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2022 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 operates at 50,000 watts (50,000 kW) by its flagship station, WMKY at 90.3FM. WMKY can also operate at 5,000 watts (5kW) using an auxiliary transmitter and non-directional antenna.

Since 1965, WMKY has served the communities in more than twenty counties throughout eastern Kentucky, southern Ohio and western West Virginia. MSPR also broadcasts live online through WMKY’s website (www.wmky.org), phone apps and smart speakers. MSPR’s staff consists of four full-time directors, as well as several part-time personnel, Morehead State University student work-studies and community volunteers.

MSPR’s mission is to provide regional programming that is educational, informative and entertaining. MSPR offers locally-produced regional news, informational, public affairs, and documentary programming. MSPR also provides a variety of locally-hosted music programs consisting of classical, jazz, and Americana (bluegrass, blues, country, folk, old-time, and traditional).

MSPR Mission Statement: Morehead State Public Radio provides regional news, shared knowledge and cultural perspectives to a diverse audience across Appalachian Kentucky. MSPR’s programming connects our region to the world and our communities to one another.

MSPR Vision Statement: MSPR is the voice for the people of east Kentucky – keeping them well informed, fully engaged and deeply connected to their community and to the world.

MSPR Values Statement: MSPR supports core values of diversity (an inclusive organization embracing diversity through a supportive environment open to varied backgrounds and perspectives), integrity (serving the public interest through actions which are ethical, honest, transparent, fair and consistent), and respect (a caring and understanding environment encouraging communications to foster teamwork and individual rights). We exist to serve the Appalachian region to encourage life-long learning, civic participation and to create a better quality of life in east Kentucky.

News and Information Programming (locally-produced)

1. “Open Mic” is a weekly public affairs program focusing on community issues, people and events important to the listeners in the MSPR region. The program explores current event topics including arts and culture, education, employment, environment, government, health and wellness, and tourism.

2. “Midday News” is a weekday, half-hour news program on current news, issues and events from the MSPR region. This program also offers extended news, arts and culture features.

3. “Mountain Edition” is a weekday, half-hour news program on current news, issues and events from the MSPR region. The program also offers sports, weather, commentaries and stock reports.

4. Local newscasts are provided weekday mornings during National Public Radio’s (NPR) “Morning Edition” and weekday afternoons during NPR’s “All Things Considered”.

5. MSPR partnered with MSU’s Spanish 440 class and MSU’s Office of Service Learning to provide local and regional news translated into Spanish on MSPR’s website.

MSPR regularly covers a variety of issues including economy, education, environment, government and politics, health and welfare, transportation, tourism and other issues important to the region. In 2022, MSPR provided more than 2,500 regional stories (scripts and audio) and more than 80 extended news features.

MSPR also provides election coverage from surrounding counties in the broadcast region with live reports, interviews and election results during the primary, general and special elections. MSPR regularly interviews regional newsmakers to discuss current events and issues.

Community event and public service announcements (PSA’s) are read live throughout the broadcast day by studio announcers and program hosts. A list of community events is also made available on MSPR’s website. In 2022, more than 300 live-read community announcements were provided as MSPR’s public service to the region.

MSPR provided several pre-recorded PSA’s including AARP Caregiving, American Legion, Discover Nature, Feeding America, Foster Care Adoption, Gun Safety, Kentucky Blood Center, Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education, Lung Cancer Screening, and Radio Eye.

Spanish-language PSA’s included AARP Caregiving, Discover Nature, High School Equivalency (GED), and MSPR’s Website News Stories.

MSPR also provided pre-recorded promotional support and PSA’s for the following regional events:

