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About MSPR

tower2_0.jpg
Credit John Flavell
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WMKY's transmitter and antenna are located on Kentucky Educational Television's (KET) transmitter tower site in Rowan County (KY).

Morehead State Public Radio (MSPR) is governed by the Board of Regents at Morehead State University in Morehead, Kentucky.

Operating as MSPR’s flagship station, WMKY is licensed for 37,000 watts at 90.3 FM and serves more than twenty primary counties in eastern Kentucky. WMKY can also operate at 5,000 watts using an auxiliary transmitter and non-directional antenna.

MSPR’s mission is to provide programming that is educational, entertaining, and informative. MSPR’s staff includes full-time directors, student interns and work studies, and community volunteers.

MSPR offers regional news, public affairs and documentary programming, as well as a variety of locally-hosted music programs consisting of classical, jazz and Americana (bluegrass, blues, folk, traditional, and old-time). MSPR reports on issues including agriculture, arts/culture, economics, education, environment, government, health, housing, legal/courts, police/fire, transportation, and weather.

WMKY serves as an important hands-on training opportunity for Morehead State University students. Supported through grants from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), WMKY trains students for careers in broadcasting, purchases national programming, and develops local programs of educational and entertaining significance.

MSPR's operations are assessed annually through independent internal and external audits. Fulfilling requirements by the Federal Communications Commission, WMKY files reports to a public file available to the general public during regular weekday business hours. WMKY’s public files may also be viewed online at: www.wmky.org

MSPR’s continued mission is to serve the listeners of eastern Kentucky, especially rural and underserved communities of WMKY’s broadcast region. MSPR is committed in providing public safety information during emergencies and natural disasters.

MSPR’s offices and studios are located in Breckinridge Hall on the campus of Morehead State University. MSPR is open to the public weekdays from 9:00AM to 4:00PM, or by appointment by calling 606-783-2001.

For questions, comments or information regarding Morehead State Public Radio (WMKY) programs and services, contact general manager Paul Hitchcock by e-mail at: wmky@moreheadstate.edu, or by phone at: 606-783-2334. Additional information is available online at: www.wmky.org

 MSPR Documentation

Affiliations

General Information

On June 15, 1965, WMKY debuted for a four-hour broadcast day with 10 watts at 91.1 FM. In April 1970, WMKY increased power to 50,000 watts at 90.3 FM with a twelve-hour broadcast day. In 1999, WMKY began broadcasting twenty-four hours a day. Morehead State Public Radio was established in 2002 and live web streaming was added in 2003. Morehead State Public Radio’s (WMKY) staff includes four full-time staff members, with an average of twenty part-time employees and work-study students.

