KDNK joins ranks of NPR member stations
CARBONDALE, Colorado – Community radio station KDNK is now a full member of National Public Radio. The station’s former “grandfathered” partial-member status has been all but eliminated by the national syndicate, according to station manager Steve Skinner.
The change took effect Feb. 1. It means the Carbondale-based public radio station is now a full-fledged NPR member, complete with full member dues that will be a part of the fund-raising push as the station kicks off its semi-annual membership drive next week.
“We had been exploring full membership already,” Skinner said of recent KDNK board discussions.
But when NPR notified KDNK and other affiliate stations that the grandfathered category was going away, that decision was made for them, he said.
Only smaller, rural public radio stations that don’t receive grant funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which KDNK does, will remain grandfathered in under the old rules, he said.
“We have had a lot of discussions over the years about NPR, and whether it’s a solid connection for KDNK listeners,” Skinner said. “Every time we’ve put the question to our members, they say they really appreciate having [NPR] as part of our programming.”
In addition to its primary mix of local programming, KDNK for many years has carried the Morning Edition, All Things Considered and Weekend Edition news programs. Recently, the station also added the NPR program Radio Lab to the line-up.
KDNK has been limited in the NPR programming it has been able to offer up until now. That’s because neighboring Aspen-based public station KAJX, which also broadcasts in Carbondale and Glenwood Springs, has, as a full NPR member, had precedence in offering NPR programs locally.
Although no immediate KDNK programming changes are planned, the station could now tap into other NPR programs as well, Skinner said.
The new NPR status also means an increase in the fees that KDNK must pay for syndicated news and other programs, he said.
The fee for NPR news programs, for instance, is expected to double from the current $12,500 annually. KDNK has an annual budget of about $500,000.
“It is going to be costly to be a full member,” Skinner said. “But what it does is secure our position with NPR, so that we can’t be bumped from the competition.”
The new NPR status will be one focus as the station launches its Feb. 20 through March 2 membership drive, he said.
“We definitely want people to know we are now a full NPR member, and that it does cost money,” he said. “There are a lot of hidden costs that come with that, and we’re not like other nonprofits.”
In addition to its local and NPR programming, KDNK is also affiliated with the Rocky Mountain Community Radio coalition, which includes the regular state capitol reports from reporter Bente Birkeland.
KDNK’s earlybird membership drive is ongoing, and the on-air drive begins Monday, Feb. 20. Special morning and evening guests from various other local nonprofit organizations will also be on the air during the drive talking about their programs.
Special KDNK membership drive fundraising events will include:
• Women’s Arm Wrestling, 10 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25 at Phat Thai in Carbondale; $10 at the door.
• Trivia Night, 8 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 28 at The Brick Pony Pub in Basalt. Teams of two to five, $5 per player.
• KDNK C-Town, 8 p.m. Friday, March 2 at the PAC3, located in Carbondale’s Third Street Center; local comedy, music and entertainment.
Entertainers are still being lined up for the C-Town event. For more information, call 963-0139 or email email@example.com.
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