1. MSU Sophomore Art Exhibition (February 2)

2. Rowan County Arts Center: One Night Only Concert (February 11)

3. Cave Run Symphony Orchestra (February 20)

4. Morehead Antiques and Art Market (March 4)

5. Morehead Theatre Guild: All The King’s Women (March 18 – 27)

6. Rowan County Senior High School Theatre: Seussical The Musical (March 24 – 27)

7. Gateway Regional Arts Center: Passion Project Photography Exhibit (March 25)

8. Rowan County Arts Center: Maker’s Market (April – October)

9. MSU Music Industry Concert (April 11)

10. MSU Art & Design Senior Exhibition (April 13)

11. Cave Run Symphony Orchestra (April 24)

12. MSU Art & Design BFA Thesis Exhibition (April 27)

13. Morehead-Rowan County Tourism: Morehead Kentucky Proud Expo (April 29-30)

14. Gateway Regional Arts Center: Throwback Prom (May 14)

15. Morehead Roots Music Festival (May 27-28)

16. St. Claire Healthcare Home Radon Detection (June – July)

17. Flemingsburg Tourist Commission: Summer Palooza (June 18)

18. Downtown Morehead, Inc.: Independence Day Weekend (July 1-2)

19. MSU Music, Theatre & Dance: U.S. Army Lone Star State Brass Band (August 12)

20. MSU Military Initiatives: Military Mental Health Awareness Fair (August 13)

21. MSU Military Initiatives: Kentucky National Guard Care Letters (August-October)

22. Rowan County Christmas Golf Scramble (August 20)

23. Cave Run Symphony Orchestra Concert (September 25)

24. MSU Development: Giving (October)

25. MSU Centennial Celebration (October – November)

26. MSU Homecoming Weekend (October 20 – 22)

27. Rowan County Christmas: Empty Bowls Fundraiser (October 27)

28. Morehead Theatre Guild: The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde (Oct. 28 – Nov. 6)

29. KY Center for Traditional Music: Paul Brock Concert (November 8)

30. Rowan Co. Sr. High School Theatre production of “Clue” (November 10)

31. Rowan Co. Elementary School Drama production of “Moana Junior” (November 19)

32. Rowan County Christmas (November 7 – December 5)

33. Storybook Christmas (November 28 – December 5)

34. Cave Run Symphony Orchestra Hometown Holiday Concert (December 3)

Music Programming (locally-produced)

1. Classical music is presented Monday through Friday from 9:00am to 1:00pm. Feature segments include Pulse of the Planet, 90 Second Naturalist, The Reader’s Notebook, and Word of the Day.

2. MSPR offers weekly jazz and blues music programs including “Big Band Boulevard,” “Live from The Jazz Lounge,” “Sunday Night Jazz Showcase,” “Nothin’ But the Blues,” and “Muddy Bottom Blues”.

3. Americana and other music programs include “Bluegrass Railroad” and “Bluegrass Sunday” (bluegrass), “Grant Alden’s Field Notes” (Americana) and “Odd Numbers” (variety).

4. Partnered with the Kentucky Center for Traditional Music at Morehead State University to provide “Sounds of Our Heritage,” a weekly fifteen-minute series spotlighting bluegrass and traditional music.

During MSPR’s locally-hosted music programs, regional events are promoted. Musicians and songwriters are often invited to the studios to perform and discuss their music.

Additional Programming and Services (locally-produced)

1. “A Time for Tales” is as a weekly hour of storytelling featuring regional and national storytellers.

2. “The Golden Age of Radio” is a weekly hour of classic, old-time radio programs from the 1930’s through the 1950’s including adventure, comedy, historical, suspense, and westerns.

3. “The Reader’s Notebook” is a weekday, four-minute feature offering literary or historical detail on a particular subject including science, technology, philosophy, history, and the arts.

4. MSPR offers additional services on the station’s website including live web-streaming, programming, and station information. Archived audio files of locally-produced regional programs are also available including “Open Mic,” “Mountain Edition,” and “The Golden Age of Radio”.

5. Partnered with Morehead State University’s Office of Enrollment Services to produce “The Blue and Gold Halftime Show,” a series of halftime features for broadcast on the Eagle Sports Network.

The support from listener contributions, local underwriting and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) enables MSPR to purchase programming from National Public Radio (NPR) such as “All Things Considered,” “Morning Edition,” “World Café,” live events and special programming. Programs acquired from Public Radio Exchange (PRX) include “Jazz Happening Now,” Latino U.S.A.” and “The World.” Programs purchased from the African-American Public Radio Consortium (AAPRD) include “Café Jazz” and “Return to The Source.” Additional network programming for broadcast include “Conversations from The World Café,” “E-Town,” “Inside Appalachia,” “Ozark Highlands Radio,” and “Putumayo World Music Hour”.

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

MSPR often presents special programming throughout the year to celebrate holidays or cultural events such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Black History Month, Women’s History Month, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Hispanic Heritage Month, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, and others.

MSPR partners with the Associated Press, Kentucky News Network, and the Public News Service for use of their print and audio services. MSPR also provides web-based news stories and press releases on the station’s website from Morehead State University, WUKY public radio and various state agencies involving stories relating to arts and culture, education, health and wellness, legislation, public affairs and transportation.

Providing support for MSPR’s programming and community service to the region are several volunteers, part-time employees and student work-studies. These individuals provide vital operational support to MSPR’s full-time staff in various roles including news reporters, program hosts, production assistants and more.

In 2022, there were more than 40 full and part-time employees, student work-studies, and volunteers involved at MSPR. The student work-study program is an important aspect of MSPR’s mission, providing many educational opportunities in a structured, supported, and professional environment.

