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WUKY Local Content and Services Report

Local Content and Services Report – 2020

1. Describe your overall goals and approach to address identified community issues, needs, and interests through your station’s vital local services, such as multiplatform long and short-form content, digital and in-person engagement, education services, community information, partnership support, and other activities, and audiences you reached or new audiences you engaged.

WUKY’s Strategic News Plan articulates the following goals: Dominate the Central Kentucky radio news landscape with coverage unmatched in the Lexington market. Make WUKY the source for news and information via radio, web, and social media.

WUKY’s vital local services include the broadcast of 11 daily newscasts, a variety of recurring news feature reports (Business Side, Dr. Greg Davis on Medicine, Bookmarks, Farmer’s Market Report, Horse Capital & Saving Stories), and in-depth news reports on topics of significant community interest (https://www.wuky.org/term/wuky-depth). In addition, WUKY produces nine podcasts on a wide array of topics including Kentucky’s equine industry, oral history, literature, music, medicine, horticulture, and in-depth news. WUKY.org is devoted primarily to local news with stories and on-demand content updated throughout the day. WUKY’s award-winning content is also available via smart speakers, the WUKY app, NPROne, Twitter, and Facebook. WUKY’s news department focuses on five key areas of importance to the Central Kentucky community: state & local government, minority issues, health, business, and equine issues.

In 2019, WUKY continued our effort to make our new studios a community hub by presenting several art exhibits that were open to the public and making our space available for community meetings. Other WUKY engagement and outreach activities included continued participation in Bluegrass GreenSource’s GreenFest, the Carnegie Center’s Books in Progress Conference and Kentucky Writers Hall of Fame induction ceremony, a Vintage Vinyl LP sale, a station-based karaoke competition at the Lexington Pride Festival, the Woodland Art Fair, a musical instrument drive for the Central Music Academy (which provides music lessons to underprivileged children), and a partnership with God’s Pantry Foodbank to fill backpacks with food for needy area kids as part of our December fund drive.

Education services: WUKY continues to attract top-flight interns from area colleges and high schools. During the year we initiated discussions with the University of Kentucky College of Information Studies to begin raising funds for paid internships at the station. In addition we contacted area Middle Schools and High Schools to invite their students who plan to enter NPR’s 2020 Podcast Challenge to visit WUKY’s studios and learn the basics of podcasting from WUKY’s news team.

Audiences reached include over 30,000 listeners on air, approximately 200,000 unique web visitors, nearly 10,000 app downloads, and over 10,000 social media followers.

2. Describe key initiatives and the variety of partners with whom you collaborated, including other public media outlets, community nonprofits, government agencies, educational institutions, the business community, teachers and parents, etc. This will illustrate the many ways you’re connected across the community and engaged with other important organizations in the area.

Public media partners: WMKY (news exchange), WEKU (joint underwriting sales), Lexington Community Radio (supply news programming, support & consultation), KET (Kentucky Writers Hall of Fame induction ceremony broadcast), CKRE (subcarrier, engineering support and Casino Night sponsorship).

Education partners: University of Kentucky (UK), UK Opera Theatre, UK College of Fine Arts, UK Feast on Equality, Dunbar High School (internships, feature production, podcast production), Lafayette High School (station tour for Music Business students; internships).

Non-profit partners: Kentucky Women Writers Conference, Carnegie Center (KY Writers Hall of Fame broadcast, Books In Progress Conference sponsorship), God’s Pantry (WUKY’s December pledge drive), Lexington Pride Festival (Karaoke competition, booth), Commerce Lexington (event sponsorships), Bluegrass Greensource (GreenFest), Central Music Academy (annual instrument donation campaign & sponsor of CMA Rocks the House fundraiser), Kentucky Historical Society (KY History Half Marathon sponsorship), Bluegrass Tomorrow (Bluegrass Forever Green steering committee), Kentucky Broadcasters Association (EAS), CKRE (Signal Affair event sponsorship; provided subcarrier for continued broadcast), Lexington Poetry Society (provide meeting space), Blue Grass Community Foundation, UK Art Museum, Kentucky Women Writers Conference, Lexington Bourbon Society (Wood Brothers fundraiser), University Press of Kentucky, United Way of the Bluegrass, UK College of Fine Arts (underwriting trade for event promotion; provision of recording studio space as needed), Bluegrass Tomorrow/Bluegrass Forever (sponsored Green Local Food Summit), KY Arts Council (arts reporting), Boy Scouts of America (station tour & broadcast merit badge).

