The Park Record editorial, June 30-July 2, 2010
During its 30 years as Park City’s very own public radio station, KPCW has evolved, tweaking its programming to suit the town’s ever-changing demographics and tastes. But throughout its tenure, from the funky old days of late-night rock and roll to the sophisticated programming more befitting an Olympic host city, it has been a touchstone for local residents, second homeowners, merchants, government officials and visitors.
In fact, it could be argued that the litmus test of true locals is whether their car radios have buttons tuned to 91.9 FM.
From its inception, KPCW was a tiny station with big aspirations. Thanks in part to the vision of its founder, Blair Feulner, and also to the generous support of local businesses, programming over the years has included everything from colorful off-the-cuff banter to hard news.
These days it is impossible to imagine the city without KPCW. On snowy mornings, residents routinely turn up the volume for snow and traffic reports and listen to a quick roundup of local news on the way to the office or the slopes. Then throughout the day they enjoy music and announcements from volunteer deejays knowing that the station’s news staff will break in if there is any news they need to know.
However, like this newspaper and other media organizations, KPCW’s future is filled with challenges and, more than ever, the station is dependent on your financial support and feedback.
When Park City was growing by leaps and bounds during the run-up to the Olympics, donors were extremely generous. But the recent economic recession has affected both fund drives and underwriting (just as it has impacted print advertising). The station has also been affected by the huge shifts in information technology and now finds itself competing for listeners’ time and attention with the Internet, mobile phones and social media.
We have no doubt that KPCW will find its way through the maze of changes and continue to be an essential part of Park City. But to do that it will be relying on the community spirit it has worked so hard to foster. So this week, tune in, turn up the radio or your computer speakers and help KPCW celebrate its 30th birthday.
Our view: The somewhat skeptical reaction to the news among residents shows the care the developer must take to ensure the project aligns with Parkites’ vision for the community.