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About Us

Credit John Flavell
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 (MSU) in Morehead, Kentucky. MSPR is operated by its flagship station WMKY at 90.3FM in Morehead.

Since 1965, WMKY has served the communities of eastern Kentucky, southern Ohio and western West Virginia. MSPR’s mission to the region is to provide programming that is educational, informative and entertaining. Through the work provided by a staff consisting of full-time directors, student interns, 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).

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 (but not limited to) agriculture, arts and culture, economics, education, environment, government, health, housing, legal/courts, minorities, police/fire, transportation and weather. 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. During MSPR’s locally-hosted music programs, regional events are promoted, with musicians and songwriters invited to the studios to perform and or discuss their music.

Operating as the flagship station for the MSPR network, WMKY 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.

WMKY (90.3 FM) in Morehead is licensed for 50,000 watts (50,000 kW) and serves more than 20 counties in Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia. The WMKY studios are in Breckinridge Hall on the campus of Morehead State University. As needed during emergencies and scheduled maintenance, WMKY can operate at 90.3FM for unlimited operation at 5,000 watts (5kW) using an auxiliary transmitter and non-directional antenna.

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.

MSPR’s facilities are open to the general public and we regularly provide guided tours of our facilities to grade schools, clubs and other civic groups and community organizations. MSPR’s staff is actively involved with the community by volunteering with Habitat for Humanity, Morehead Tomorrow, Morehead-Rowan County Chamber of Commerce, Morehead Recycling Center and Rowan County Christmas.

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. 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. The success of these projects will be measured by MSPR’s profile in the region, demonstrated by increased listeners and their financial support to MSPR.

MSPR's operations are assessed on a yearly basis through independent internal and external audits. In addition, MSPR conducts two internal assessments on an annual basis with findings shared with MSU administration and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). The audits are also a part of this internal review. Fulfilling requirements set forth by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), MSPR must file regular reports and make documents available to the general public during regular weekday business hours. MSPR also participates in the WEAVE assessment program at Morehead State University.

We acknowledge that our public service goes beyond serving as a flagship station in the Emergency Alert System. So as part of MSPR’s continued efforts to best serve our listeners, especially the rural sections of our broadcast region, it’s our commitment to our listeners to be proactive in providing public safety information regarding emergencies and natural disasters. MSPR has placed a link on our website directing them to Ready America, which provides information on preparing an emergency home kit for fresh water, food, clean air, warmth and overall protection during an emergency.

 MSPR Documentation


General Information

On June 15, 1965, WMKY debuted with a four-hour broadcast day at 10 watts and 91.1 megahertz. In April 1970 WMKY moved to 50 kW at 90.3 FM and increased to a 12-hour broadcast day. Over the years the power became 50,000 watts effective radiated power and the current 24 hours-per-day schedule was implemented. The award-winning staff of Morehead State Public Radio includes 4 full-time (FTE) staff members and an average of 20 part-time and student staff members.

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