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Wed October 14, 2009
Public Radio Service WKMS Fundraises
By Kate Lochte
Murray, KY – Media Release: Public Radio Service WKMS Fundraises
Contact: Kate Lochte, Station Manager, 270-809-4745
Date: October 13, 2009
Murray State's listener supported public radio service 91.3 FM, WKMS, is fundraising for operational support as it does twice annually. Its autumn goal is $100,000 in community contributions, and listeners have gone over the half-way mark towards that goal by mail, by web pledging and through Racerthon calling on behalf of the station. The station's on-air fundraising begins Saturday, October 24th and volunteers are welcome to help in the studios located at the University.
This summer the Murray-Calloway County Chamber of Commerce and the Murray-Calloway County Economic Development Corporation honored the station for community service during the ice storm. This year WKMS News earned 17 awards of excellence from the Kentucky Associated Press for reporting stories about the Four Rivers Region.
This autumn WKMS initiated a new program, Friday Night Live, offering listeners of both 91.3 FM and WKMS HD-2 several opportunities to hear concerts of the Paducah Symphony Orchestra. Friday Night Live also features select concerts from Murray State in a variety of venues including performance halls of the Music Department and Lovett Live, as well as other local and national venues. Station Membership Coordinator Jenni Todd says, "From its online presence, to its new repeaters and new programs, to the HD classical channel, WKMS advances in expanding services to its region are squarely due to long-time loyal support from contributing listeners who financially affirm what public radio brings to the quality of their lives."
WKMS broadcasts two 24 hour channels: one with news, information, entertainments and a variety of music at 91.3 FM (or WKMS HD-1); a second with all classical music at WKMS HD-2. Both channels stream live online at wkms.org. WKMS is making progress towards establishing two new repeater services: one for Madisonville and surrounding counties at 90.9 FM; a second for Fulton, Martin and Union City, TN at 89.5 FM. Regulatory requirements caused delays in these projects, but both should be on the air by the end of the year.
New Wave Communications in Murray and Hopkinsville are now carrying the WKMS classical channel on Channels 19 and 22 respectively. The station plans to put this classical service on translator 105.1 FM in Madisonville once repeater 90.9 is established there. WKMS translator 92.1 FM in Paducah has been experiencing interference. WKMS plans to request a different frequency for this translator, and then use it to provide an FM access to the all classical channel as well.
This July the station changed its weekday programming, moving its classical music to its 24 hour a day classical channel which has been available on HD radios over a year. Coincidentally, public radio services in Bowling Green, Kentucky and Nashville, Tennessee followed the WKMS lead, changing their schedules to offer information and discussion programs weekdays as well. However, neither of these other stations has presented listeners an alternative (HD) source for 24 hours of classical music as has WKMS.
HD technology has been problematic for many stations across the country, and WKMS is working to provide a better HD signal through recently completed repairs for damages suffered in the ice storm earlier this year. Station Manager Kate Lochte says, "Though some listeners are finding it challenging to locate HD radios in brick and mortar retailers throughout the area, they are available at Leach's Music in downtown Paris, TN, as well as the University Store on Murray State's campus. Listeners are also reporting availability in some electronics stores."
Providing these two public radio channels for listeners in far western Kentucky, southernmost Illinois and northwestern Tennessee depends on listener support, because listener contributions leverage other sources of funds. WKMS has expanded its reach, online and through these services, because listener contributions continue to validate grants from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, support from Murray State University and from area business underwriters. The station maintains a secure web pledge page at www.wkms.org for online gifts, along with a toll-free number 800-599-4737 for phoning in contributions or requesting more information.