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2004-08-26

Boulder-Based Community Radio Station KGNU to Buy Denver Signal

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Bucking a national wave of media consolidation by large corporations, Boulder community radio station KGNU (88.5 FM) announced that it has reached terms to buy Denver AM radio signal KJME (1390 AM), offering metro Denver listeners independent news and diverse music currently unavailable in Denver. [includes rush transcript]

KGNU will begin broadcasting in Denver on 1390 AM this Sunday, August 29 at 9 a.m., with six hours of special programming live from the streets of New York City, where hundreds of thousands are expected to protest against the Republican National Convention.

Clear Channel Communications, the for-profit media giant that owns over 1,200 radio stations across the country and organized pro-war rallies ahead of the invasion of Iraq, owns 8 stations in Denver. Religious broadcasters own ten.

KGNU is listener-supported radio, broadcasting free from the influence of advertisers or underwriters.

  • Kris Abrams, Denver Campaign Coordinator for KGNU and former producer Democracy Now!

Transcript

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: We are also joined by Kris Abrams, former senior producer of Democracy Now!, now spearheading the campaign for a community radio station, KGNU in Boulder, Colorado, to expand into Denver, and this past week, they announced their success, which is highly unusual: a community radio station expanding in this age of the Clearchanneling of America. And Kris joins us on the line right now from Boulder. Welcome, Kris. It’s great to have you with us. We only have a few minutes, but can you talk about this latest news announcing the buying of a radio station in Denver, which will now reach five times your audience in this absolutely critical year?

KRIS ABRAMS: —-media consolidation. And it’s also a story about the war, because people in Denver for years have been approaching KGNU and asking KGNU to find a way to broadcast there. Denver does not have a grassroots volunteer-powered community radio station like Boulder does, and they realized that this would be important for their communities. But when the Bush administration rolled out its P.R. campaign in September of 2003, to try to drum up support for the war in Iraq, the corporate media failed to do its job, you know. We have seen The New York Times apologizing, and we’ve seen now The Washington Post senior editors saying they are inevitably the mouthpiece for whatever administration is in power. The people of Denver realized this, and the requests to KGNU increased. And KGNU stepped up. I think it’s incredible that the people of Boulder -— we have raised over $1.2 million to make this happen. And most of that money is coming from the people of Boulder, because they realize that access to programs like Democracy Now! and Free Speech Radio News and the local independent reporting that community stations do all over the country is not just about your own community, but it’s about democracy in this country, and if people in cities all over the country don’t have access to this, it affects you wherever you are. And so they put up $1.2 million, the down payment is $1 million for this station to make this happen. If you want more information, go to kgnu.org. We still need help. You can contact me at Kris@kgnu.org. Kris@kgnu.org.

AMY GOODMAN: And your first day of broadcast, Kris?

KRIS AMBRAMS: This Sunday, we’ll be broadcasting, carrying the Pacifica coverage live from the streets of New York City where hundreds of thousands are expected to protest against the Republican National Convention.

AMY GOODMAN: Thank you so much, Kris Abrams, broadcasting from KGNU in Boulder, now expanding to Denver.

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