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From Neil Best's Desk: Looking Back at 2018

KUNC Pres. Neil Best

Dear Friends,

As a once-upon-a-time reporter, I hate clichés.  At the same time, I can’t resist the opportunity to share some of what has taken place in 2018.  Why?  In looking back at the year, I am amazed at the whirlwind of activity that is taking place at KUNC.  And, frankly, I want to share what I am experiencing with each of you.

What has changed in the last 12 months?  First, we’ve expanded our editorial control capacity with the addition of Catherine Welch as our news director, and we’ve added two new reporting desks.  Recognizing the devastating changes occurring in journalism in our state, we added an investigative unit, headed by veteran reporter Michael deYoanna. And we have added Leigh Paterson to the staff to report on Guns & America, a groundbreaking collaborative focused on a singular issue: the role of guns in American Life, working with nine other public media organizations. Beginning in January we will be hiring an additional digital editor to the staff to ensure KUNC journalism is available on the various digital platforms we all use more frequently. 2018 also saw the station launch our first podcast, Colorado Edition, which also airs on Sunday evenings at 9 pm. 

We are also committed to spending more time with the community. We all benefit when we have the opportunity to reach out and learn more about each other. Last summer, the StoryCorps Airstream trailer was in Fort Collins. During that time 136 conversations were recorded between family members and friends.  Many of them came together at the end of the three weeks to share their experiences.  NPR Senior Editor Ron Elving participated in the “Seminars at Steamboat” series and met with members in both Steamboat Springs and Denver during his visit.  We welcomed Guy Raz and How I Built This for a conversation with New Belgium founder Kim Jordan live at the Boulder Theater. The news department launched a series of neighborhood conversations, Java with Journalists, on Saturday mornings. Look for this series to expand to new neighborhoods on a monthly basis in the new year.  And the quarterly KUNC Storytelling events continue to bring listeners together for a shared community experience.

This work, done in conjunction with our colleagues at NPR has resulted in more and more of your neighbors and friends joining as listeners this year.  More people are listening to KUNC than ever before.

With all of this taking place, it simply means the bar goes up for 2019.  Be assured all of us at KUNC are looking forward to the challenge.

Warm Regards,

Neil Best
President & CEO