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Aspen Public Radio’s Tammy Terwelp To Lead KUNC, The Colorado Sound

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Courtesy Tammy Terwelp
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Aspen Public Radio Executive Director Tammy Terwelp will be departing Aspen’s public radio station to lead Community Radio for Northern Colorado (CRNC) - The Colorado Sound and NPR station KUNC in Greeley, Colo. Her last day with Aspen Public Radio will be Fri., March 12.

Terwelp has more than 20 years of experience in public and commercial media. At CRNC, Terwelp replaces Neil Best, who had spent 48 years at the station. Prior to becoming Executive Director at Aspen Public Radio in 2019, she was the General Manager of KRCC in Colorado Springs, Colo. She also served as program director at Pittsburgh’s 90.5 WESA, and worked for more than seven years in operations and programming at WBEZ in Chicago. Her early career also included positions at public radio and TV stations in Chicago; Bethlehem, Pa.; and Madison, Wis.

During Terwelp’s time with Aspen Public Radio, she worked to advance the station’s reputation for quality independent journalism. Terwelp’s leadership highlights include:

  • Hiring news director Ariel Van Cleave, who boasts more than 16 years of public media experience and led the newsroom to provide fact-based reporting during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Grizzly Creek Fire, the 2020 election season, and more.
  • Working with Van Cleave and Radio La Tricolor Aspen to expand Spanish-language coverage for the valley’s Latino community.
  • Increasing coverage from the Mountain West News Bureau to discuss environmental, water, wildfire, and social issues that are top of mind to individuals living on the Western Slope.
  • Leading the organization through cost-saving measures throughout the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, Aspen Public Radio did not see a deficit in the 2020 fiscal year, despite many of the financial challenges that non-profits faced—and did so without any layoffs or furloughs for staff.

In January 2020, Aspen Public Radio made the move away from volunteer music programming in response to decreased ratings and shifts in the public media landscape. Aspen Public Radio’s founder, Sy Coleman, expressed concern that the move could leave the station without “a trace of Aspen’s special character.” However, Terwelp personally reached out to Carbondale, Colo. based community radio station, KDNK, to advocate for finding a spot on the dial for each of the hosts. She also encouraged robust community engagement efforts across the valley over the past year, including collaborations with local partners to donate supplies to food banks and homeless shelters, as well as smart speakers to senior citizens in care facilities.

“We have more than 1,500 dedicated, loyal members from Aspen to Glenwood Springs, and beyond—it’s an honor to serve our audience of more than 10,000 listeners, and part of a bigger testament to how committed this community is to our programming and the work that we do locally,” said Terwelp.

Board Chair Anne Tobey thanked Terwelp for her service, saying, “Tammy has built an amazing team at Aspen Public Radio. She brought a new level of professionalism and talent to the station and although she will be sorely missed, our listeners and supporters can be assured that they’ll continue to receive the quality content they've come to expect. We wish Tammy all the best in her new endeavors and thank her for her many contributions to Aspen Public Radio.”

“This is honestly one of the most bittersweet times in my career,” said Terwelp. “I’ve learned so much from working with everyone at Aspen Public Radio and I’ll truly miss the Roaring Fork Valley, which will always hold a special place in my heart. But I know this is the right step for me, not just professionally, but also personally—being on the Front Range means that I'll have important access to critical resources and opportunities that are best for my family. I believe wholeheartedly in the essential service that Aspen Public Radio provides for the valley, and I’m excited for this new adventure.”