The University of Kansas has made a permanent $200,000 budget cut to its public radio station, Kansas Public Radio. It's the largest budget cut in station history, representing about 41 percent of the annual funding KPR receives from KU. KPR receives funding from a variety of sources other than KU, like listener-members and area businesses. This cut is a reduction in the amount of KU or state support. Starting in FY 2018, which begins July 1, KPR will receive $200,000 per year less from the university than it did a year ago. At present, the station employs 21 people, both full and part-time staffers.
With more than 116,000 listeners, Kansas Public Radio is the Kansas Association of Broadcasters' reigning Station of the Year. Since the award was first established in 1996, KPR has won the KAB's Station of the Year award more than any other radio or TV station in the state. KPR is also a Peabody Award winner. The Peabody, one of the nation's highest honors, recognizes distinguished and meritorious public service by American radio and television stations. Once known simply as KANU FM, the station began broadcasting on September 15, 1952, and was the first non-commercial radio station in the United States to broadcast in FM stereo. Today, the station has transmitters and translators scattered across eastern Kansas, in Atchison, Chanute, Emporia, Junction City and Manhattan.
The station began its spring membership drive, called the Campaign for Excellence, on the air this (TUE) morning. During the so-called Power Breakfast, where pledges to KPR are matched by other KPR listener-members, the station raised nearly $35,600 in less than 90 minutes. The fund drive returns to the airwaves Thursday morning. Those who wish to make a tax-deductible contribution to KPR are asked to call: (888) 577-5268. Contributions can also be made online here.
Kansas Audio-Reader Network Also Hit with $200,000 Budget Cut
Kansas Public Radio's sister organization, the Kansas Audio-Reader Network (located in the same building as KPR) has also been hit with a $200,000 permanent budget cut. Audio-Reader, a radio reading service for the blind and vision-impaired, has fewer employees than KPR (just nine) and relies more heavily on KU for its funding. The service also has more than 400 volunteers who read newspapers, books and magazines. Launched in 1971 by Lawrence philanthropist Petey Cerf, Audio-Reader is the nation's second oldest radio reading service for the blind. It serves thousands of vision-impaired listeners across Kansas and portions of surrounding states.
Benefit Concert for Audio-Reader at Liberty Hall
A concert called "A Tribute to the Beatles!" will be held at Liberty Hall in Lawrence on Friday, April 14. The doors will open at 7:30 p.m.; show begins at 8. The band includes a group of area musicians including: Pat Tomek from The Rainmakers, solo artist Darrell Lea, Dave Tanner from Liverpool, Paul Lemon from Potters Field, Mike Penner and Barry Lee from Broken Arrows, Todd Grantham of The Quivers, and special guest Fast Johnny Ricker. According to Audio-Reader's Development Director, Beth McKenzie, these artists recently performed this Beatles tribute concert at Knucklehead’s in Kansas City to rave reviews!
Tickets: $20 in advance / $25 at the door (Tickets available at Liberty Hall.)
All proceeds benefit the Kansas Audio-Reader Network.