Ryan Warner

Colorado Matters Senior Host

@CPRWarner[email protected]

Ryan Warner is senior host of Colorado Matters, the flagship daily interview program from CPR News. His voice is heard on frequencies around the state as he talks with Coloradans from all walks of life — politicians, scientists, artists, activists and others. Ryan's interviews with Colorado's governor now span four administrations. During his tenure, Colorado Matters has consistently been recognized as the best major market public radio talk show in the country. He speaks French, geeks out on commercial aviation, adores and tolerates his tuxedo cat Bob, and owns too many shoes.

Professional background:
Ryan came to CPR from WGCU in Fort Myers, Fla. He was the founding host of that station's daily call-in talk show, Gulf Coast Live. Ryan served as assistant news director and local host of NPR's "All Things Considered" and filed stories for NPR during Hurricane Charley in 2004. Ryan previously hosted "Morning Edition" on WYSO Public Radio in Yellow Springs, Ohio, and co-created a weekend news magazine there. Prior to that, he served as news director of KOPN Community Radio in Columbia, Missouri. For two years, Ryan left public radio to report and anchor weekend news at KTIV-TV, the NBC affiliate in Sioux City, Iowa.

Bachelor's degrees in political science and French, University of Missouri-Columbia; Master's degree in broadcast journalism, Boston University.

Ryan has won numerous awards from Public Media Journalists Association for his interviews. He's also been honored by The Associated Press. Westword named Ryan the Best Talk-Radio Host for 2021, and the editors of 5280 Magazine voted him Top Radio Talk Show Host of 2009.

The cast of the Broadway musical Suffs waves underneath a banner stating "National American Woman Suffrage Association 1913"

June 14, 2024: State GOP at odds with itself; Colorado trailblazer makes Broadway debut

It’s not something any political party wants heading into an election but the Colorado Republican Party is embroiled in a very public leadership struggle, with a growing effort to oust state GOP chair Dave Williams. Then, the two people vying to lead the Denver District Attorney’s office. Plus, Jenna Bainbridge’s trailblazing journey to Broadway. And the FACC Padayon Philippine Festival this weekend!

June 12, 2024: Helping veterans find hope for their ‘next chapter’; Creating community through clothing

Of the suicides reported in El Paso County in 2021, roughly a third were military veterans. It prompted a pilot program called Next Chapter, a name carefully chosen to offer hope. The program has already expanded into Pueblo and Teller counties. Then, how a Colorado Springs-based clothier is creating community. And high school biology teacher Colin Prater is heading to the U.S. Open.

June 10, 2024: The primary race for the 4th congressional district; Real life inspires ‘Playing with Wildfire’

The stakes are especially high in three of Colorado’s congressional districts, where traditionally Republican strongholds will be decided this election year. Today, Purplish looks at CD4. Then, why there’s a slowdown on a key RTD light rail corridor. And, how wildfire and the pandemic inspired Laura Pritchett’s new novel, “Playing with Wildfire.”

June 3, 2024: The issues voters tell us are most important this election; Why does Oklahoma have a panhandle?

As primary ballots are mailed this week, Purplish has the first results from our Voter Voices survey, in which Colorado voters prioritize the issues most important to them. Take part in the survey here. Then, Colorado Wonders why Oklahoma has a panhandle. Plus, Colorado history through matchbooks. Plus, an inspiring commencement at Front Range Community College.

May 31, 2024: Political polarization ‘calcifies’ in 2024; Summer outlook is warmer and drier

Political polarization in the U.S. has only been reinforced with the conviction of Donald Trump. We talk with Stephen Hawkins, research director for More In Common, a global non-profit that fights what Hawkins now calls ossification or calcification. Then, Denver7 chief meteorologist Mike Nelson on severe weather and the summer outlook. Plus, a Colorado musical’s journey from concept to stage.

Get ready for a warmer and drier summer

Hot and dry are the operative words when it comes to the weather outlook. We get perspective on the summer ahead — and the recent severe weather — with Denver7 Chief Meteorologist Mike Nelson. He joins us regularly to talk about the interplay between weather and climate in Colorado.

In six years, the US has gone from political polarization to ‘ossification’

The term “political polarization” no longer captures the state of partisanship in the US, according to Stephen Hawkins. The research director for More In Common is now using the words “ossification” and “calcification.” And yet on some issues, there is plenty of evidence that common ground still exists. As Election 2024 draws closer, Hawkins reflects on polarization research and solutions.

May 29, 2024: Lightning Safety 101; Meet a ‘spellebrity’

Lightning killed a rancher in northern Colorado, and 34 head of cattle. With summer storm season fast-approaching, we discuss lightning safety, outside and at home. Then, Colorado will regulate funeral homes after a series of disturbing cases. Later, a very special rose reveals its true colors. Plus, he won the National Spelling Bee for Colorado as an 8th grader, now he’s the Bee’s pronouncer, a veritable “spellebrity.”
Needle Exchange

May 22, 2024: Needle exchanges under scrutiny; What will it take to bring back wolverines?

Free syringe exchange programs are now outlawed in Pueblo. The city council passed the ban last week. We’ll talk about what’s changed and why the debate is ongoing. Then, a new state law allows wolverines to be reintroduced to Colorado, but it won’t be an easy task. And Judy Collins is back in Colorado for a sold-out concert. We revisit our conversation with the folk singer who grew up in Denver.

May 20, 2024: DiStefano on evolution of higher education; Remembering a pedestrian safety champion

He’s spent 50 years at the University of Colorado Boulder, including the last 15 as chancellor. Now Phil DiStefano is stepping down. He discusses how to add more value to a liberal arts degree, the challenges facing higher education, and the importance of what he calls, “humble leadership.” Then, we remember a champion for pedestrian safety in Denver, Phyllis Mack.