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For immediate release
May 5, 2003
Jenny Lawhorn

NPR Announces Partnership with CPRN Music Service

WASHINGTON - NPR today announced a significant new alliance with CPRN (Classical Public Radio Network) to market and distribute the high-quality, 24-hour classical music service to public radio stations nationally. The historic NPR-CPRN partnership will make around-the-clock classical music available to its 732 stations, 472 of which broadcast classical music. CPRN will be offered to NPR member stations starting in May 2003.

Created five years ago by Colorado Public Radio and University of Southern California Radio (KUSC), CPRN received $850,000 from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) in 1999 to develop the service.

"CPRN has developed an impressive track record in attracting listeners and fundraising support. Its first-rate announcing talent, thoughtful music presentation, and format versatility complement local music presentations as well as NPR's popular national programs, including Performance Today," said Benjamin Roe, NPR's director of music. "As public radio stations continue to seek ways to expand and focus their programming, this new alliance with CPRN will help NPR provide more and better service to NPR stations choosing to concentrate on classical music programming."

Seven highly experienced announcers host CPRN's around-the-clock music service, presenting everything from the most familiar pieces of classical music to lesser-known but thoughtfully chosen works from medieval times to modern. To help stations during local membership campaigns, CPRN also produces 40 full hours of fundraising specials three times a year for a total of 120 hours annually.

CPRN currently airs on five public radio stations or networks: KUSC Los Angeles, CA; Colorado Public Radio Denver, CO; Boise State Radio in Boise, ID; Northwest Public Radio in Pullman, WA; and WBHM Birmingham, AL.

"CPRN offers the best performance pieces from the classical repertoire as well as information about the music, delivered concisely, that helps listeners learn a little more about the music and listen differently to the pieces," said Brenda Barnes, general manager of KUSC Los Angeles and co-founder of CPRN with Max Wycisk, president of Colorado Public Radio. Barnes added, "The partnership between NPR and CPRN combines top talent, musical knowledge and fundraising expertise with the superior marketing and expertise of NPR that stations truly value."

Classical music is the most popular music format on public radio stations, accounting for 30% of all programming that airs on public radio. With the addition of CPRN, NPR distributes 196 hours of classical music every week, including Performance Today, a two-hour daily program focused on live musical performance; SymphonyCast, a weekly showcase of the world's greatest symphony orchestras; World of Opera, now expanded to year-round broadcasts, and Sunday Baroque, produced by member station WSHU, Fairfield, CT. In addition, NPR features such select special classical programs as A Capital Fourth, New Year's Day from Vienna, Holiday Pops with Keith Lockhart, and The Last Night of the Proms.

NPR, renowned for journalistic excellence and standard-setting news, information and cultural programming, serves a growing audience of nearly 20 million Americans each week via more than 680 public radio stations. NPR Online at brings hourly newscasts, news features, commentaries and live events to Internet users through original online reports, audio streaming and other multimedia elements. NPR also distributes programming to listeners in Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa via NPR Worldwide, to military installations overseas via American Forces Network and throughout Japan via cable.