2013 MSPR Station Activities Report

Morehead State Public Radio (MSPR) is governed by the Board of Regents at Morehead State University (MSU) in Morehead, Kentucky. MSPR is operated by its flagship station, WMKY (90.3FM) in Morehead with a translator W202BH in Inez. Since 1965, WMKY has served the communities in more than twenty counties throughout eastern Kentucky, southern Ohio and western West Virginia.

MSPR’s mission is to provide programming that is educational, informative and entertaining to the region. Through the work provided by a staff consisting of full-time directors, student interns and work studies, as well as community volunteers, MSPR is able to offer regional news, public affairs and documentary programming, as well as a variety of regional music programs consisting of classical, jazz and Americana (bluegrass, blues, folk, roots-based country and traditional/old-time).

Regional News Programming

1.“Front Page” is a weekday, half-hour public affairs program on community issues, people and events important to the listeners in the MSPR region. Front Page explores many topics including education, health, environment, government, arts and culture.

2.“Mountain Edition” is a weekday, half-hour newsmagazine on current issues and events from the MSPR region. This program also showcases produced feature segments, sports, arts and sports news, as well as guest commentaries.

3. “Health Matters” is a weekly, hour-long program which addresses medical topics and health education issues. “Health Matters” is a co-production between MSPR and the Northeast Kentucky Area Health Education Center, an outreach service of St. Claire Regional Medical Center in Morehead (KY).

4.MSPR regularly contributes features to “Inside Appalachia,” a weekly, hour-long news program focusing on the people and culture of the Appalachian region. The program is produced by West Virginia Public Radio and broadcast on several public radio stations throughout the Appalachian region.

5.MSPR’s feature reports are regularly shared with the Kentucky Public Radio Network, a collaborative effort between public radio stations from Kentucky including WEKU, WFPL, WKMS and WKYU.

In addition, MSPR produces regular daily newscasts and in-depth features on people, places and events in the region. MSPR regularly covers a variety of regional issues including agriculture, arts and culture, economics, education, environment, government, health, housing, legal/courts, police/fire and transportation. In 2013, MSPR shared more than 2,000 regional stories (scripts and audio) and 60 extended news features with the Kentucky Public Radio Network.

MSPR also provides extended election coverage from several counties in the broadcast region with live reports, interviews and election results during the primary and general elections. MSPR regularly invites regional newsmakers and politicians to our studios to discuss their ideas, issues and platforms. Equal opportunities are extended to all parties involved, representing all sides of the issues.

Regional Music Programming

1.Classical music is presented weekdays from 9:30a.m. to 3p.m. and overnights Monday through Friday from 12a.m. to 5a.m. Feature segments include The Composer’s Datebook, Pulse of the Planet and 90 Second Naturalist. During observed holidays such as Veteran’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Black History Month and Women’s History Month, special programs and features are presented.

2.The “MSU Recital Series” is a locally-produced weekly program presented Fridays from 9:30a.m. to 11a.m. The program is recorded live from The Duncan Recital Hall in MSU’s Baird Music Building and featuring student, staff and guest recitals from the MSU Department of Music, Theatre and Dance.

3.MSPR offers three jazz and blues music programs featuring contemporary and traditional styles of jazz and jazz vocals. “Sunday Night Jazz” is presented Sunday evenings from 8p.m. to midnight; “The Jazz Lounge” airs overnight Saturdays and Sundays from 12a.m. to 6a.m.; and “Nothin’ But The Blues” airs Saturdays from 8p.m. to 12a.m. which highlights traditional and contemporary blues styles ranging from the Delta (south), Piedmont (east), Chicago (midwest) and Texas (west).

4.MSPR presents several programs of Americana and adult-alternative music. “Americana Crossroads” airs Wednesdays and Thursdays from 7p.m. to 10p.m.; “Bluegrass Railroad” and “Bluegrass Sunday” are offered on Saturdays and Sundays from 11a.m. to 2p.m.; “The Country Jukebox” airs Tuesdays from 7p.m. to 10p.m.; “Good Vibes” airs Mondays from 7p.m. to 10p.m.; and “Pickin’ Parlor” airs Sundays from 2p.m. to 4p.m. In addition, several programs are featured once per month at 7p.m. on Fridays including “Fresh Picks,” “The Country Jukebox,” “Odd Numbers” and “Grant Alden’s Field Notes.”

During MSPR’s locally-hosted music programs, regional events are mentioned and promoted. Musicians and songwriters are invited to the studios to perform and interviews are conducted on a regular basis. In addition, MSPR’s music programs feature recorded music from concerts, festivals and recitals throughout the region.

Additional Programming

1.MSPR offers “A Time for Tales” as a weekly program of storytelling through words and music which features regional and national storytellers. MSPR also assists in the promotion of the annual Cave Run Storytelling Festival, held each year at Cave Run Lake, which is part of the Daniel Boone National Forest in Morehead. “A Time for Tales” can be heard Sunday afternoons at 4p.m.

