KPCW is Park City’s go-to public radio station for all things Summit and Wasatch counties with local news, entertainment, and emergency alerts through broadcasts and digital platforms. As the friendly neighborhood not-for-profit news source, KPCW is all about fostering a sense of connection to Park City and keeping locals, newcomers, and return visitors in the loop. They're all about spreading the love, dedicated to supporting other non-profit organizations in the community. Alongside all the local scoop, KPCW brings you the latest from NPR on the national and global fronts. No matter where you are, you can “Listen Like a Local” via their frequencies at 91.7 FM, 88.1 FM, and 91.9 FM, plus round-the-clock streaming on their website and mobile app. Best of all, there's no paywall, which means KPCW is your open-access ticket to quality content anytime, anywhere.
How KPCW Started
KPCW, founded on July 2, 1980 by Blair Feulner, emerged as Park City's pioneer radio station. Already a radio engineer, Blair rallied support from Salt Lake City stations, securing donated equipment to kickstart KPCW. Committed to local voices, KPCW started as a largely volunteer-based initiative and became the region's first radio presence long before commercial broadcasting arrived.
Blair's vision was clear: a community-owned hub for locals to access essential news. Blair brought in local leaders, grilling them on city council meetings and planning sessions, and KPCW quickly established itself as a cornerstone of local journalism. As our region expanded, so did KPCW. Today, the radio station operates from the modernized Spencer F. Eccles Broadcast Center in Park City on Swede Alley, a space revamped in 2019 to accommodate its growing team. Blair recently passed away but left a grand legacy for Park City to continue.
KPCW Broadcasting and Shows
Dedicating 4.5 hours a day to award-winning, in-depth local news and interviews with city and county leaders, public health officials, local school boards, and nonprofits serving the community, in addition to up-to-the minute information on local emergencies, weather, and road conditions. Their local programs include the Local News Hour with Leslie Thatcher and The Local View with Randy Barton, daily Public Affairs Hour features Mountain Money (finance), This Green Earth (environment), The Mountain Life (health), Cool Science Radio (science and technology), and Rich Tones Curated Jazz (Friday and Saturday nights), along with 64 hours of intentionally eclectic "mountain town sound" music and entertainment programming each week. KPCW’s carefully curated playlists have something for everyone, spanning ages 18 to 80. What’s really cool is that anyone can be a Volunteer DJ! All it takes is a bit of training and a weekly commitment of 3-4 hours. During your shift, there are many ways you to inject your own unique personality by playing two of your favorite songs per hour, field listener requests, give shout outs to local nonprofits, share lost and founds, and report on the weather.
As an NPR affiliate, KPCW broadcasts programs such as Morning Edition, The Splendid Table, Weekend Edition, Alt. Latino, Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me! and Marketplace.
KPCW strives to be an anchor in our community that listens deeply, surfaces untold stories, presents objective, fact-based information that builds awareness, empathy, and engagement among the diverse communities they serve. KPCW’s primary focus is to connect and inform listeners, showcase local arts, cultural organizations, events, support area nonprofits and businesses, promote tourism across the region, and provide emergency first response information and resources.
Tuning in regularly to KPCW treats you to a perfect blend of national and local news, community updates, and a dose of great music.
A Few Minutes with Renai Bodley
I spoke to Renai Bodley Miller the President and General Manager of KPCW and she shared with me some of the special highlights around KPCW and what the community should know:
- You can find all news stories on their website KPCW.org.
- In 2017 KPCW expanded its radio station to the web, enabling online streaming and the availability of all shows as podcasts. This meant you could "listen like a local" from anywhere in the world, not just in Park City. It was a significant moment for the station, especially considering Park City's international community. Many residents, visitors, and second homeowners have a strong connection to Park City, and when they're away, they can still feel connected through KPCW. Even from a distance, you can hear the voices and stories of locals, a connection that resonates with donors who appreciate the tie to their mountain town.
- In an effort expand and reach new audiences, in July 2022, KPCW launched a new free newsletter, The Local, delivering the top news stories of the past 24 hours to subscribers' email inboxes every morning.
- And in October 2022, KPCW debuted a new segment to better serve their Spanish-speaking audience called Minuto Hispano, a series of PSAs and event updates airing in Spanish and posted bilingually online.
And there are a couple of things Renai is looking forward to for KPCW:
- The Local currently delivers news Monday through Friday, but Renai plans to enhance this email service by adding a Weekend Edition—aiming to roll it out by the end of the year.
- KPCW is working on launching a sister site dedicated to delivering news in Spanish. They are actively seeking a bilingual journalist who can report news in English and then translate it with the goal to create a complete Spanish-version website that features all news and community stories.
Public Radio in the Park City Community
Renai says KPCW is thriving thanks to its dedicated staff and volunteers who are not only gregarious and well-informed but also genuinely cool and fun people. She says this marks a significant moment for nonprofit news and public broadcasting, as people have grown weary of for-profit media outlets with their biases. Public radio, as a political-neutral platform, plays a crucial role in gathering and reporting objective facts. By sharing local news stories, KPCW fosters a sense of community connection that makes Park City truly special. Renai recalled a a conversation with Jennifer Wesselhof, CEO of the Park City Chamber, who noted the absence of such an engaged community elsewhere and credited KPCW for creating a common town square that lays a strong foundation for civil discourse.
Local news is empowering in ways that enable individuals to become better citizens, especially in a community like Park City. As the community grows, there are important questions to answer about the direction it should take, and KPCW's role in reporting on meetings and public dialogue is instrumental in finding those answers. In essence, KPCW's commitment to unbiased reporting and community-building truly makes it a cornerstone of the Park City experience.
You can find KPCW’s full weekly programming schedule here.