Business partners: Business Lexington & Lane Report (weekly business segment/podcast), Lexington Farmers Market (weekly Farmers Market report), Kentucky Theater (Summer Classic Film Series), Stewart Perry of State Farm Insurance, Sparkle Car Wash (December Drive backpack program), Matrix Group (branding), Clark Manufacturing (Community Philanthropy project).

Government: Lexington-Fayette Urban-County Government/LFUCG (emergency communications; traffic information).

3. What impact did your key initiatives and partnerships have in your community? Describe any known measurable impact, such as increased awareness, learning or understanding about particular issues. Describe indicators of success, such as connecting people to needed resources or strengthening conversational ties across diverse neighborhoods. Did a partner see an increase in requests for related resources? Please include direct feedback from a partner(s) or from a person(s) served.

  • Central Music Academy annual musical instrument drive. Michelle from CMA wrote: “We've really enjoyed partnering with WUKY again for the 2019 instrument drive! Not only are the donors excited about giving their instruments to a good home but nearly everyone says they were previously unaware of CMA and asks about our program. It is a win/win!”
  • December Drive Backpack Campaign with God’s Pantry Food Bank and area business partners: 2,000 backpacks filled with food for underprivileged children in Central Kentucky.
  • Associated Press Kentucky Awards: Five awards won including first place in Best Short Newscast, Best Sports Feature, and Best Sports Reporting.
  • CKRE 9,700 Blind/physically handicapped listeners served via WUKY’s subcarrier.
  • Internships: Trained four interns in audio production, news writing, sound gathering, voicing on-air spots, and creating and implementing social media campaigns.

4. Please describe any efforts (e.g. programming, production, engagement activities) you have made to investigate and/or meet the needs of minority and other diverse audiences (including, but not limited to, new immigrants, people for whom English is a second language and illiterate adults) during Fiscal Year 2019, and any plans you have made to meet the needs of these audiences during Fiscal Year 2020. If you regularly broadcast in a language other than English, please note the language broadcast

2019: WUKY News provided in depth coverage of important diversity issues, including the city’s annual Martin Luther King Holiday celebration, UK’s ‘From Separate To Unequal’ exhibit on race-relations, school desegregation and landmark civil rights cases, the underrepresentation of African-American patients in ongoing MS clinical trials, Lexington’s annual downtown Pride Festival, the twentieth anniversary of Lexington’s Fairness Ordinance, the 2019 Lexington Roots & Heritage Festival and the new African American History tours at Ashland, The Henry Clay Estate. In addition, WUKY aired 52 one-hour episodes of Key Conversations, the weekly radio series on minority issues produced by Lexington’s black-owned newspaper, the Key News Journal. WUKY again sponsored Lexington Pride Festival’s and hosted a popular Karaoke competition at the Festival. WUKY became the first media sponsor of the Feast on Equality, the University of Kentucky’s signature fundraising event for LGBTQ+ students.

2020: WUKY will continue (and, as resources allow, expand) our coverage of news relevant to diverse audiences, broadcast Key Conversations, and sponsor events like the Pride Festival and Feast on Equality. In addition we will partner with schools in Central Kentucky to encourage participation of minority and diverse students in the 2020 NPR Podcast Competition and celebrate the work of these students with a public event after the national competition is over.

5. Please assess the impact that your CPB funding had on your ability to serve your community. What were you able to do with your grant that you wouldn't be able to do if you didn't receive it?

Nearly 10% of WUKY’s operating budget comes from CPB. This is used primarily for two extremely important purposes: 1) Funding a key staff position (Programming & Operations Manager) and 2) Enabling WUKY to produce or acquire various local and national programs, including several that serve minority and other diverse audiences. Without CPB funds we would have to eliminate the Programming & Operations Manager position, which would severely impact our ability to provide daily programming on our analog, HD, on-demand, mobile, and web channels. Indeed our non-analog services would have to be shut down or drastically reduced in the absence of CPB funds. Perhaps most significantly, we would be unable continue to expand our news department, as currently planned, to address the growing community need for local journalism both on radio and online. In addition WUKY would lose the blanket licensing CPB provides for music rights and audio streaming, which we could not afford to negotiate or pay on our own.

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.