program exploring timely state issues with Host Dan Drayer. Ryan Warner now hosts the program.

In the first edition of “Colorado Matters,” CPR featured interviews with Basalt gardener Jerome Ostentowski about sustainable agriculture; and Golden resident and author David Wann about “affluenza,” or the desire for material goods with damaging effects for individuals and the environment.


Charley Samson, host of "Colorado Spotlight," interviewing world-renowned concert violinist Anne Akiko Meyers.

Colorado Spotlight” begins airing five nights a week on Colorado Public Radio's classical music service, featuring interviews, special performances, and recordings by local musicians and visiting artists. CPR's Charley Samson continues producing and hosting the program today.

A view of the State Capitol from
Sherman Street, March 2003.
Photo credit: city-data.com.

A late March blizzard registers as the most expensive snowstorm in Colorado history. Colorado Public Radio reported on the damage estimates.

Hot springs pools in Glenwood Springs, Colorado.
Photo credit: Flickr user no body atoll.

Leaders from Aspen Public Radio and KDNK in Carbondale collaborate with Colorado Public Radio to bring KVOV 90.5 FM in Glenwood Springs on the air as part of CPR's growing statewide network.

Mark Sheldon (1960-2003), past host of CPR's classical music.

Colorado Public Radio remembers long-time classical music host Mark Sheldon. Listen to an interview with Mark, recorded in the last few weeks of his life, about his love for classical music. One of CPR's eight recording studios was dedicated to his memory.

Bridges Broadcast Center in Centennial, Colorado.
Photo credit: John Fielder.

After a generous donation from Barbara Bridges and Rutt Bridges, Colorado Public Radio moves its headquarters to the 35,000 square-foot Bridges Broadcast Center. The largest gift in CPR's history, the building was valued at $2.75 million. CPR's Board of Directors conducts a successful $5.25 million capital campaign to renovate the facility and build state-of-the-art studios.

Yumi Hwang-Williams, concertmaster for The Colorado Symphony, prepares to perform in the performance studio as CPR Recording Engineer/Audio Producer Martin Skavish sets up.

CPR's performance studio opens, featuring a nine-foot Steinway concert grand piano and state-of-the-art recording capabilities. Colorado Public Radio begins hosting both local and visiting artists for on-air performances and interviews in the performance studio.

Listen to unique recordings from CPR's performance studio every weekday and Sunday evenings on “ Colorado Spotlight.”

2006   Colorado Public Radio successfully completes a $1.5 million campaign to expand coverage of local news. CPR's news team doubles in size, allowing CPR to provide listeners with hourly local newscasts and in-depth reporting on issues with the greatest impact on the state and region, including: health care, local government, and education.

Plumes of smoke from the
Hayman Fire in 2002.
Photo credit: wyattphoto.com

Five years after the Hayman Fire, for “Colorado Matters,” Ryan Warner spoke with Jonathan Bruno, executive director of the Coalition for the Upper South Platte. The Coalition continues efforts to restore the 2,600-square-mile watershed that reaches from the Continental Divide to Strontia Springs Reservoir, located southwest of Denver.
2008   Colorado Public Radio moves its news programming to 90.1 FM and 88.1 FM becomes the home for classical music programming in Denver.

CPR's classical music hosts engage listeners with a broad range of programming selections, including “Colorado Spotlight,” Morning Mozart, Midday Getaway, Five O'Clock Bach, The Baroque Show, and New CD of the Week. CPR maintains an essential resource for classical music events in Colorado with the Classical Events Calendar.


From the 2008 Democratic National
Convention in Denver, Colorado.
Photo credit: Flickr user kimbet.

Denver hosts the Democratic National Convention, and Colorado Public Radio welcomes several journalists visiting from NPR. CPR teams up with Minnesota Public Radio, which covered the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis, to provide listeners in both states with news and information on both events.

Search “Democratic National Convention” to find CPR's stories covering the event.

Listen to Ryan Warner's interview with Minnesota Public Radio Reporter Laura Yuen on "Colorado Matters."


StoryCorps' mobile recording booth.
Photo credit: StoryCorps.

StoryCorps, a national oral history project with weekly broadcasts on “Morning Edition,” visits Colorado and invites people to record stories with their loved ones. Since 2003, StoryCorps has collected and archived more than 30,000 interviews from more than 60,000 participants nationwide.

CPR features the story of Hal Terrell, who was a teenager in Glenwood Springs when World War II began. He enlisted in the Army Air Corps as soon as he was old enough and served in North Africa and Europe. His son, Gary, asked him about some of his memories of the war.

Listen to other StoryCorps in Colorado recordings.


Photo credit: RockyMountainNews.com.

Colorado Public Radio's Megan Verlee reports on the Rocky Mountain News printing its final edition, just 55 days short of its 150th year anniversary.

Columbine Memorial in Littleton, Colorado.
Photo credit: Flickr user moonglampers.

Colorado Public Radio's news team produces “Ten Years After Columbine,” a series of news features on the anniversary of the school shooting, including: a student's audio diary; interviews with parents of victims who, after the event, dedicated themselves to school safety; and how teachers incorporated the event into lesson plans.

CPR Classical Music Host Monika Vischer leads a flute lesson for students who benefited from the instrument drive.

Colorado Public Radio concludes its first instrument drive, donating more than 120 new and refurbished instruments to students practicing music at Colorado schools.

Internationally-acclaimed cellist Yo Yo Ma helped CPR raise money for The Colorado Symphony.

Colorado Public Radio seeks and obtains a waiver from the Federal Communications Commission to host a one-time-only, on-air fundraising campaign, “Bringing the Music to Life,” provides more than $625,000 to sustain The Colorado Symphony.

The view from the tower site for KPRN 89.5 FM, delivering CPR's news and information programming to Grand Junction, Colorado.

Celebrating 40 years of listener-supported news, information, and classical music programming, Colorado Public Radio statewide network reaches an audience of nearly 450,000 people each week (Arbitron, Spring/Fall 2010).