Kyle Cunningham has resigned as general manager of KRCC-FM, the Colorado Springs affiliate of the National Public Radio network, in the wake of Colorado Public Radio taking over management of the station Feb. 1.
Cunningham will leave the station March 6 to “find some balance in my personal and professional life, and to explore new possibilities and opportunities,” according to a post on the station’s website. CPR said that Jeff Bieri, the program manager, will the senior manager at KRCC until the general manager position will be filled “after the transition is complete” in 12-18 months.
Colorado College turned over management and operation of KRCC to Colorado Public Radio as part of a broader plan to create a “public media center” in downtown Colorado Springs. The move expands the reach of CPR’s statewide network of 37 stations and came three years after the Denver-based nonprofit bought two stations in Colorado Springs and began broadcasting its news programming locally.
Robert Moore, the college’s senior vice president of finance and administration, said the school began talking with CPR about KRCC a year ago because it wasn’t able to raise money to renovate a downtown building it bought to house KRCC nor did it have the resources needed to expand the station’s news coverage. CPR is buying the building from the college and spending $1.5 million to renovate and equip it for KRCC, the school’s journalism program and Rocky Mountain PBS.
Cunningham said in an interview that he plans to remain in Colorado Springs and had been considering changing careers “away from public media for a while.” He decided to make the move after the Colorado Public Radio takeover because it was “a good time to step aside and let the vision of a much broader focus as part of statewide network be accomplished.”
Cunningham joined KRCC in 2016 as membership manager and became interim general manager about a year ago. He was named to the permanent job in September. He had spent nearly five years at KOSU-FM, owned by his alma mater, Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Okla., before moving to KRCC.
”I am grateful to Kyle for his leadership and initiative at KRCC,” Jane Turnis, Colorado College vice president for communications, said in a statement in the post. “Kyle built a strong and successful membership program, always taking time to meaningfully engage with our listeners. He then rose to lead the station’s great team and did that with vision and heart.”
CPR will merge its programming schedule into KRCC’s schedule March 2 but will retain local hosts for broadcasts and underwriting announcements, Cunningham said. All 15 KRCC employees were retained in the transaction and will transition to working for CPR instead of Colorado College, which retains ownership of the station’s 91.5 FM frequency.