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Airwaves, a listener publication from Colorado Public Radio.


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Get into the holiday spirit with CPR’s selection of seasonal programs airing all month long. Join Classical Music Host David Rutherford on Dec. 11 at 12 p.m. for a countdown of the top holiday carols submitted by listeners. And don’t miss “A Nutcracker Christmas” on Dec. 23 at 10 a.m. with a special rendition of “The Nutcracker Ballet” narrated by Kevin Kline. 

OpenAir will present a mix of holiday music and new music selections from artists like Bright Eyes, Etta James, Leon Redbone, Sonic Youth and the Dandy Warhols. Starting at 7 p.m. on Christmas Eve through 11 a.m. Christmas Day, OpenAir will feature a special Christmas soundtrack with rockabilly, rhythm and blues, and remixes of holiday favorites. 

CPR’s news stations will feature annual holiday classics, including “Jonathan Winters’ ‘A Christmas Carol,’” “Hanukkah Lights” with NPR’s Susan Stamburg, and “Tinsel Tales” showcasing treasures from NPR’s archive.

Visit for the complete list of holiday program specials. 

Photo credit: Flickr user Rick Scully.             

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Since launching OpenAir on Oct. 31, 16 Colorado bands have stopped by CPR’s performance studio to record interviews and music to be featured on the new station. 

“We’re really lucky to hear these bands play live in the studio,” said David Fender, CPR’s audio producer. “When we edit the recording, we work hard to keep that live quality in the sound so listeners can experience the song the same way they would if they were in the studio.”

David has recorded tracks from all 16 bands for OpenAir. “There’s a lot of support for OpenAir in the local music community,” said David. “Because of that, and the fact that Colorado has such a robust local music scene, we’ve been able to grow OpenAir’s library of local music pretty quickly.” 

The live recordings from CPR’s performance studio include tracks from bands like Snake Rattle Rattle Snake, Danielle Ate the Sandwich, A. Tom Collins, Paper Bird and Ian Cooke. Listen to samples and tune to OpenAir on 1340 AM in Denver and online at

Photo: A. Tom Collins with the OpenAir staff.

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General Assignment Reporter Megan Verlee returned to CPR in November after spending five weeks in Ethiopia as a fellow with the International Reporting Project. She reported on a number of different stories with Colorado connections while she was in Ethiopia, but also came away with new perspective on what it means to be a journalist.

“It was a very humbling experience to be a reporter in a country where the press is censored by the government,” said Megan. “I’ve gained a greater appreciation for the transparency of our government and the freedom reporters have to share information.”

Reporting in Ethiopia also meant Megan had to work without many basic resources, like phonebooks. “It took the better part of a day to find an address and get directions to one government office. It was a big adjustment to realize that some tasks that take me a few minutes in Colorado—like finding a phone number for a source—could take days in Ethiopia.”  

Listen to Megan’s reports from Ethiopia on CPR’s news stations this month. You can also hear more of her stories on “The World.” 

Photo: Megan Verlee interviews Kadir Haji Ahmed, a guide at the Sheikh Hussein Shrine.

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Dean Salter started working in radio as an announcer in high school and a newscaster in college. Now a partner at Holme Roberts & Owen, LLP, his life has taken a few turns since those earlier days but his interest in radio was never lost. Dean was first elected to Colorado Public Radio’s Board of Directors in 1992, chairing in 1994 and 1995. He currently serves as secretary.

“I’m a news and editorial features junkie and listen to classical music a lot,” said Dean. “What sets Colorado Public Radio apart from other media outlets is that it’s driven by a public service mission and governed by a rigid code of ethics and journalistic standards.” 

When it comes to the future of public radio, Dean admits it’s difficult to predict what the media landscape will look like, but notes that the key to CPR’s success is the ability to adapt in a rapidly changing technological and social environment. Additionally, Dean emphasizes the importance of local programming. “CPR has to be part of the news, information and cultural facets of the community to stay relevant and continue to add value.”

Dean is also the vice chair of the board of directors for Goodwill Industries of Denver and has served on the Junior Achievement Board of Directors and the University of Colorado at Denver Board of Advisors for both the College of Business and the Center for Entrepreneurship. Dean’s practice concentrates on corporate law and securities and corporate governance issues. 

Photo: Dean Salter.

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