Historical Highlights

  • 1965 - WMKY established as east Kentucky's first radio station, operating on a 4 hour broadcast day as a 10 watt radio station from a Combs Classroom Building on 91.1FM (June 15)
  • 1966 - Broadcast day increased to 9 hours
  • 1966 - First underwriting received for football and basketball games
  • 1966 - First remote broadcast (Cave Run Lake groundbreaking)
  • 1969 - WMKY is the first station in the U.S. to receive a HEW grant to increase from 10 to 50,000 watts
  • 1970 - WMKY operates with 50,000 watts at 90.3FM and increased broadcast day to 12 hours (April 4)
  • 1970 - Eagle Sports Network is established
  • 1971 - Broadcast day increased to 15 hours
  • 1972 - Broadcast day increased to 18 hours
  • 1972 - WMKY begins broadcasting in stereo
  • 1976 - WMKY wins five ADDY Awards from Lexington Advertising Club
  • 1977 - CPB National Development Award for Excellence in Public Awareness
  • 1978 - Affiliate of Kentucky News Network
  • 1979 - Community Advisory Board is established
  • 1980 - Affiliate of National Public Radio
  • 1980 - CPB National Award for Excellence in Local Public Affairs Programming
  • 1980 - WMKY moves from Combs Building to 124 Henry Ward Place
  • 1982 - Affiliate of American Public Radio (Public Radio International)
  • 1983 - United Press International news service received by satellite
  • 1983 - UPI 1st Place Documentary Award in Northeastern Region (14 states)
  • 1985 - Auxiliary generator installed for WMKY's transmitter site (February 26)
  • 1988 - CPB Public Radio Award for Community Service
  • 1992 - Associated Press news service received by computer
  • 1993 - Kentucky Education Association School Bell Award
  • 1993 - Gold Medal for Radio Coverage of the Bluegrass State Games
  • 1996 - Auxiliary power established for WMKY's studio and transmitter
  • 1999 - WMKY begins broadcasting 24 hours a day
  • 1999 - Inez translator in Martin County carries WMKY programming (88.3FM)
  • 1999 - Greg Jenkins named Operations Director
  • 2000 - Best Local Music/Entertainment Program Award (US 23 Talent Showcase) from NFCB
  • 2001 - WMKY releases Best of Americana Crossroads Live, Vol. 1 CD
  • 2001 - WOCS, Booneville in Owsley County carries WMKY programming (88.3FM)
  • 2002 - Morehead State Public Radio is established
  • 2002 - Best Newscast Award from Public Radio News Directors, Inc. (PRNDI)
  • 2002 - Kentucky Public Radio (Frankfort news bureau) is established
  • 2003 - WMKY building, transmitter and antenna damaged by ice storm (February 16)
  • 2003 - WMKY returns to 100% power following ice storm repairs (October 31)
  • 2003 - Best Public Affairs Program (Mountain Edition) from PRNDI
  • 2003 - MSPR webstreams live audio programming at www.msuradio.com
  • 2003 - Paul Hitchcock named General Manager
  • 2004 - Podcasts and audio archives added to website at www.msuradio.com
  • 2005 - WMKY and WOCS convert to high definition, digital audio
  • 2005 - Marti transmitter and antenna replaced by mobile cellcast
  • 2006 - Two music channels (classical and jazz) added as webstreams
  • 2006 - MSPR receives KY Arts Council Media Award (Governors Award in the Arts)
  • 2007 - Affiliate of American Public Media initiated
  • 2008 - YouTube videos and Flickr photos added to website
  • 2009 - MSPR begins sending daily program news and updates through Facebook and Twitter
  • 2010 - MSPR programming discontinued on WOCS (MSPR includes WMKY and W202BH)
  • 2010 - Auxiliary transmitter installed as WMKY back-up
  • 2011 - WOCS (88.3FM) sold to Hour of Harvest, Inc.
  • 2011 - MSPR earns 10 KY Associated Press awards (1st place News/Sports/Anchor/Audio)
  • 2011 - Live broadcast of the dedication of MSU's Recreation and Wellness Center (August 25)
  • 2011 - Installed Arbitron's Portable People Meter hardware to measure radio listening
  • 2012 - MSPR wins the “Best Decorated Food Booth” award at the Morehead Arts & Eats Festival
  • 2012 - Live remote broadcast of Kentucky Center for Traditional Music Dedication (September 20)
  • 2013 - MSPR earns 19 KY Associated Press awards in 11 categories
  • 2013 - "Health Matters" earns 2013 National Media Award from the American Society of Colon & Rectal Surgeons
  • 2013 - New website debuts at www.wmky.org
  • 2014 - "Whad 'Ya Know" replaces "A Prairie Home Companion" (APM)
  • 2014 - Kentucky Educational Television programming replaces "Car Talk" (NPR)
  • 2014 - Terminated membership with American Public Media and Kentucky Public Radio
  • 2014 - Partnership to share news and educational programming with WUKY/Lexington initiated
  • 2015 - Added new WMKY antenna and de-icer
  • 2015 - Established partnership with Radio Eye to provide reading service for visually-impaired
  • 2016 - Employer Recognition Award from the Kentucky Office of Vocational Rehabilitation
  • 2016 - Chuck Mraz (MSPR News Director) receives the 2016 Outstanding Media and Technology Award from the East Kentucky Leadership Foundation during the 29th Annual EKL Conference 
  • 2016 - Paul Hitchcock named Community Scholar through the Kentucky Arts Council
  • 2017 - Live (on-air) Fall Fundraiser and Membership Drive ($24,000/240 members), first since 2012
  • 2018 - FCC Public File established online (March 1)
  • 2018 - Leeann Akers named News Director
  • 2019 - Inez translator (W202BH) signed-off the air and license returned to the FCC
  • 2019 - WMKY passed KBA's Alternative Broadcast Inspection Program
  • 2020 - WMKY purchases new auxiliary transmitter and FCC approves power increase to 5,000 watts
  • 2020 - "Health Matters" airs final episode (#902) with host Dr. Tony Weaver (17 years/20 total)
  • 2021 - Ice and snow storms cause electrical blackouts at the transmitter site on Triangle Tower Road for fourteen days. WMKY off-air from February 14 - 24
  • 2021 - Tanner Boyd named Assistant News Director
  • 2021 - Transitioned to paperless Program Logs using Google Docs
  • 2022 - Morehead State Public Radio Enhancement Fund established
  • 2022 – Spanish translated local news established online (www.wmky.org)
  • 2022 – Affiliate of WFMT Radio Network