KOAA News5 to change ownership, Colorado Public Radio adds Springs reporter

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Southern Colorado's KOAA News5 launched in 1953. - COURTESY OF KOAA NEWS5
  • Courtesy of KOAA News5
  • Southern Colorado's KOAA News5 launched in 1953.
Changes at  local and statewide media organizations could soon affect coverage of Southern Colorado.

First up, KOAA News5’s owner, Cordillera Communications, announced on Oct. 29 it had sold 15 of its 16 stations — including KOAA, a CBS NBC affiliate — to The E.W. Scripps Company, and its Tucson, Arizona, station to Quincy Media, Inc. The sales are pending federal regulatory approvals.

KOAA launched in 1953 and was purchased by Cordillera in 1977, according to the station's website. In an emailed conversation, Evan Pappas, the station's president and general manager, seemed optimistic about the purchase.

"Cordillera Communications remained committed to finding a buyer that fit our culture, ethical standards, commitment to quality news and community service and placing our valued employees in the hands of a company that cares for its employees as both these companies do," Pappas wrote. "They did that in committing to Scripps. If we can't work for Cordillera any longer, Scripps is as close to a perfect match as they come."

Pappas pointed out that Scripps would provide "cutting edge digital projects" and "more resources for news content."

Scripps currently owns 33 local television stations across the country, including Azteca Colorado, a Spanish-language station in Colorado Springs, Denver and Fort Collins; and ABC affiliate KMGH-TV (The Denver Channel).

In other media news, Colorado Public Radio, the state NPR affiliate based in Denver, hired two reporters in Colorado Springs and Grand Junction as part of a multi-year plan to grow its newsroom by one-third.

Dan Boyce and Stina Sieg are the first reporters CPR News has embedded outside the Denver metro area, according to a statement. Boyce, who's previously worked for Montana Public Radio and Inside Energy, a Colorado public media collaborative, will focus on military and veterans issues and other major news in the Colorado Springs area.

Sieg has worked at public radio stations in Phoenix and Spindale, North Carolina. She'll report on issues including land use, agriculture and development on the Western Slope.

“These additions enable the newsroom to produce significantly more news for and from Colorado, in a capacity not possible before,” Kevin Dale, executive editor of CPR News, is quoted in the statement. “As a result, Coloradans can expect to hear about the most important issues happening across the state, giving them a greater sense of place and connection with one another.”

Colorado Springs also has a local public radio station, 91.5 KRCC, a member-supported service of Colorado College and NPR affiliate.

Editor's note: This post has been updated to correct KOAA's network affiliation.

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