Rocky Mountain Community Radio Wins Big at CBA and SPJ’s Top of the Rockies Continuing Decades-old Regional Collaboration Model


For Immediate Release:

Member stations of Rocky Mountain Community Radio (RMCR), a coalition of non-commercial radio stations in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming, have won a combined 52 awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and Colorado Broadcasters Association. 

RMCR won a combined 25 CBA awards across all markets, with Aspen Public Radio claiming four (4), KOTO in Telluride winning four (4), KVNF in Paonia/Montrose winning four (4), KUVO in Denver winning four (4), KSUT in Ignacio winning three (3) with two of those recognizing KSUT Tribal Radio, KGNU in Boulder/Denver winning two (2), KRFC in Fort Collins winning two (2), KUNC in Greeley winning one (1), and KDNK in Carbondale winning one (1).

In the SPJ Top of the Rockies competition, member stations of RMCR won a combined 27 awards, with KHOL in Jackson, WY winning eight (8), KVNF in Paonia/Montrose winning eight (8), Aspen Public Radio winning four (4), KUNC winning four (4), KGNU in Boulder/Denver winning two (2), and KBUT in Crested Butte winning one (1). 

Much of the award winning work was broadcast across the entire RMCR network. 

This recognition of the work of RMCR stations comes while the organization is only growing stronger, with two new stations joining the coalition in 2022, the hiring of Maeve Conran as the coalition’s first managing editor and producer, and the election of Breeze Richardson, executive director of Aspen Public Radio, as RMCR Board President.

“Community and public radio stations are the heartbeat of their communities,” says RMCR Managing Editor Maeve Conran. “Many of the stations are in areas that have few other local news outlets, and they are doing crucial work. Even stations in communities that are not considered news deserts play an essential role with the ongoing volatility in commercial news.”

Conran began her work as the network’s first managing editor last July and is increasing collaborative reporting efforts across the network, while working closely with RMCR newsrooms to offer training and editorial support. The managing editor position is funded in part by a three-year grant from the Colorado Media Project and participating RMCR member stations, with a mission to serve all RMCR stations equally in her new position. 

The collaborative model that began with a handful of Colorado stations in the 1980s as High Country Community Radio Coalition (HCCRC), has grown over the past thirty years to include more than twenty stations in Colorado, Wyoming, Utah and New Mexico.

“I know many radio stations around the country look to RMCR as a model for what can be done collaboratively,” says Conran who will be speaking about RMCR at the upcoming NFCB conference in Denver. “Individually these stations are doing incredible work, but collectively their strength is amplified,” she says. “We are greater than the sum of our parts.”

Previous collaborative reporting projects include a regional look at affordable housing, fossil fuels, and how communities are transitioning away from fossil fuels.

Additionally, RMCR has now launched a bi-weekly half hour program that showcases the diversity of work being done by stations in the coalition, which in addition to being broadcast across participating RMCR stations will soon be nationally syndicated on the Pacifica Network.

“It’s exciting to see such interest in the stories coming out of our region,” said Conran. 

The network also employs a full-time year-round news reporter at the Colorado state capitol, broadcasting this reporting from Lucas Brady Woods throughout the network. Capitol Coverage is funded in part by a grant from the Gill Foundation along with participating RMCR member stations, and is housed at Community Radio for Northern Colorado (KUNC) as part of a collaboration between the station and RMCR to provide continued coverage of state capitol issues and public policy in Colorado through the Capitol Coverage project.

The stations of Rocky Mountain Community Radio include:

KAFM – Grand Junction
KAJX – Aspen
KBUT – Crested Butte and Gunnison
KDNK – Carbondale
KDUR – Durango
KFFR – Winter Park
KGNU – Boulder and Denver
KHEN – Salida
KHOL – Jackson Hole, WY
KLZR – Westcliffe
KOTO – Telluride
KRCL – Salt Lake City, UT
KRFC – Fort Collins
KSJD – Cortez
KSJE – Farmington, NM
KSUT – Ignacio
KUNC – Greeley
KUVO – Denver
KVNF – Paonia and Montrose
KZMU – Moab, UT


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