COEUR d'ALENE - Spokane Public Radio aims to sustain quality programming as technology and audiences change, said Cary Boyce, new SPR president and general manager, on Friday.
Speaking to the Rotary Club of Coeur d'Alene, Boyce said the NPR affiliate is looking to adapt in other ways, too.
"We are working to expand and improve service to you," said Boyce, speaking to roughly 100 at a meeting room in The Coeur d'Alene Resort.
Boyce has been with SPR for five months, after working with WFIU, Indiana Public Media, for more than 20 years.
He reminded listeners that SPR consists of three program streams, KPBX, KPBZ and KSFC.
"It really sounds like alphabet soup, and it is, but it also represents coverage," Boyce said.
SPR will be relocating to a downtown Spokane location in the university district this year, he said.
Boyce is also pursuing grant funding to add to SPR's reporting staff, he said.
The station broadcasts over a 20,000-square-mile area, Boyce said. That spans north central and eastern Washington, North Idaho, west Montana, southeast British Columbia and parts of Oregon.
"That's about the size of France," he said.
SPR has plans to purchase a translator that would beef up its signal, he said.
Jessica Robinson, Inland Northwest correspondent for the Northwest News Network, also spoke to the Rotary.
Robinson trolls for overlooked stores in the Coeur d'Alene area that are interesting to audiences across the Inland Northwest, she said.
"I'll do stories that people in big cities might not be aware of, like that there are people who work in mines," she said. "And I don't just do stories that are stereotypically rural. There are lots of innovations in this area."
Sam Hunter, who attended the event, said he listens to some NPR programs, like "Car Talk."
"I think it's very important, and it will continue to be that way," Hunter said of public news radio. "There's something about voiceprint that's different from TV, Internet and print."
Coeur d'Alene resident Valleta O'Day said NPR is the only radio station she listens to.
"It's unbiased," she said. "If you listen to CNN, they've got a point to make. The same as FOX, they're making a point. That's not true for NPR."