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Spencer F. Eccles Broadcast Center
PO Box 1372 | 460 Swede Alley
Park City | UT | 84060
Office: (435) 649-9004 | Studio: (435) 655-8255

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What does it cost to run a radio station in Park City?

Volunteer KPCW DJ Claire Wiley plays the station's Mountain Town Sound on a snowy afternoon.
Volunteer KPCW DJ Claire Wiley plays the station's Mountain Town Sound on a snowy afternoon.

Live PC Give PC is Friday, November 4th. It's a day to show your support of your favorite nonprofits in the Park City area. KPCW is one of the hundreds of nonprofits eligible for donations.

KPCW, a public radio station and NPR affiliate, has been on the air in Summit and Wasatch counties for 42 years. Back in 1980 when the founder of the station, Blaire Feulner, put KPCW on the air, there were very few commercial radio stations available in the Park City area due to the mountainous terrain. Feulner envisioned a strong local news station, which, when news wasn’t on the air, would be filled with the eclectic playlist delivered by volunteer DJs.

KPCW still plays what’s become known as “The Mountain Town Sound”, which covers everything from current hits to classic rock. Randy Barton, the host of The Local View which airs Monday through Friday from 3pm to 6:30pm, has helped KPCW’s playlist expand to more than 5,000 songs. The typical commercial radio station has a library of only 500.

KPCW Senior News Director Leslie Thatcher has been with the station for 32 years, leading local news coverage focused on holding local governments and elected officials accountable to taxpayers. Her show, The Local News Hour, airs Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. - 9 a.m., and is the most listened-to hour on KPCW. The station has a budget for six full time reporters and two part-time reporters, however hiring is difficult as the cost of living skyrockets in Summit and Wasatch counties.

But being short-staffed hasn’t stopped the news team from covering a rapidly-growing community. News Director Michelle Deininger oversees KPCW’s new daily newsletter, The Local, which is delivered to subscribers’ email inboxes every morning Monday through Friday. And like everything KPCW does, that newsletter is offered to anyone, anywhere, for free.

KPCW has another new service for listeners this year that's geared towards the spanish-speaking community. KPCW Director of Development Sarah Ervin explains Minuto Hispano, "If you listen midday, around 12:30 every day you’ll hear a series of public service announcements that we have recorded now in Spanish," said Ervin. "We reach out to nonprofits and encourage them to send us information they want us to record in Spanish. And then of course we air those public service announcements during Cada Domingoa couple of times every Sunday evening. If you are a nonprofit out there that would like to work with us on that, please send me an email at sarah@kpcw.org, and we’ll get you involved with Minuto Hispano. We’re really proud of that new effort."

So, what does it cost to run KPCW? $2.1 million a year, which is almost $5,800 a day, $240 an hour, or $4 a minute. The station operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. But that’s just over the air. KPCW is also online all the time as well. Check out kpcw.org for the latest news in Summit and Wasatch counties, as well as community news and a local favorite, the KPCW Lost and Found Report.

Our goal is to raise $91,700 for Live PC Give PC. KPCW has a matching grant of $5,000 from the Promontory Foundation, to inspire listeners to give.

Studies showa robust source of local news is a key ingredient for an informed, connected community. There’s less partisanship when there’s an unbiased, fact-based journalism organization in your neighborhood. And that’s what KPCW strives to do every day, turn listeners into neighbors when they listen, and read, like a local.