2.MSPR produced several live broadcasts from regional facilities and events in 2013 including art centers, fairs, music and cultural events.

3.MSPR regularly broadcasts public service announcements of regional community events and activities. The information is also posted on MSPR’s website with a form available for submitting public service announcements. More than 600 individual public service announcements were made available to our listeners in 2013.

4.MSPR offers additional programming services on its website (www.wmky.org) including live web streaming of regular programming. Archived audio files and podcasts of several locally-produced regional news and music programs are also available on MSPR’s website.

Awards and Recognitions

In 2013, several MSPR staff members were recognized with awards and recognitions for their accomplishments and contributions to broadcasting.

•MSPR staff won 19 awards in 11 categories from the 2013 Kentucky Associated Press Awards, which included five 1st Place, seven 2nd Place, six Honorable Mentions and one Best of Show. First Place winners were Feature (Tyler Kline), Sports (Tyler Smith), News (Matthew Rand). Newscast (Tanner Hesterberg) and Play-By-Play (Chuck Mraz). Second Place winners were Feature (Tyler Kline), Sports (Tanner Hesterberg), News (Tanner Hesterberg), Newscast (Kelsey Bond), Sound (Tyler Kline), Continuing Coverage (Dan Conti) and Newscast (Tanner Boyd, Kelsey Bond, Tanner Hesterberg). Honorable Mention winners were Feature (Carly Lacey), Sports (Tanner Hesterberg), News (David Gillum), Sports Feature (Tanner Hesterberg), Website (Greg Jenkins) and Political Coverage (Chuck Mraz). Best of Show winner was Tyler Kline

•Carly Lacey was the recipient of MSPR’s Outstanding Student Award and David Gillum was the recipient of the MSPR/Community Advisory Board Student Achievement Award

•“Health Matters” awarded a 2013 National Media Award from the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons. The program is hosted by Dr. Tony Weaver with co-host Rick Phillips and producer Asa Hosoda

•Michelle Wallace, host of “Bluegrass Sunday” was a finalist for Bluegrass DJ of the Year and WMKY was a finalist for Bluegrass Radio Station of the Year for the 39th Annual Bluegrass Music Awards by The Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music in America

•Chuck Mraz voted Best Radio Announcer in a Readers’ Choice Poll conducted by The Morehead News

•Paul Hitchcock received the 2013 Colonel Bill Williams Heritage Music Festival Greenup County Achievement Award

Community Service

Operating as the flagship station for the MSPR network, WMKY (90.3FM) serves as an important hands-on training opportunity for many Morehead State University students. The support Morehead State Public Radio receives from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) enables us to train, supervise and evaluate students for careers in broadcasting, purchase national programming while developing local programs of educational and entertaining importance. In addition, funding we receive allows our staff opportunities to attend professional development seminars and conferences.

Important to serving the communities in our region is involving MSPR’s Community Advisory Board (CAB). The CAB consists of nine individuals from MSPR’s service region. The CAB reviews MSPR’s mission, goals and programming, assists in developing and building the listening audience and expanding the operational base of support. CAB members volunteer their time on the board, with each serving a three year term and meeting with MSPR staff on a quarterly basis. The CAB also has the responsibility of selecting the recipient of MSPR’s CAB Student Leadership Award.

Through the support of the CPB, MSPR is highly involved with the community and actively participates in regional cultural and music festivals. In 2013, some of these events in Morehead included the Morehead Arts & Eats Festival, Cave Run Storytelling Festival, Center Stage, Masters Spelling Bee, Morehead Old-Time Music Festival, Shooting Star Youth Theatre, Morehead Theatre Guild and A Storybook Christmas. Regional events supported by MSPR included the Col. Bill Williams Heritage Music Festival (Greenup), Operation Preparation (Flemingsburg) and Stanton Corn Festival (Stanton).

Through the contributions and grants received from the CPB, MSPR also co-sponsored many events on the campus of Morehead State University (MSU) during 2013 including Music, Theatre and Dance productions, MSU Film Series, Creative Writing Symposium and Reading Series, Bassoon/Piano/String/Trombone/Trumpet Clinics, Virginia R. Harpham Honor String Orchestra Clinic, ZZYZX Quartet, Contemporary Music Festival, ARCOS Dance Ensemble and the Pridonoff Duo.

MSPR participated in several job fairs and open house events at MSU and throughout the region. MSPR staff members were featured speakers at civic luncheons, public gatherings and MSU classrooms. MSPR also welcomed new students to MSU by participating in the Student Orientation, Advising and Registration activities.

MSPR’s facilities are open to the general public and the staff regularly provides guided tours of our facilities to grade schools, clubs, civic groups and community organizations. MSPR’s staff is actively involved with the community by volunteering with Frontier Housing, Habitat for Humanity, Morehead Tomorrow, Sustainable Morehead, Morehead-Rowan County Chamber of Commerce, Morehead Recycling Center and Rowan County Christmas by collecting items for regional non-profit, public and social service organizations.

