KUVO moves to Buell Public Media Center; the Drop launches an FM channel

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Although the past year has tested the media, there have been some bright spots for KUVO.

Last year, the 89.3 FM jazz station – which had been based at the Five Points Media Center since 1994 – and its hip-hop channel, The Drop, officially moved to the Buell Public Media Center at 2101 Arapahoe Street. . Officially, the new center is also home to Rocky Mountain PBS, Rocky Mountain Public Media, the Colorado Media Contributor and the Community Media Center, although most of the employees at these outlets work remotely.

Tina Cartagena, senior vice president of radio and new media at KUVO, who has worked at the station since 1990, says that due to COVID-19, most KUVO employees are still working from home, although offices are open to facilitators. and engineers. Other staff could start working on site in May. Eventually, KUVO will broadcast concerts from the building’s Bonfils-Stanton Performance Studio.

The station recently received a grant of $ 225,000 from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. The grant will help fund the station’s Jazz Media Lab and allow KUVO to work with other foundation-supported jazz stations including KMHD in Portland, Oregon, KNKX in the Seattle / Tacoma area, and WBGO in Newark, New Jersey.

“It’s an opportunity for us to work with the other four jazz stations in a way we’ve never done before,” Cartagena said. “We’re all going to get together and see who’s out there, what the new things are going on in the jazz community and being able to talk.”

Maurine Knighton, director of the foundation’s arts program, said: “Jazz radio plays a vital role in supporting the field of jazz, a vital art form with a rich history embedded in the fabric of this country and a future. exciting and evolving. These stations have always been essential partners of artists and places, and this has never been truer than it is today, as they served as a central platform for connecting artists to audiences and for expressing issues affecting musicians and venues during the pandemic.

“As the largest national funder of jazz,” she continues, “we are committed to helping ensure the continued vibrancy of jazz, one of the few original contemporary art forms in the United States. is a central part of this greater commitment. ”

Each of the stations participating in the Jazz Media Lab will receive general operating support grants of $ 225,000 over three years to help stabilize operations during a time of economic uncertainty. Part of the mission of the Jazz Media Lab is to help these five stations bring jazz to new and younger audiences.

Click to enlarge The Drop team.  - ROCKY MOUNTAIN PUBLIC MEDIA

The Drop team.

Rocky Mountain Public Media

In the meantime, the Drop, which KUVO launched on its HD2 channel in 2019, has just started broadcasting on 104.7 FM, with the possibility of reaching new listeners as well.

“This resort has always been about people,” says Nikki Swarn, Managing Director and Director of Programs at The Drop. “From our name to the way we engage with our listeners, everything revolves around our Colorado community. Without this local support, our 104.7 FM signal would not have as much of an impact. It’s such a special time for the public media, especially here in Colorado. We owe a huge thank you to our community, listeners and partners for helping to make this possible. ”

The station plays a pivotal role in the parent company Rocky Mountain Public MediaThe plan will expand and extend its relevance to more diverse communities across Colorado.

“The Drop is more than a radio station,” Swarn noted in a statement. “We are truly a lifestyle brand. The station provides a place in the media landscape for a variety of musical genres and builds a sense of community for a diverse listener. Listeners can immerse themselves in music, cultural issues, and community resources all in one place. It is a movement built by and for the people of Colorado.

Cartagena says people can listen to KUVO or the Drop from anywhere in the world via HD streams, but adds that it was important for the hip-hop station to have a place on the FM dial as well.

“This has just opened up another audience for us,” explains Cartagena. “And who wouldn’t want to listen to this music without advertising?” ”

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