MSPR conducted two on-air Fundraiser and Membership Drives (spring and fall) in 2022. Through live and pre-recorded messaging, as well as utilizing social media platforms, listeners were encouraged to renew their support or become new members. A complimentary t-shirt was provided to supporters with a minimum gift of $60.00. Both drives were successful in raising funds, receiving new and renewed memberships, gaining listener feedback, and generally raising awareness of MSPR’s programming and operations.

Awards/Professional Development/Recognitions

1. MSPR staff won 17 awards from the 2022 Kentucky Associated Press Impact Awards sponsored by the Kentucky Broadcasters Association

2. Rachel Turner named the recipient of MSPR’s Outstanding Student Award

3. Cassidy Stearman named the recipient of the Community Advisory Board’s Student Leadership Award

4. WMKY employees completed Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) Workplace Harassment Training (required)

5. MSPR staff completed MSU’s Auto Safety Training (required)

6. MSPR full-time staff participated in various webinars hosted by Commonwealth Council on Development Disabilities, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, National Public Radio, and Sound Exchange Music Reporting

7. Leeann Akers served on MSU’s Gender Studies Leadership Team

8. Leeann Akers attended the Coalition on Adult Basic Education National Conference

9. Tanner Boyd selected to the 2022-23 Morehead-Rowan County Chamber of Commerce Leadership Academy

10. Tanner Boyd served as an MSU Move-In Ambassador for new and first-year students

11. Greg Jenkins volunteered with the Cave Run Symphony Orchestra

12. Greg Jenkins coordinated MSPR’s new audio equipment installation project

13. Paul Hitchcock served on the Commonwealth Council on Developmental Disabilities

14. Paul Hitchcock family featured in Exceptional Family Magazine (Accessory Dwelling Units)

Community Service

Operating as the flagship station for Morehead State Public Radio (MSPR), WMKY (90.3FM) offers hands-on training for Morehead State University students interested in convergent media careers. The support MSPR receives from listeners, local underwriting, Morehead State University (MSU) and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) enables MSPR to train students for careers in convergent media, purchase new equipment and develop local programs of educational, informational, and entertaining significance.

Important to serving the communities in the Appalachian region is involving MSPR’s Community Advisory Board (CAB) in programming, operations, engagement, and outreach. The CAB consists of ten individuals representing MSPR’s twenty county 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 meetings are publicized through on-air, the station’s website, and social media. CAB meetings are held quarterly and are open to the public. CAB meeting minutes are posted on MSPR’s website for public review. In 2022, the CAB conducted quarterly meetings on February 2, May 4, August 31, and November 9.

MSPR is involved in the community by sponsoring local and regional events and festivals. Some of the events and organizations promoted by MSPR during 2022 were the Cave Run Symphony Orchestra, Downtown Morehead Incorporated, Gateway Regional Arts Center, Kentucky Center for Traditional Music, Kentucky Gateway Museum Center, Kentucky Highlands Museum, Morehead Arts & Crafts Fair, Morehead Market, Morehead Railroad and History Museum, Morehead-Rowan County Chamber of Commerce, Morehead-Rowan County Tourism, Morehead State University, Morehead Theatre Guild, Morehead Writing Project, Mountain Arts Center, Paramount Arts Center, Rowan County Arts Center, Rowan County Christmas, Rowan County Public Library, Rowan County Senior High School Thespians, and Storybook Christmas.

MSPR regularly supports and promotes programs and events on the campus of Morehead State University including music, theatre and dance productions, music clinics, concerts and recitals, art exhibitions, writing workshops, lectures and film screenings. MSPR also spotlighted MSU faculty, staff and programs through the “Points of Pride” recognition messages and “Eagle” promos spotlighted MSU student-athletes, coaches, school programs and alumni.

Providing news, information and education to the community is an important part of MSPR’s goals and mission. In addition to daily newscasts, long-form features, and special programs throughout the year, MSPR also provided local and regional election coverage, as well as NPR’s live coverage of special events.

MSPR participated in career fairs, workshops and open houses at MSU and throughout the region. MSPR staff members were featured speakers at public events and MSU classrooms. MSPR also welcomed new MSU students by participating in MSU’s Open Houses and Student Orientation, Advising and Registration (SOAR) sessions. Tours of MSPR’s studios were also provided to classroom students, community youth and other 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 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. MSPR was also a partner with MSU’s Spanish 440 class and MSU’s Office of Service Learning to provide local news translated into Spanish on MSPR’s website. On-air messages and promotional flyers posted in the community publicized this partnership.

