Colorado Public Radio and Colorado Symphony renew broadcast deal

Friday, Feb 27, 2015

After ending a 15-year broadcast partnership in November, Colorado Public Radio and the Colorado Symphony have negotiated a new informal deal.

CPR Classical announced this week it will broadcast four Colorado Symphony concerts -- three live performances and one recorded -- this spring.

“We just continued informal talks and at the most recent one decided to go back to working together,” said Sean Nethery, CPR’s senior vice president of programming. “The Colorado Symphony is an essential part of the cultural community in Colorado and we want to continue providing this around the state.”

The recent separation came after disagreements over the organizations' underwriting partnership and the broadcasting of Symphony-related content on CPR Classical's airwaves.

Colorado Symphony CEO Jerry Kern told CPR in November the pre-existing agreement was outdated. Kern said he wanted more bilateral terms, including more control over editorial decisions and compensation for exclusive rights to broadcast concerts.

The Symphony and CPR Classical came up with a new deal that has similar terms to the previous agreements, but without the long-term commitment or exclusivity of the former contract.

"We're pleased to return to the airwaves with our long-term partner Colorado Public Radio, which shares our commitment to building and nurturing the future of symphonic music," Kern, who couldn't immediately be reached for comment, said in a statement.

The Symphony has not renewed its underwriting contributions to CPR. The organization reported spending at least $50,000 a year for underwriting, but stopped payments on Nov. 30. Nethery has said underwriting agreements have no bearing on programming.

Under the new agreement, CPR Classical no longer holds exclusive rights to Colorado Symphony broadcasts. The Symphony this week unveiled its own streaming service, Soundings Live.

Kern told there was no animosity around developing this new phase of the two organizations' partnership.

"This is just fine, informal and non-exclusive. We can put our content out where we like, and we’ll continue to explore other options.”

Nethery said the renewed collaboration will have little impact on its commitment to new partners like the Aspen Music Festival and the Boulder Philharmonic.

“The bottom line is we’re actually doing more live broadcasts than ever before,” Nethery said.



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