2014 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 four full-time directors, several university 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, country and traditional/old-time).

News Programming

“Front Page” is a public affairs program focusing 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.

“Midday News” and “Mountain Edition” are weekday newsmagazines focusing on current issues and events from the MSPR region. These programs also showcase long-form features and guest commentaries.

“Health Matters” is a weekly public affairs program which addressing 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 Medical Center located in Morehead (KY).

MSPR regularly contributes features to “Inside Appalachia,” a weekly 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.

MSPR’s feature reports are also regularly shared with WMMT (Whitesburg) and WUKY (Lexington).

In addition, MSPR produces several daily newscasts and in-depth features on people, places and events in the region. MSPR regularly covers a variety of issues including agriculture, arts and culture, economics, education, environment, government, health, legal/courts, police/fire and transportation. In 2014, MSPR shared more than 2,000 regional stories (scripts and audio) and 60 extended news features with other regional public radio stations.

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 WMKY’s studios to discuss issues and platforms. Equal opportunities are extended to all parties involved, representing all sides of the issues.

Music Programming

Classical music is presented weekdays from 9:30a.m. to 3p.m. and overnights from 12a.m. to 5a.m. Feature segments during the program include The Author’s Corner, Pulse of the Planet, 90 Second Naturalist and The Reader’s Notebook (MSPR production).

The “MSU Recital Series” is a locally-produced weekly program showcasing performances of MSU’s Department of Music, Theatre and Dance. Segments used during the program are performed by MSU faculty, staff and guests from the Duncan Recital Hall in MSU’s Baird Music Building.

MSPR offers two locally-hosted and produced jazz and two blues music programs. “Sunday Night Jazz” is presented Sunday evenings followed by “Sunday Night Jazz Showcase.” “Nothin’ But The Blues” airs Saturdays and “Muddy Bottom Blues” on Fridays.

MSPR presents several other locally-hosted music programs. “Americana Crossroads” airs Thursdays evenings, “Bluegrass Railroad” and “Bluegrass Sunday” airs on Saturday and Sunday afternoons, “The Country Jukebox” airs Tuesday evenings and “Good Vibes” airs on Monday nights. In addition, several programs are featured once a month on Friday nights including “Odd Numbers,” “Sounds of Our Heritage,” “Sin Fronteras,” “Grant Alden’s Field Notes” and “Now and Again.”

During MSPR’s locally-hosted music programs, regional events are 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

MSPR offers “A Time for Tales” as a weekly Sunday afternoon program of storytelling through words and music, featuring regional and national storytellers. MSPR also sponsors the annual Cave Run Storytelling Festival, held each year at Cave Run Lake, which is part of the Daniel Boone National Forest in Morehead.

“The Reader’s Notebook,” a production of MSPR, is a weekday, four minute radio feature offering literary or historical detail on a particular subject including science, technology, philosophy, folklore and the arts.

MSPR offered several programs throughout the year to celebrate special events such as Black History Month, Chanukah, Christmas, Halloween, Independence Day, Memorial Day and Thanksgiving.

MSPR regularly broadcasts public service announcements of regional community events and activities. The information is also posted on MSPR’s website. More than 600 individual public service announcements were made available to our listeners in 2014. MSPR also partnered with Frontier Housing to produce a series of fair housing announcements, which were shared with several commercial regional stations.

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 programs are also available on MSPR’s website.

In addition to the variety of local programming from MSPR, the funding support from listener contributions, local underwriting and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), enables WMKY to purchase programs from National Public Radio such as “All Things Considered,” “Morning Edition,” “Song Travels,” “Thistle and Shamrock,” “Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me” and “World Café.”

Programs purchased from Public Radio International include “Classical 24,” “Bob Edwards Weekend” and “The World.” Programs purchased from the African-American Public Radio Consortium include “Café Jazz,” “Latin Perspectives” and “Return to The Source.”

MSPR also carries programs from independent distributors and producers including “American Routes,” “Inside Appalachia,” “Lost Highways,” “The Folk Sampler” and “This American Life.” In addition, MSPR provides two public affairs programs produced by Kentucky Educational Television including “Comment on Kentucky” and “Connections with Renee Shaw.”

MSPR also partners with the Associated Press, Kentucky News Network and Public News Service for use of their wire and audio services.

In 2014, MSPR launched several new locally-produced public affairs and music programs to enhance cultural, informational and educational opportunities.

A few of these programs include “Shaping Appalachia” focuses on regional Appalachian issues such as health, business, education and employment; “Between The Covers,” a community-based literary talk program; “Sin Fronteras,” a Spanish/Latin American music and cultural program focusing on the people, places, culture and lifestyle of the Spanish-speaking community; “Sounds of Our Heritage” from the Kentucky Center for Traditional Music spotlighting the history and culture of traditional Appalachian music; “The Reader’s Notebook,” a four minute weekday feature of literary or historic significance including science, technology, philosophy, folklore, and the arts; “Odd Numbers,” a novelty music program; “Muddy Bottom Blues” features blues, folk and Americana music and “Sunday Night Jazz Showcase” profiles legendary jazz performers.

