George Preston, GM of Classical music KCME 88.7 FM in Colorado Springs, believes in the healing power of music. If this adage is true, listeners in Colorado (and around the world online) will get a daily double dose of happiness when Jazz 93.5 signs on the air later this fall.
KCME [link] is a fiercely independent public radio station that has been serving the southern Colorado since 1977. The station used to have a dual format of Classical and Jazz until they became a full-time Classical music station about a decade ago. They promised Jazz listeners that their favorite sounds would return in the future.
Last Friday (10/27) at an announcement event, Preston said things are in motion to have Jazz 93.5 [link] on the air as soon as possible. KCME is seeking grants, talking with potential sustaining business partners and starting a donor campaign to raise $100,000 for Jazz 93.5's first year of operations.
Local jazz pianist Jana Lee Ross has been hired to be the program director.
Preston said KCME plans to use one of its FM translators to rebroadcast KCME’s HD-2 signal.
He is in the final stages of preparing the new transmission site for 93.5 FM.
The projected coverage area (map on the left) covers virtually all of the Colorado Springs metro.
Preston told the Colorado Springs Gazette [link] that the only way to do Jazz right was to have a full-time station:
"We used to broadcast jazz on KCME, but that stopped before I got here. That has been a sore point with fans, many of which who are also fans of classical music. The answer was not to put jazz back on KCME, so we needed to find a way to do it without taking away from classical music."
MEET GEORGE PRESTON
Preston became General Manager of KCME in 2013. He has an impressive broadcast and music background. Before moving to the Springs, he was the afternoon drive host at WFMT in Chicago. While at ‘FMT, Preston was the host and producer of the internationally syndicated Lyric Opera of Chicago broadcasts.
Previously Preston worked at WNYC, New York and WBUR, Boston. He holds music degrees from Oberlin Conservatory, New England Conservatory, and Boston University.
Preston’s passion is performing. He is a singer and actor who has performed operatic roles including Papageno in Mozart’s The Magic Flute, Figaro in Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro and Mercutio in Gounod’s Romeo & Juliet.
NPR NEWS/TALK STATIONS CONTINUE TO ADD NEW LISTENERS ACCORDING TO OCTOBER 2017 NIELSEN RATINGS
The amazing rise of NPR News/Talk stations continues as Nielsen Audio releases October estimates for PPM markets. In the 9 markets we have seen so far there are 14 NPR News stations. Eleven of the stations have increased their estimated weekly listeners when compared to data from October 2016. Five of the 11 stations had one-year gains in weekly listeners of more than ten percent.
KVCR in the Riverside- San Bernardino metro had the biggest percentage jump in estimated weekly listeners, up 31% since October 2016. We will have more October 2017 PPM data the rest of the week.