Signals from KUNC in Greeley make their way over the Continental Divide to the delight of many public radio listeners in the Yampa Valley. Turn your dial to 88.5 FM in Steamboat Springs and, depending on when you're tuning in, you'll catch quality news programs from National Public Radio or the sounds of what truly is diverse music.
As you head to work, you might hear the tangled voices of a crowd in Haiti as the backdrop to a report about the return of Jean Paul Aristide. Later in your drive, you could be treated to a bluegrass jam followed by an earthy flute solo.
KUNC does a masterful job of mixing information and music. It would be a shame to see it end. But that's what will happen if the station is sold to Colorado Public Radio. That new owner would keep the news programs, but has no need for the diverse music.
The sounds of silence would be sad.
But the fight to keep KUNC's mix alive isn't over, at least not until the end of February. University of Northern Colorado trustees, who control the station, have received hundreds of pleas not to sell KUNC to Colorado Public Radio and effectively end the diverse music programming. They listened and will hold off on the sale until the end of the month. The extra time will give those who want to keep the station as is a chance to raise money to outbid CPR. The figure they're shooting for is in the $2 million neighborhood.
We wish those who are fighting for KUNC well. We'd like to see the interesting programming style the station has woven together stay on the air.
The Friends of KUNC, as those who are striving to buy the license are calling themselves, have set up a Web site to gather donations. It's at www.frii.com/friendsofkunc.
Good luck, good programming.