Tuesday, 12 February 2008 (original at Rocky Mountain Chronicle)

Your story about changes in programming at KRFC (“KRFC Signs Off on Hightower,” January 17, News) seems to confirm what I suspected: Programs with a progressive point of view are slowly disappearing. I began to notice it this past autumn. And it concerns me, because other than KGNU, which I cannot receive where I live, there is no outlet for programs such as “Counterspin,” Free Speech Radio News or Jim Hightower’s commentary in Northern Colorado. Now, if I held viewpoints that were right of center, I could dial into an array of programs and pundits on AM and FM radio and cable TV. Certainly no shortage there. The excuses offered by KRFC’s station manager are lame at best.

However, I disagree with a statement made by Kristianne Gale, a former KRFC board member, in her letter to the Chronicle on January 31. She presumes that cutting these national public-affairs programs won’t necessarily cost KRFC community support. It has. Mine.

When I realized what was happening, I held back on my fall 2007 renewal at the $120 level. And when I saw that the programs weren’t being restored, I chose not to make my year-end contribution of $100. Since KRFC went on the air, I have donated almost $1,000 to the station. I was a supporter of the “Community Radio for the Front Range” effort when KCSU gave everyone the boot in the early 1990s, and it took those folks, who were KRFC’s founders, eight years to get a license from the Federal Communications Commission to start KRFC. I have a feeling that I’m not the only early supporter who feels like the station is being hijacked.

Is it in the interest of the community, which KRFC serves, to sanitize the public-affairs content so that it is inoffensive to everyone? If I were interested in supporting that kind of public radio, I’d support KUNC, which I stopped doing a number of years ago because of what I saw as their self-censorship of Colorado news that could in any way be construed as criticism of powerful interests, such as development and the ski industry. It’s a shame that KRFC seems to be going that route, too. And it seems that when any of KRFC’s volunteer staff, announcers or board members offer a different opinion about the direction of the station, they, too, disappear, just like the offending programs.
Mark De Gregorio