Ryan WarnerRyan Warner
Ryan Warner

Ryan Warner is the senior host of Colorado Public Radio’s daily interview program “Colorado Matters.” He regularly reports on the most important issues facing Colorado – from the state capitol, which includes a monthly interview with the Governor of Colorado – to topics concerning health, education, business, energy and the environment and arts and culture.

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

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.

Awards:
Ryan has won numerous awards from Public Radio News Directors Incorporated for his interviews. He’s also been honored by The Associated Press. The editors of 5280 Magazine voted Ryan Top Radio Talk Show Host of 2009.

Q & A

Why I became a journalist:

My mother was in public relations when I was growing up. She often brought me along on errands — dropping off press materials to this or that TV or radio station or newspaper. I was only in those newsrooms briefly, but I knew it’s where I eventually wanted to spend my career. My love of learning and of great conversation made the perfect pair.

Why I got into radio:
I found that, in television, how you looked (and whether your tie was straight) was as important as – or more than — what you said. I wanted to work in a medium where the content (the story, the language, the guest) was the primary focus. And that’s public radio.

How I ended up at CPR:
After two hurricane seasons in Florida, I was ready for higher ground. 5280 seemed about right. I grew up in California and went skiing in Colorado with my parents every year. The west was calling. So, I saw the job opening at Colorado Matters and thought it was the opportunity of a lifetime.

  • Ryan Warner talks to Colorado’s First Lady, Jeannie Ritter, who will use her background as a teacher of emotionally disturbed children – and some family history – to focus on improvements in mental health. Colorado has limited funds and a high suicide rate.
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  • The town of Vail has commissioned its biggest public arts project, a display of nearly 3,000 windmills meant to draw attention to alternative energy sources. Critics say the project is expensive and silly. Ryan Warner talks to Leslie Fordham, Vail’s public-art coordinator.
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  • There’s a national move toward lifelong learning for seniors and the baby boomers right behind them.
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  • Ryan Warner talks to Ron Binz, the new chairman of the Colorado Public Utilities Commission. He’ll play a big role in implementing Gov. Bill Ritter’s “new energy economy” strategy. It’s part of a series of conversations with new Ritter appointees.
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  • Ryan Warner talks to Paul Hudnut, director of Colorado State University’s new master’s degree program in Global Social and Sustainable Enterprise. The program trains business school students for work in developing countries.
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  • State lawmakers are deciding what to do about Amendment 41. That’s the new Ethics in Government law, which limits gifts to lawmakers and government workers. They’ve introduced new legislation that would clarify its reach.
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  • About 25,000 households in and around Durango get television from Albuquerque, not Denver. It’s the result of a long regulatory tangle. And now, viewers in the region say they’re mad as hell, and they’re not going to take it anymore. Ryan Warner talks to Paulette Church, who is leading a campaign to change the channels.
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  • Coal-fired power plants in the state are about to emit a lot less mercury. After months of wrangling, environmentalists, local governments and major utilities recently agreed to some of the strictest guidelines in the country.
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  • Ryan Warner talks to state Rep. Michael Garcia, a Democrat from Aurora, about a proposed constitutional amendment to allow people to serve in the legislature at age 18 instead of the current 25.
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  • The federal government is spending $2 million in Colorado to improve the relationships of low-income couples and, hopefully, save money on welfare. That’s because studies show couples that live together earn more, spend less and provide more stability for their kids.
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  • State lawmakers are taking on an ambitious agenda this session. First on the docket is a series of bills related to renewable energy. Education and health-care bills also played a role in the first week and a half, and lawmakers are resurrecting some bills that died in the previous session.
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  • There’s a certain charm to the small mining town of Minturn, near Vail. And soon there could be a private, members-only ski resort right next door. It would be the first of its kind in Colorado. The development could bring in more tax dollars and includes a superfund clean-up.
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  • A new company in Colorado is working with CSU to create a cheap way to mass-produce oil from algae that can be turned into biodiesel. Ryan Warner talks to Doug Henston, CEO of Boulder-based Solix Biofuels.
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  • A new legislative session is now under way, and lawmakers say healthcare reform will be high on their agenda. Legislators plan to introduce several bills aimed at reducing healthcare costs and at boosting the number of Coloradans with health insurance. About 780,000 people in the state lack coverage.
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  • Ryan Warner talks with Barry Lopez and Conger Beasley talk about their new book, Home Ground: Language for an American Landscape. It poetically defines the distinctive places and forms found in America’s natural world.
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  • Ryan Warner talks to New York Times#eI# reporter Timothy Egan, author of The #I#Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl. The book recently won the National Book Award for nonfiction and is now out in paperback.
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