Monday, August 7, 2017


Tammy Terwelp
Usually change comes slow in public radio but not in Colorado Springs. 

In January 2017 we reported that Colorado Public Radio’s (CPR) news/talk channel was making big listener inroads on the Southern Colorado Front Range. 

CPR News looked like it had outfoxed KRCC. Then GM Tammy Terwelp made some big changes at KRCC.

First, she focused KRCC’s daily schedule on news and information. Then she crafted an aggressive local news approach. Most of the changes happened in early March, a month before the Spring Nielsen Audio survey period.

Terwelp’s work paid off. KRCC added approximately 40,000 new estimated weekly listeners, up 27% in Colorado Springs and 24% in Pueblo compared with Spring 2016 data.    

According to Nielsen, KRCC now has 145,700 weekly listeners on Southern Colorado’s Front Range. Meanwhile CPR News lost an estimated 29% of its weekly listeners when comparing data from 2016 and 2017.

I-25 is thunder road
We can’t say definitively that KRCC gained listeners from CPR News, but it certainly looks that way. 

This is despite a new full-power CPR News repeater in The Springs. Apparently local works and Terwelp has some serious mojo rising.

UPDATE 8/14/17:
According to Lauren Cameron, SVP of Communications at Colorado Public Radio, CPR's new Colorado Springs signals (102.1 FM and 1490 AM) didn't technically go live until late June (June 23 to be exact.) So, results from the upcoming Fall 2017 Nielsen survey period will be a better reflection of CPR News’ performance in The Springs.

Also in Colorado Springs the repeater of Denver’s Classical KVOD was down a bit. Local Classical KCME hasn’t subscribed to the Nielsen ratings recently but, when they did, they typically had around 50,000 weekly listeners.

In Pueblo, 50 miles south of The Springs on I-25, CPR News’ repeater lost 40% of its estimated weekly listeners in Spring 2017 compared with Spring 2016. 

KTSC – Rev 89 – keeps plugging along. Licensed to Colorado State University – Pueblo, the hot hits station pulls more listeners than college stations in cities ten times Pueblo's size.

We combined the results for the Colorado Springs and Pueblo metros and created an unofficial Southern Colorado Front Range market, which it is in reality. 

This shows the impact of KRCC in the wider area. Terrain is a big factor. Most signals from The Springs (elevation 7,200 feet) have no problem penetrating Pueblo (2,000 feet lower). Several Pueblo commercial FM stations have moved their transmitters to The Springs to take advantage of the height.


Despite competitive local CPR repeaters with three formats, the Northern Colorado Front Range cities of Fort Collins and Greeley continue to be dominated by KUNC’s two stations.  

CPR News has always done well here and there was no drop in weekly listeners like there was in Colorado Springs and Pueblo.

When looking at an unofficial combination of Diary and PPM data from the Denver metro KUNC had 133,300 estimated weekly listeners in Spring 2017 and June 2017. KJAC – The Colorado Sound – had 110,300 weekly listeners.

Benji McPhail
If you want to see a really happening station, check out The Colorado Sound’s website [link] and digital media.  

PD Benji McPhail and crew have created a hot local zone with ample listener participation. 

Jessie Ventura, the former Minnesota governor and local resident, sings his praise for The Colorado Sound’s on the social media pages.

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