Board: More local content will boost Aspen Public Radio

On behalf of the Aspen Public Radio Board of Directors, I want to respond to public concerns regarding recent program changes.

First, I speak for the board and station staff when we say all of us are incredibly thankful to our volunteers for their service.

Although we are moving toward a single format content, as the rest of public radio has over the past 20 years, it remains critical that a large part of our content be local in nature. This change was extraordinarily challenging, but years of data show that mixing music and information satisfies neither the music nor news-focused audience and that it loses listeners over time as a result. This harsh reality had to be addressed if we were to continue our principal and most imperative role of being a highly trusted source for news and information in a world filled increasingly with untrustworthy and unreliable voices.

The landscape of public media has transformed substantially over the nearly 40 years Aspen Public Radio has been in existence. However, the mission of Aspen Public Radio has and will remain the same; we are committed to enriching our neighbor’s lives with informative and entertaining programming in a reliable and professional manner.

I want to be clear: This recent change away from music programming does not at all reflect a move away from local programs. Station staff will soon be embarking upon their “Tell Me More Tour” to visit with listeners throughout the valley to ask people what they most want covered. Rocky Mountain Why?, a listener-powered journalism project, will launch shortly. A local, teen-led podcast, Gen Z Tea, will debut next week. And, during the summer season, Chris Mohr will continue to share classical music, interviews, and local concerts from the Aspen Music Festival and School.

Station staff will continue to experiment to find the right mix of programming and grow local content. The board wholeheartedly supports the station’s staff and asks for our listeners to have an open mind as we grow, learn, and adapt — that is the very core of the Aspen Idea.

Doug Carlston

Chair, Aspen Public Radio Board of Directors