Inside Colorado Public Radio’s insane year of growth

5280 (Denver): On a January afternoon, Colorado Public Radio (CPR) president Stewart Vanderwilt sweeps his hand apologetically toward the offices down a hallway. “We’re still getting settled,” he says of CPR’s new digs on East 17th Avenue. The 9,000-square-foot space, in which approximately 50 reporters, editors, and producers work, practically hums with something that’s grown rare in many newsrooms today: optimism.

In a state where nearly 20 percent of the newspapers that existed in 2004 have closed and where cuts reduced the Denver Post’s staff by a third in 2018, CPR has grown—fast. Last March, the station purchased local online news site Denverite; a month later, it announced an editor and three reporters focused on climate were coming on board. A dedicated Washington, D.C.–based correspondent was hired in May, and in August, former Denver Post editor Chuck Murphy was appointed to lead an investigative team. To finish off 2019, the news team moved its headquarters from Centennial to Denver, putting reporters closer to the policymaking action at the Capitol.

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