The involvement of MSPR in community and regional activities helps to increase the awareness, learning and understanding of social, cultural and diversity issues. As our ongoing outreach and engagement efforts continue, MSPR’s participation will enhance the facilitation of connecting people to needed resources and strengthening partnerships between organizations in the region.

MSPR is dedicated to the listeners in our region by offering a variety of educational, informational and entertainment programming which is valuable to the communities served by the MSPR network. Besides local programming, the support we receive from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) allows us to purchase programs from National Public Radio such as All Things Considered, Car Talk, Morning Edition, Thistle and Shamrock, Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me, Weekend Edition and World Café.

Programs used on MSPR from Public Radio International include Classical 24, Bob Edwards Weekend, The World and This American Life. MSPR also carries programs from American Public Media including A Prairie Home Companion, Composer’s Datebook, Marketplace Morning Report and The Writer’s Almanac.

MSPR also purchases wire and audio services from the Associated Press and the Kentucky Public Radio Network through the support of the CPB. Additional (independent) national programs used on MSPR include American Routes, Folk Sampler and Inside Appalachia. MSPR’s weekday features include The Composer’s Datebook, Pulse of the Planet, 90 Second Naturalist, The Writer’s Almanac and Marketplace Tech Report.

To support our programming, student and part-time personnel, equipment purchases and outreach services, MSPR conducted two fundraisers and membership campaigns in 2013. The fundraisers are coordinated with the support of MSU’s Department of Development. Through MSPR’s website, an online giving form is available year-round with additional opportunities to provide listener feedback. 

Future Planning

MSPR will continue to focus on providing quality news, informational and entertainment programming which best serves our region. MSPR will enhance regional news programs by offering in-depth stories and features on people, places, issues and events. MSPR’s local music programs will highlight regional performers by spotlighting them as in-studio guests and their recorded projects. As a measurement of success, MSPR will submit entries for awards, scholarships and/or grants in regional, state and national competitions.

As resources are available, MSPR will support regional community outreach events such as concerts, festivals, workshops, symposiums, exhibits and/or lectures. These activities enable MSPR to foster and enhance partnerships with regional organizations and the communities they serve. Connecting with these communities is a vital part of MSPR’s mission to provide programming which is educational, informative and entertaining.

An important role in our operations is our public service to the region which goes beyond serving as a flagship station in the Emergency Alert System. Part of MSPR’s continued efforts to best serve our listeners, especially the rural sections of our broadcast region, is to be proactive in regularly providing public safety information regarding emergencies and natural disasters. WMKY utilizes the Sage EAS Digital Endec system to comply with FCC/FEMA regulations for the transmission and rebroadcast of alert messages. Since WMKY is a flagship station for the EAS relay system, regular, weekly and monthly test messages are originated from WMKY’s studios and distributed throughout the system. An off-site auxiliary transmitter is available 24/7 as needed during equipment and technical adjustments, tower inspections, power failures or severe weather.

MSPR is dedicated to improve our technical quality to the region. MSPR will continue to improve its website by providing an interactive outlet for listeners through podcasting, web streaming and audio downloads, as well as other interactive media. In addition, WMKY’s antenna will be fitted with radomes, an outside barrier to protect the equipment from severe weather including snow, ice and high winds. Improvements to WMKY will continue to be enhanced through equipment upgrades and utilization of new technology.

Important to the success of our progress towards improved programming and outreach activities, is developing a knowledgeable and trained professional staff. Opportunities for MSPR’s staff to attend workshops, seminars and conferences will be considered to enhance their professional training, career education and peer-networking opportunities. As a result, MSPR’s full-time staff can be better informed and skilled at sharing their knowledge with students and other part-time staff members.

MSPR will also enhance local and regional programming. Programs in development include “Shaping Appalachia,” hosted by MSU Pres. Dr. Wayne Andrews with a focus on regional Appalachian issues including arts and culture, business, education and employment; “Between The Covers,” a community-based literary talk program discussing new books, literary news and issues with guests and listener questions for discussion; “Sin Fronteras” (No Borders), a Spanish/Latin American music and cultural program focusing on the people, places, culture and lifestyle of the Spanish-speaking community; “KCTM Presents,” a monthly program to spotlight and showcase the activities at the MSU’s Kentucky center for Traditional Music with traditional music archives, guests and recorded live performances; and “Sunday Night Jazz Showcase,” spotlighting prominent jazz performers, composers and styles of jazz.

MSPR, through the support of NPR Digital Services, will continue the transition to enhanced website services in providing a more useful, practical and interactive vehicle for local and regional news content. The improved website offers daily, locally-generated news content as well as national news stories from NPR.

To enhance MSPR’s broadcast operations, a renovation of space previously used for engineering will be transformed into another production room at WMKY’s main studios. The facility will be used by students and staff for news and music production, newscasts, interviews and long-form features.

Morehead State Public Radio (WMKY) greatly appreciates the generous support of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. MSPR understands this is a partnership with the CPB and our combined efforts in serving our listeners include valuable programming of information, education and entertainment.