Change in the air at Aspen Public Radio | AspenTimes.com

Change in the air at Aspen Public Radio

Naomi Havlen
Aspen Times Staff Writer

Change is in the air at Aspen’s public radio station, KAJX.

As of Monday, 91.5 FM in Aspen will alter some of its program schedules in an attempt to become more consistent in its local and national programming.

The morning local news broadcasts, which air during NPR’s Morning Edition on weekdays, will go back to being aired at 6:51, 7:51 and 8:51 a.m. The decision was made after the station received mixed reviews when it changed the local news format last summer.

Saturday’s programming will include more internationally diverse music, and Sunday will feature national programming and more of a “chill” vibe in the evenings, said Brent Gardner-Smith, KAJX executive director.

“A radio station should evolve, so we’re bringing in some new programs and hope they work,” he said.

The station is also changing its name to Aspen Public Radio.

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The station was Aspen Public Radio when it went on the air in 1988, Gardner-Smith said, but changed to Roaring Fork Public Radio when it began broadcasting on 107.1, which provided a valleywide signal.

“There was a lot of logic behind Roaring Fork Public Radio, but when I was hired, they said they’d like to raise the visibility of the brand,” he said. In an informal poll, Gardner-Smith said he found that many residents in the valley associated the name with Carbondale-based KDNK, also a public radio station.

To avoid confusion, and capitalize on the strong “Aspen” brand name, as of Monday the station will go back to Aspen Public Radio.

The core format – including programs like Morning Edition, Performance Today, BBC Worldservice and Classical Music from Aspen – will all remain the same at the station. Jazz from Aspen will be broadcast locally every weeknight, and the station’s local eclectic Latino music show, now named “Sabado con Ritmo,” will be aired on Saturday evenings.

The national show “Sounds Eclectic” is a new addition to the middle of Saturday’s programming, rounding out a diverse music schedule for Saturdays.

The station will also be expanding its dedication to local public affairs, airing various programs about local issues on weekdays from 12:30 to 1 p.m.

[Naomi Havlen’s e-mail address is nhavlen@aspentimes.com]

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