‹‹ all press releases

Colorado Public Radio and Denver7 Announce Joint Public Affairs Show on Issues Affecting Underserved Communities

Denver, March 28, 2023 - Colorado Public Radio and Denver7 today announced a new public affairs show that will air on radio and television starting March 31. “Real Talk” is hosted by Nathan Heffel of CPR News and Micah Smith of Denver7 and will focus on the stories and experiences of underserved communities.

“Our newsrooms have been working together for more than two years — our values are aligned and Real Talk is a perfect example of that,” Kevin Dale, executive editor of CPR News, said. “Nathan and Micah will bring forward stories that might not get told otherwise. We’re so excited to see this come together.”

“Real Talk allows us to shine a light on underrepresented communities,” said Dean Littleton, vice president/general manager of Denver7. “We’re proud to expand our partnership with CPR through this program, bringing these important stories to audiences on television, radio and streaming.”

“Real Talk” aims to foster community engagement on issues affecting Coloradans by bringing in-depth reporting to both television and radio audiences. The 30-minute show will air weekly with a radio broadcast on Friday afternoons on CPR News and a TV broadcast on Denver7 Saturdays at 5:30 a.m. and Sundays 5:30 p.m. and Local3 Saturdays at 9:30 a.m. and Sundays at 6:30 p.m. 

Real Talk will feature Heffel and Smith sharing stories focused on different social equity themes. The stories will be followed by interviews with community leaders and those impacted, going more in-depth on the issues. Each episode will also include a hopeful story.  

“I’m so excited to be working with Micah on this collaboration,” Heffel said. “With our years of combined experience, we’re able to lift-up stories that deserve to be heard, but are so often drowned out or even ignored.”

“Nathan and I have been given an incredible opportunity to shine light on the communities that don’t often receive in-depth coverage. Through Real Talk, I am proud to provide our audience with a new storytelling experience that cannot be found in a traditional tv or radio broadcast,” Smith said. “Nathan is an incredible storyteller with deep knowledge of Colorado. I have no doubt that our collaboration will excite our existing audiences and attract new viewers and listeners.” 

Heffel is currently the senior host of “All Things Considered” on CPR News. He returned to Colorado Public Radio in 2022, bringing years of on-air experience with stations across Colorado. He worked as a host and producer for CPR’s “Colorado Matters” from 2015-2018, then worked for NPR as an editor of “All Things Considered” in Washington, D.C., before returning to manage a commercial music station in Western Colorado. 

Smith joined Denver7 in 2018 as a morning reporter and is the station’s social equity reporter. Before coming to Colorado, she worked as a reporter and weekend anchor in Charlotte, North Carolina and Johnson City, Tennessee. She is a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism, where she earned her Bachelor of Journalism degree with an emphasis in broadcast.

“Real Talk” begins March 31 on CPR News and April 1 on Denver7. Episodes will also be available to stream on Denver7+ on Fridays and on cpr.org after their initial airings. 

Media inquiries for CPR News: Clara Shelton, [email protected]

Media inquiries for Denver7: Brent Chapin, [email protected] or [email protected]


About Colorado Public Radio

Colorado Public Radio is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization delivering meaningful news, music, and cultural experiences to everyone in Colorado using the power of the human voice in all its forms. Roughly 95 percent of CPR’s funds come from the private support of listeners, businesses and foundations. For more information, visit www.cpr.org.

  • 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.
  • Indie 102.3 takes listeners inside the world of new and independent music – exposing them to up-and-coming artists and highlighting Colorado’s local music scene.
  • Denverite is an online news source dedicated to Denver's curious and concerned.
  • KRCC is a public radio station in Colorado Springs, Colorado, serving Southern Colorado. KRCC is operated by Colorado Public Radio in partnership with Colorado College.

About Denver7

At Denver7, we are honest, transparent, and unbiased. We provide depth, perspective and context to impactful news stories with our 360 reporting, allowing viewers to form their own opinions. It is important to us to always shine a light on positive stories and the people making a difference in our community. At Denver7 it is our responsibility to make Colorado an even better place to live. We go beyond our role as journalists, helping our neighbors in times of need through our community partnerships and Denver7 Gives, our nonprofit work in collaboration with the Scripps Howard Fund.

Founded in 1953 and acquired by the E.W. Scripps Company in 2011, Denver7 has for decades been dedicated to broadcasting news and information that matters to Coloradans.

Watch Denver7 News and see the difference for yourself. Denver7 News can also be seen on our sister station Local3, online at Denver7.com, the Denver7 YouTube channel, and streaming 24/7 on Denver7+.