This article was originally written by Rocky Mountain Public Media, and adapted for the Gates Family Foundation website.
Recently named Westword magazine’s “Best New Radio Station of 2020”, THE DROP is playing an increasingly pivotal role in Rocky Mountain Public Media’s commitment to expand and extend the relevance of public media to new and more diverse communities across Colorado.
In February, this powerhouse station — led by general manager and program director Nikki Swarn — acquired an FM radio signal with support from Gates Family Foundation, Bonfils-Stanton Foundation, and a single anonymous donor, which created an opportunity for the station to expand its footprint beyond a digital signal alone.
“This station has always been about the people,” says Swarn, who also DJs on THE DROP as Amerykah Jones. “From our name to how we engage with our listeners, it’s all about our Colorado community. Without this local support, our 104.7 FM signal wouldn’t be as impactful. This is such a special time for public media especially here in Colorado. We owe a huge thanks to our community, our listeners and our partners for helping make this possible.”
THE DROP debuted in June 2019 as one of the country’s first public media urban alternative radio stations with a grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). With its distinctive and unique sound, 104.7 THE DROP continues to build a commercial free media movement that reflects the tastes of a young, multicultural audience across the Centennial state.
Now Coloradans searching for old school crate classics, new vibe music, and Colorado’s hottest independent artists can tune their radios to 104.7 FM from their homes, cars and smart devices.
Complementing THE DROP’s existing HD2 live stream and THE DROP APP, this additional high-fidelity form of access provided by the permanent 104.7 FM radio position further affirms the station’s mission to increase grassroots engagement that resonates with communities often underserved by traditional media outlets.
“104.7 THE DROP is so much more than a radio station,” Swarn continued, “We are truly a lifestyle brand. The station provides a place in the media landscape for a variety of musical genres and reinforces a sense of community for a diverse listenership. Listeners can DROP into the music, cultural issues and community resources in one place. It’s a movement built by and for the people of Colorado.”
Community suggestions, taken directly from listeners via social media and the station’s text line at 303.893.DROP, frame the music mix and content of shows hosted by DJ Dif’Rent, Amerykah Jones, Unique, DJ Bella Scratch, Maleman and weekend hosts, DJ Cavem and PK.
“We are thrilled to make an investment in acquiring the 104.7 FM radio home for THE DROP,” said Amanda Mountain, president and CEO of Rocky Mountain Public Media. “The format of this radio station plays a critical role in shaping the public media of the future and in creating a Colorado where everyone is seen and heard.”
“We could not be happier to support Nikki and her team, and Rocky Mountain Public Media in expanding the reach of THE DROP,” said Tom Gougeon, Gates Family Foundation president. “We see so much potential for 104.7 THE DROP, not only as a source for great and relevant music, but also a vehicle with unlimited potential to raise up local artists, local voices, and to reach deeper and engage the local community in the issues of our times.”
“At the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation we felt this was an exciting opportunity to help support the effort to provide THE DROP with a 104.7 FM signal, allowing it to reach an exponentially greater audience,” said Gary Steuer, Bonfils-Stanton Foundation president and CEO.
For more information about THE DROP 104.7 FM and THE DROP app, please visit THE DROP website or on all things social @thedrop303.