Colorado Public Radio has found a new use for the spare AM frequency that it couldn’t sell. OpenAir 1340 took to the air last month, bringing the Denver area a Triple A–format station featuring rock, folk and indie music ranging from the present day to rootsy influences. The station signed on Oct. 31 with the song “Colorado” by Denver band Paper Bird, an early indicator of OpenAir’s commitment to showcasing local music. CPR has already recorded more than a dozen local bands in its studios for broadcast on OpenAir.
All three major bond-rating firms have now downgraded the Colorado Public Radio bonds that provided $4.7 million for the network’s 2001 expansion. The reason: CPR’s 2008 decision to take on the costs of an additional FM channel …
The bond market is offering new capital financing options for public broadcasting this week with the expected sale of $6.5 million in tax-exempt bonds for Colorado Public Radio’s expansion. [After this article was published, the entire lot of bonds sold in one day at 5.8 percent.]
Other pubcasters will follow. Nashville Public Radio plans to sell about $3 million in bonds in March to cover purchase of a second station in town. And the new nonprofit Maryland Public Radio aims to finance the $5 million purchase of Baltimore’s WJHU. Pubcasters have 10 to 15 borrowings under review at George K. Baum & Co., the investment bank working closely with Public Radio Capital, a nonprofit that is shepherding potential borrowers into the bond market.
Thanks to financing from the new Public Radio Capital (PRC) fund, Colorado Public Radio just realized a long-standing goal—buying Denver AM station KVOD, which it plans to program with wall-to-wall classical music.