Media Release: Media Release: Fundraising Underway for Public Radio Service WKMS
WKMS-FM, a public media service of Murray State University, is fundraising on-the-air through March 17. Special broadcasts include the comedy of Bob Valentine and Bob McGaughey during A Prairie Home Companion Saturday starting at 5 p.m. and western Kentucky’s own Roots musicians, Bawn in the Mash during A Prairie Home Companion Sunday morning starting at 11. Community presenters join WKMS staff and volunteers in studios during the on-air phase when the station takes phone-in pledges.
The station raises more than fifty percent of its annual budget through individual donations, business underwriting, and grants from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Listeners provide more than a fifth of the total budget.
Station Manager Kate Lochte says, “Our $130,000 goal in community support is the same goal level that listeners have met several times before.” She says that WKMS has added to its public affairs programs without adding costs through a collaborative agreement with Kentucky Educational Television allowing the station to air the audio of Kentucky Tonight and One to One with Bill Goodman and Connections with Renee Shaw.
WKMS is the most comprehensive source for news in the Four Rivers Region, providing local, regional, statewide, national and international reports and discussion. It offers National Public Radio programs that welcome travelers and “transplants” when they come to the region. WKMS broadcasts practical, fact-checked information during emergencies or disasters (the station received a gubernatorial citation for its service during the 2009 ice storm). The station programs a variety of music and music news, including local performances like concerts of the Paducah Symphony Orchestra. WKMS streams all of the above online at wkms.org, including playback of WKMS news and selected local music programs.
Each fundraiser WKMS mails pledge cards to and telephones previous contributors to assist convenient renewal. The secure web page for pledging at wkms.org is available all the time. WKMS Friends help the station with thank you gifts and giveaways each fundraiser and these are shown on the web. Etcetera Coffeehouse of Paducah partners in a new WKMS logo coffee mug this spring.
This fundraiser’s giveaways include a basketball signed by members of the MSU OVC Championship Team, provided by the MSU Department of Athletics. The WKMS Community Advisory Board funded an iPad 2 gift, and Akridge Farm Supply and Ace Hardware of Eddyville and Fredonia gave a Big Green Egg cooker. The station will draw for these gifts from the names of listeners getting in touch during the fundraiser.
Membership Coordinator Jenni Todd says, “We’re grateful for everyone pitching in and helping. The Radioheads, a new young professional’s volunteer group for WKMS hosted a fundraiser at Boulders Smokehouse Deli and Catering in Murray that raised $655 for a matching grant during the fundraiser.”
Area businesses and corporations assist by providing matching grants for individual gifts. Ronda Gibson, Anne Bidwell and Asia Burnett work with those interested in the benefits of matching grant partnerships may be reached at 800-599-4737, which is also the pledge line open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. most days.