Awards/Recognitions/Professional Development

In 2014, several MSPR staff members were award recipients and recognized for their accomplishments in broadcasting and contributions to the community.

MSPR staff won 13 awards from the 2014 Kentucky Associated Press, including four 1st Place, four 2nd Place, two 3rd Place, two Honorable Mentions and Best of Show for Tyler Kline in College Radio.

Tyler Kline was the recipient of MSPR’s Outstanding Student Award and Asa Hosoda was the recipient of the MSPR/Community Advisory Board Student Achievement Award.

Chuck Mraz was recognized by MSU Athletics for 25 years as the “Voice of the Eagles,” Paul Hitchcock named “Best Radio Announcer” by a Morehead News Reader’s Poll, Dan Conti was the subject of a feature cover story by The Morehead News and Greg Jenkins served as announcer for the 2014 MSU Blue & Gold Marching Band Festival.

Community Service

Operating as the flagship station for the MSPR network, WMKY (90.3FM) serves as an important role as a hands-on training opportunity for several Morehead State University students. The support MSPR receives from our listeners, local underwriting, Morehead State University and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) enables MSPR to train, supervise and evaluate students for careers in broadcasting, purchase national programming while developing local programs of educational, informational and entertaining significance.

Important to serving the communities in our region is involving MSPR’s Community Advisory Board (CAB) in MSPR’s operations. 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 selects the recipient of MSPR’s Student Leadership Award.

MSPR is involved with the community by sponsoring several local and regional events and festivals. In 2014, MSPR supported the Morehead Arts & Eats Festival, Cave Run Storytelling Festival, Col. Bill Williams Blues Festival, Greenup County Bluegrass Festival, Morehead Masters Spelling Bee, Morehead Old-Time Music Festival, Morehead Theatre Guild, Rowan County Primary Candidate Forums, SOAR Health Impact Series, Storybook Christmas and the Morehead Trail Town Designation Ceremony.

MSPR also co-sponsored several events on the campus of Morehead State University (MSU) during 2014 including Music/Theatre/Dance productions, MSU Film Series, Creative Writing Symposium, MSU Reading Series, Virginia R. Harpham Honor String Orchestra Clinic, Westhuizen Piano Duo, Ceramics Sculptural Workshop and several music lectures and workshops.

During the year, 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 events and MSU classrooms. MSPR also welcomed new students to MSU by participating in the Student Orientation, Advising and Registration (SOAR) events.

MSPR’s facilities are open to the general public and the staff regularly provides guided tours of the facilities to schools, clubs, civic groups and community organizations. MSPR’s staff is actively involved with the community by volunteering with Frontier Housing, Habitat for Humanity, Cave Run Symphony Orchestra, Downtown Morehead, Inc., Sustainable Morehead, Morehead-Rowan County Chamber of Commerce, Morehead/MSU/Rowan County Community Recycling Center and Rowan County Christmas.

The involvement of MSPR in community and regional activities helps to increase the awareness, learning and understanding of social, cultural and diversity issues. As MSPR’s 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.

Another important role in MSPR’s operations is serving as a flagship station in the Emergency Alert System. 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. An off-site auxiliary transmitter is also available during equipment and technical adjustments, tower inspections, power failures or severe weather. 

Future Projects

In 2015, MSPR plans to facilitate a partnership with Radio Eye, Inc., a non-profit organization based in Lexington (KY) to provide a radio reading service to the blind, visually challenged and impaired. MSPR will offer Radio Eye the use of WMKY’s sub-carrier to provide original programming including the reading of newspapers, magazines, health materials, grocery ads, books and more. Specially-designed radios will be distributed free-of-charge to qualified applicants in the region.

MSPR will collaborate with regional public radio partners to create an Appalachia Health News initiative to report on health news from the Appalachian region. Feature reports will focus on prescription and illegal drug abuse, addictions and recovery from tobacco, alcohol and drugs, obesity, diabetes and education. Partners in this project include WMMT (Whitesburg), WVPR (West Virginia Public Broadcasting) and WUKY (Lexington).

MSPR will also work with community partners to provide internship and employment opportunities for individuals with varying abilities to promote their independence, integrity and quality of life.

MSPR will continue to focus on providing quality news, informational and entertainment programming which best serves the 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.

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. Improvements to WMKY will continue to be enhanced through equipment upgrades and utilization of new technology. Through the support of NPR’s Digital Services, MSPR will continue the transition to enhanced website and mobile services in providing a more useful, practical and interactive vehicle for local and regional news content.

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.

Morehead State Public Radio (WMKY) greatly appreciates the generous support of our listeners, underwriters, Morehead State University and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. MSPR understands this is a partnership and is dedicated to the listeners in the region by offering a variety of educational, informational and entertainment programming which is valuable to the communities served by the MSPR network.