2015 MSPR/WMKY 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, Morehead State University student work-studies and community volunteers, MSPR offers 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 and traditional/old-time).

News Programming

  1. “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.
  2. “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.
  3. “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 Regional Medical Center in Morehead (KY).
  4. “Shaping Appalachia,” hosted by MSU President Wayne Andrews, is a monthly public affairs program discussing issues facing Appalachia Kentucky.
  5. MSPR 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.
  6. MSPR’s feature reports are also shared with public radio stations, including WUKY (Lexington, KY).

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, and more. In 2015, MSPR provided 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 to WMKY’s studios to discuss issues.

Music Programming

  1. Classical music is presented weekdays from 9:30a.m. to 3p.m. and weeknights from 10p.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).
  2. The “MSU Recital Series” is a locally hosted program showcasing performances of MSU’s School 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.
  3. MSPR offers locally-hosted weekly jazz and 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” is heard on Fridays.
  4. MSPR presents several other locally-hosted music programs. “Bluegrass Railroad” and “Bluegrass Sunday” airs on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. 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 often 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 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, part of the Daniel Boone National Forest (Morehead, KY).

2.  “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, history and the arts.

3.  MSPR offers several programs throughout the year to celebrate special events such as Black History Month, Women’s History Month, Hanukkah, Christmas, Memorial Day, Labor Day and Thanksgiving.

4.  “Monday Morning Quarterback,” hosted by MSPR News Director Chuck Mraz, is a weekly talk show discussing current issues in sports including headlines and game analysis, business, culture and more.

5.  MSPR regularly broadcasts public service announcements of regional community events. The information is also posted on MSPR’s website (www.wmky.org). More than 600 public service announcements were made available to our listeners in 2015. MSPR also partnered with Frontier Housing to produce fair housing PSA’s and with the Rowan County Middle School for recycling PSA’s.

6.  MSPR offers additional programming services on its website including live web streaming of regular programming. Archived audio files and podcasts of 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,” “Thistle and Shamrock,” “Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me” and “World Café.”

Programs aired from Public Radio International include “Classical 24” and “The World.” Programs from the African-American Public Radio Consortium include “Café Jazz” and “Return to The Source.” In addition, MSPR provides “American Routes” and “This American Life” from Public Radio Exchange (PRX).

MSPR also broadcasts three public affairs programs produced by Kentucky Educational Television (KET) including “Comment on Kentucky,” “Connections with Renee Shaw” and “Kentucky Tonight.”

Independent programs provided by MSPR include “Kentucky Afield Radio” produced by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife and “The Folk Sampler.”

MSPR also partners with the Associated Press, Kentucky News Network and Public News Service for use of their wire and audio services. A partnership with the Ledger Independent, a regional newspaper based in Maysville (KY), also provides web-based news stories for MSPR’s website.

Awards/Recognitions/Professional Development

In 2015, several MSPR staff members were award recipients and recognized for their accomplishments in broadcasting and contributions to the community.

  1. MSPR staff won 12 awards in eight categories from the 2015 Kentucky Associated Press, including two 1st Place, five 2nd Place, four 3rd Place and one Honorable Mention.
  2. Tanner Boyd was the recipient of MSPR’s Outstanding Student Award and Joshua Grandison was the recipient of the MSPR/Community Advisory Board Student Achievement Award.
  3. Chuck Mraz named Best Radio Announcer by a Morehead News Reader’s Poll.
  4. Greg Jenkins named to the Board of Directors for the Cave Run Symphony Orchestra.
  5. Robbie McTush profiled by the Kentucky Peer Support Network Project through the Human Development Institute at the University of Kentucky.
  6. Dr. Tony Weaver and Rick Phillips recognized as hosting their 600th program of “Health Matters.”

Community Service

Operating as the flagship station for the MSPR network, WMKY (90.3FM) serves an important role as a hands-on training opportunity for 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 students for careers in broadcasting, purchase equipment and develop 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 programming, operations, engagement and outreach. 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 each serve a three year term and meet with MSPR staff on a quarterly basis.

MSPR is involved with the community by sponsoring several local and regional events and festivals. Some of the events sponsored by MSPR in 2015 included Art in the Garden (Augusta), Kentucky Folk Art Center’s Day in the Country (Morehead), Greenup County Bluegrass Festival (Greenup), Col. Bill Williams Heritage Music Festival (Greenup), Cave Run Storytelling Festival (Morehead), Morehead Masters Spelling Bee (Morehead), Morehead Theatre Guild (Morehead), Lexington Children’s Theatre workshops (Morehead) and Storybook Christmas (Morehead).

MSPR also sponsored several events on the campus of Morehead State University (MSU) during 2015 including several Music/Theatre/Dance productions, MSU Film Challenge, Creative Writing Symposium, MSU Reading Series, Contemporary Music Festival and MSU Art Abstractions Group Exhibition, as well as several music lectures and workshops.

During the year, MSPR participated in job fairs and open houses at MSU and throughout the region. MSPR staff members were featured speakers at civic luncheons, public events and MSU classrooms. MSPR also welcomed new MSU students by participating in the Student Orientation, Advising and Registration (SOAR).

As part of an educational outreach and engagement project, MSPR provided 100 copies of “Best of Americana Crossroads Live” (MSPR production) to Blessing Hands for distribution to the people of the Guangxi Province of China on a goodwill mission trip.

MSPR’s facilities are open to the public and the staff regularly provides guided tours of the facilities to schools, clubs, civic groups and community organizations. In 2015, WMKY celebrated 50 years of broadcasting by displaying more than 50 vintage photographs and posters in our studios.

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.  

In 2015, MSPR facilitated 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 provided 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. Ten specially-designed radios have been distributed free-of-charge to qualified applicants in the region.

Future Projects

MSPR will continue to collaborate with Radio Eye to enhance original, regional programming. MSPR will provide studio space and assistance to volunteers to record content for programming. MSPR will also promote the Radio Eye reading service through on-air and online announcements.

MSPR will continue to work with community partners, such as D&S Community Services, to provide 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 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.

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.