Colorado Public Radio enriches the Colorado community by providing news, information and music for people who want to be informed, enlightened and entertained.
Colorado Public Radio was launched on the University of Denver (DU) campus in 1970. As Denver's first non-commercial public radio station, KCFR joined the National Public Radio (NPR) network in 1973. In 1982, KCFR and the Colorado Division of Telecommunications began developing a plan for the extension of public radio in Colorado. In 1984, KCFR separated from DU and the license was transferred to the Public Broadcasting of Colorado, Inc. (PBC). That same year, KPRN-Grand Junction began broadcasting as a part of the public radio extension plan adding services to western Colorado.
In 1991, the Boards of Directors of KPRN and KCFR agreed to merge, forming Colorado Public Radio, for the purpose of consolidating services and expenses.Over the next two decades, new stations were added to the CPR network, funded in large part through direct financial support from the community.
In 2001, CPR acquired new AM stations in Denver, Boulder and Pueblo with tax-exempt financing, and built a new FM station on the Western Slope, in order to continue expanding access to programming statewide. In 2008, Colorado Public Radio obtained another FM frequency in Denver to provide full-time news and full-time classical music, on the FM dial in Metro Denver.
In 2011, CPR added a third service,CPR's OpenAir, offering new and independent music, exposing listeners to up-and-coming artists and highlighting Colorado's local music scene. Since then, the organization has focused on expanding this service for listeners all along the Front Range. In the summer of 2016, CPR's OpenAir began broadcasting in Ft. Collins and in 2017, CPR News began broadcasting in Colorado Springs.