Jeff got his start in public media as a volunteer, working to save KSJD from going off air when the licensee cut the station’s budget. He was hired as the first GM/ED, reportedly because he wore a tie to the interview, not a T-shirt and Birkenstocks, standard attire in Southwest Colorado. You can take a boy out of the Midwest (a place where ties are worn to interviews) but not the Midwest out of the boy.
Pope led a team of stakeholders--volunteers, donors and staff--to bring the station back from the brink and establish KSJD as a integral part of social and civic fabric of the Four Corners Region. During his tenure, KSJD launched a local news bureau, increased audience, finished in the top 10 of the 2016 NPR Tiny Desk Concert, completed two capital campaigns, launched two podcasts and increased assets from $0 to $1.5m and annual operating revenue from $20,000 to $550,000 in one of the smallest markets in the nation. He and his colleagues also conceived of and built the KSJD Community Media center--an innovative space that that houses the studios of KSJD and the Sunflower Theatre, a 100-seat venue that serves more than 5,000 patrons each year. Pope also served as interim General Manager/COO at Aspen Public Radio supporting the CEO, staff and Board of Directors during a time of transition.
Jeff is a leader in the public media system. He served as president of the board of the National Federation of Community Broadcasters (NFCB) helping to restructure, reform and develop a strategic vision of the organization from 2014 to 2016. He also served as president of the board of Rocky Mountain Community Radio for six years, implementing organizational transformation to increase quality of content and collaboration and setting the groundwork for ground-breaking, award-winning journalism covering the Colorado Statehouse. Originally from St. Louis, Jeff worked as a community organizer, communications specialist and organic farmer before transplanting to rural Colorado in 2003.
He holds a BA in History and Spanish from Missouri State University and an MA in International Relations from Webster University. Pope has traveled and worked in Latin America, supporting recovery after Hurricane Mitch in Honduras and community development in Chiapas, Mexico. He and his family live in Dolores, Colorado where they enjoy whitewater, trails and tacos