Another important role in MSPR’s operations is serving as a flagship station in the Emergency Alert System (EAS). MSPR’s continued efforts to best serve listeners, especially the rural communities of MSPR’s broadcast region, is to be proactive in regularly providing public safety information regarding emergencies and natural disasters. Weekly EAS tests are administered by WMKY and the station participates in monthly Kentucky statewide tests. An off-site back-up auxiliary transmitter is available during equipment and technical adjustments at the main transmitter, tower inspections, power failures or severe weather.

MSPR also continued a partnership with Radio Eye, Inc. to provide a radio reading service to the blind, visually challenged and impaired. MSPR provided use of WMKY’s sub-carrier to provide regional radio programming including the reading of newspapers, magazines, community events, obituaries and more. As an ongoing project, specially-designed radios are distributed free-of-charge to qualified applicants in the region.

Through a grant from CPB through the American Rescue Plan Act, MSPR was able to purchase new audio consoles, studio equipment, hardware, and software for WMKY’s studios. The new equipment replaces consoles in service for twenty years in WMKY’s main studio, announce studio, and production rooms. The addition of the new equipment will improve WMKY’s sound and service to the community, enhance student learning experiences and enable WMKY to integrate transitions involving digital technology. The project was started in 2022 with completion expected in 2023.

WMKY will continue to update and maintain required Federal Communication Commission (FCC) quarterly and yearly public file reports including Citizen Agreements, EEO Statement, FCC Form 990 Compensation Statement, Investigations/Complaints Statement, Joint Sales Agreements, Multi-Lingual EAS Statement, Political Advertising Statement, Program and Issues Report, Third Party Fundraising Statement, and Time Brokerage Agreements. Information on WMKY’s Public File is available on the station’s website.

Future Projects

MSPR will provide high-quality news, information and entertainment programming which best serves the region. In-depth feature and investigative reporting will focus on local, regional and state issues.

MSPR will support regional community events such as concerts, festivals, workshops, book readings, exhibits, and lectures. These outreach activities will 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 will collaborate with Radio Eye to offer a radio reading service to the blind, visually challenged and impaired. MSPR will also promote the reading service and distribution of radios to qualified applicants through on-air broadcast announcements and placement on the station’s website.

MSPR will partner with MSU’s Spanish 440 class and MSU’s Office of Service Learning to provide local news translated into Spanish on MSPR’s website.

MSPR will work with community partners to provide employment opportunities for individuals with developmental disabilities to promote independence, personal growth and empowerment.

MSPR will partner with local, state and regional news agencies such as the Associated Press, Kentucky News Network, and Public News Service for use of their print and audio services.

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 including phone apps, smart speakers and connected car audio.

MSPR will provide an educational and supportive workplace for student work-studies as audio engineers, news reporters and production assistants. The student work-study program is an important aspect of MSPR’s mission, providing educational opportunities in a structured, supported and professional environment.

Also important to MSPR’s success in 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 available to enhance professional training, career education and peer-networking opportunities. As a result, MSPR’s staff can be better informed and skilled to share their knowledge with other staff members.

The funds we receive from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting are vital for WMKY to provide unmatched regional news coverage, informational public affairs and cultural, music and entertainment programming. CPB funding covers the majority of WMKY’s operational expenses, part-time salaries, purchase of national programming and network memberships, transmitter (main and auxiliary) electrical and tower rental fees.

WMKY’s Community Service Grant accounts for approximately one-half of WMKY’s total operational budget. CPB funding is extremely critical to WMKY’s existence, serving as an important supplement to locally-generated revenue through fundraising and underwriting. WMKY could not operate at its current level without the support of the CPB.

CPB funding makes it possible for MSPR to focus our energy on addressing our goals and mission, serving our community, informing our listeners and creating programming that reflects the community’s diversity on

multiple levels, including (but not limited to) age, culture, economics, education and ethnicity.

MSPR’s goals and mission depend on CPB grants to develop diverse and independent voices in promoting civic and cultural participation in the community. Without CPB funding, MSPR would not be able to achieve our mission and goals and likewise, MSPR’s non-profit partners would be left without a media voice. Ultimately, their missions and goals would also be significantly and negatively affected if CPB funding were to be cut or eliminated completely.

MSPR views collaboration as a key element in significantly increasing our impact in the region, despite limited resources. CPB’s support keeps us focused on our mission, our goals, our audience and our community. Without the support of the CPB, the diversity of programming, community engagement and outreach would be in jeopardy.

Morehead State Public Radio (WMKY) greatly appreciates the generous support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. MSPR understands this is an equal partnership and is dedicated to serving the listeners in eastern Kentucky by offering educational, informational and entertainment programming as a valuable resource to the communities served by MSPR in sustaining a unique sense of community, heritage and culture.

Respectfully submitted,

Paul W. Hitchcock, General Manager

Morehead State Public Radio (WMKY)

January 30, 2023