Kyle Cunningham, who has served as the interim general manager of 91.5 KRCC since January, has been named the new general manager of the radio station after a national search.
Cunningham joined 91.5 KRCC, Colorado College’s NPR-member station, as membership manager in 2016.
“I have grown to treasure Southern Colorado deeply, and I am very excited about the opportunity that I now have to serve this community in a greater capacity,” he says. “I look forward to partnering with our staff, members, listeners, volunteers, Community Advisory Board members, members of the Colorado College campus community, and many others to make even greater growth a reality.
While at KRCC, Cunningham has built a strong membership program that has continuously broken records, cultivated a new Summit Club giving level, enhanced engagement with members and listeners by hosting events to meet reporters and editors, “star parties” for fans of the “Looking Up” astronomy segments, and a major event featuring national “Morning Edition” host David Greene. He emphasizes the importance of community connection.
“My pledge is to further strengthen KRCC and cement its role permanently as the region’s source for news, music and NPR programming. I believe Southern Colorado deserves a public radio station that meets listeners and members where they are, shines a spotlight on our vibrant news, music, arts and culture scene, and tells the stories that highlight our unique region.
“KRCC is in many ways already doing these things,” he says. “My mission is to ensure that we do even more. As Southern Colorado grows and changes, 91.5 KRCC also must grow and change to meet the community’s needs. I’m extremely excited by the potential at the station and believe there are great things ahead of us.”
The radio station, which currently is housed at 912 N. Weber St. and slated to move to a new home at 720 N. Tejon St. next year, serves a 25,000-square-mile area: southeastern Colorado including Colorado Springs, Woodland Park, Pueblo, and La Junta; the mountain communities of Buena Vista, Salida, Westcliffe, Gardner, Villa Grove, and Trinidad; and Raton, New Mexico. It airs numerous public media favorites such as “Morning Edition,” “Fresh Air,” “All Things Considered,” “This American Life,” “BBC World Service” and “Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me,” as well local favorites “Music with Vicky Gregor,” “Air Check,” and the “Late Night Music Mix.”
Cunningham started working in public media as a student at Oklahoma State University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in English. While a student at OSU, he worked as a membership assistant at KOSU, the university’s public radio station. Upon graduation, he was promoted to a full time position at KOSU, assuming more responsibility in the membership department.
Working in public radio “turned from a job into a passion when I experienced my first fundraising drive,” says Cunningham. “I was instantly enthralled with the public-radio funding model — hundreds of listeners making the choice to support an independent news and music service, which they not only listened to, but engaged with directly. In an era when ‘grassroots’ funding is in vogue, public media stands as a testament to what a real, community-funded public service looks like. Since my first pledge drive, I have never lost that spark and that passion for our mission as a public media organization.
“It was clear that Kyle was the right person to lead our growing NPR-member station,” says Jane Turnis, CC’s vice president for communications. “He brings a commitment to listeners and community, strategic vision, track record in building an outstanding membership program, great leadership, creativity, and relationships with the station’s very talented staff; and most important, his fire: He’s truly motivated to take the station to greater heights with fresh content, engagement, student opportunities, and more.”