Monday, August 1, 2016


Colorado Public Radio’s (CPR) News network displayed increasing regional strength in estimated weekly listeners in the most recent Nielsen Audio PPM and Diary ratings. Not only did KCFR increase its number of weekly listeners in the Denver/Boulder market compared to a year earlier, its repeaters gained weekly listeners in all of Colorado’s Front Range markets.

On the right is a map showing CPR’s signals from Fort Collins to Pueblo.  In addition to Denver/Boulder, a PPM market, CPR has strong penetration into the Fort Collins/Greeley, Colorado Springs and Pueblo Nielsen Audio Diary markets. We have written before about the “Front Range Mega City” that stretches up and down I-25. CPR serves the entire region.

Let’s take the Diary markets one at a time from south to north:


CPR’s News repeater in Pueblo saw estimated weekly cumulative listeners rise 45% between Spring 2015 and Spring 2016.  KRCC from Colorado Springs still leads in weekly listeners but their trend was down by 13%.  Denver-based Classical KVOD was also up.


The same pattern is found in “the Springs.” KCFR’s repeaters are up a whopping 52% and KRCC is down 21%.  KRCC made changes to its schedule earlier this year dropping most daytime Triple A music and adding news programming.  Did the programming switch cause the change?  Or is CPR News increasing its appeal to Colorado Springs and Pueblo listeners. From the topline data it is impossible to say but a similar trend was observed in the Fort Collins/Greeley market.


The biggest change in the past year in the “Fort Fun” market was the February debut of KJAC aka 105.5 The Colorado Sound and the related shift by KUNC to 24/7 news. KUNC’s listeners seem to have responded positively to the change – their number of weekly listeners increased 13% between June 2015 and June 2016. But KCFR also increased its weekly listeners during the same period by 15%.

Perhaps to biggest surprise in the Spring 2016 Nielsen Audio ratings was the lower-than-expected debut by 105.5 The Colorado Sound.  Based on KJAC’s strong showing in Denver/Boulder, I expected them to have 35,000 to 40,000 weekly listeners in their home market. So 17,800 weekly listeners is less than the number of weekly listeners I think 105.5 The Colorado Sound is actually reaching. 

When the Fort Collins/Greeley listeners are combined with the Denver/Boulder listeners 105.5 The Colorado Sound’s weekly listener reach is over 100,000. 

{However, caution must be used in making this calculation because PPM and Diary use different methodologies and some respondents may be duplicated.]

Don’t read too much into 105.5 The Colorado Sound’s Spring 2016 debut because one “book” is not a trend.  I’ve signed on new stations twice in my career and never knew what to expect.  I consider a success just to be listed the first time.


Kelley Griffin

1. Kelley Griffin, CPR’s VP of News

I have been a fan of Kelley Griffin’s work for many years. She has been at CPR since 1993, starting as a reporter, rising to managing editor and now running the shop. Folks I know who have worked for her say she is an inspirational mentor and role model.  Plus, she is a nice person, which counts for a lot in my book.

Ryan Warner

2. Ryan Warner and the Colorado Matters team

When Ryan Warner arrived in Denver from WGCU, Fort Meyers, about a decade ago Colorado Matters was little more than an idea.  During his tenure as host and Executive Producer Colorado Matters has risen from an occasional half-hour to a daily one-hour program that often sets the news agenda for Colorado.

3. CPR's Health Care Coverage

CPR’s newsroom excels in the coverage of several topics like energy/environment, education and the arts.  But, CPR’s Health Coverage combines personal stories with big-picture trends and current events such as election coverage.  It is all proof that Colorado Public Radio Matters to listeners all over the Front Range.

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