Published on June 28th, 2019 | by Guest Editor0
Rocky Mountain Public Media Launches THE DROP – The People’s Station for R&B and Hip-Hop
Listen now on KUVO’s HD2 signal, the KUVO app and digitally at thedrop303.org
Rocky Mountain Public Media, Colorado’s largest statewide, member-supported, multimedia organization and parent of Rocky Mountain PBS and nationally recognized jazz radio leader KUVO, today announced the launch of THE DROP, a digital radio station featuring R&B, urban adult contemporary, rap and hip-hop targeting young, multicultural audiences in Colorado.
“Rocky Mountain Public Media is thrilled to unveil THE DROP and its innovative programming to Coloradans,” said Amanda Mountain, president and CEO of Rocky Mountain Public Media. “With our primarily digital footprint, we are meeting audiences where they are in the shift to streaming and introducing public media to younger, more ethnically diverse listeners.”
“We want to put radio and the subsequent music choice back in the people’s hands,” said Nikki Swarn, THE DROP’s content and program director. “There is a need to build with our community a station that reflects the eclectic music values and tastes of this new Colorado. THE DROP is that station; it is built by the community for the community. We are excited to create a movement that is inclusive, exciting, dynamic and fresh. Plus, there’s nothing like shaking things up.”
THE DROP is commercial-free and based on the needs of the community, including how it was named, which was by Coloradans voting on social media. Much of the station’s content also will be curated by the Colorado music community and its consumers. If listeners want old school hip-hop, deep cuts or anything in between, the station will play those requests. It also will feature a regular rotation of Colorado independent artists.
“Our Colorado independent music creators are starved for support and exposure,” Swarn said. “Through strong, respectful relationships with ALL of Colorado—not just Denver—THE DROP will have a hand in establishing a more developed sound for our state, which is a huge opportunity to align more fully with record labels, streaming and overall content providers.”
THE DROP is supported by a $350,000 grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) to support the CPB mission to encompass a more diverse, younger audience. Two other cities with similar projects are Houston and Norfolk, Va. Each station is working with Paragon Media Strategies to test and refine the format in their individual markets.
“Many terrestrial stations struggle to maximize their streaming opportunities,” Swarn said. “As the top method for music consumption, streaming and the creation of an all-digital station complements KUVO’s terrestrial signal and allows for the entire KUVO brand to expand in ways that are new and innovative. We’re primed to incorporate and influence our local market and take on the national music industry at the same time.”
Audiences can engage with THE DROP in several ways:
- The KUVO app;
- Online at thedrop303.org;
- Smart devices, including smart speakers;
- Live performances in KUVO’s performance studio recorded for broadcast on KUVO and THE DROP, as well as on Rocky Mountain PBS’ weekly arts program, Arts District; and,
- Four-hour daily broadcast set for later this summer in partnership with Denver Open Media’s radio channel on KOMF 92.9 and live performances on its all-access public TV channel.
THE DROP’s dedicated hosts include international DJ and host DJ Dif’Rent (6 a.m. – 10 a.m.), radio vet and blogger Amerykah Jones (10 a.m. – 3 p.m.), former KS1075 on-air personality Unique (3 p.m. – 7 p.m.), KUVO veteran DJ Bella Scratch (7 p.m. – midnight), and newcomer Hakeem Furious (midnight – 3 a.m.)
New programming initiatives include:
- Two mix shows called #PReGAMeMIx (Friday and Saturday 10 p.m. – midnight) featuring Colorado turntablists and mixers;
- The Mile High Countdown Show with Unique (Saturdays 10 a.m. – 11 a.m.); and,
- Colorado Local Love hosted by producer and mixer Ontoneyo to showcase Colorado artists, producers and musicians (Saturdays 3 p.m. – 7 p.m. with re-broadcasts Sundays 6 p.m. – 10 p.m.)
Other specialty weekend programming includes:
- Soul-Full Sunday Gospel Show (Sundays 7 a.m. – 10 a.m.); and,
- #AfternoonDelight Slow Jam Show hosted by DJ Dif’Rent (Sundays 3 p.m. – 5 p.m.)
Shared content with KUVO JAZZ includes:
- La Molly’s Super Sonido (Sundays 5 p.m. – 6 p.m.);
- Bella’s SoulFRESH (Sundays 8 p.m. – 10 p.m.); and,
- Crossover show Deep Cuts (Sundays 10 p.m. – midnight) encompassing mostly instrumentals and samples from hip-hop played against the original song.
KUVO JAZZ’s daily broadcast channel on 89.3 FM Denver, 89.7 FM Breckenridge and 88.5 FM Vail will continue broadcasting jazz, blues, news and culturally diverse programming, with three hours of programming from THE DROP on Saturdays 3 a.m. – 6 a.m. and Sundays 2 a.m. – 6 a.m.
“Our commitment to KUVO JAZZ and its rich cultural tradition is steadfast,” said Tina Cartagena, senior vice president of radio and new media for Rocky Mountain Public Media. “Along with that, we see THE DROP as an incredible opportunity to share an exciting new format and expand our public media offerings to our audiences.”Tweet