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WKSU-FM Successfully Completes Sound of the Future Campaign

Posted Nov. 21, 2011
enter photo description
Pictured above are Jeff St. Clair, WKSU-FM Morning Edition
host, Lee Irving, Sound of the Future campaign co-chair, and
Amanda Rabinowitz, WKSU-FM reporter/producer.

In September, WKSU-FM celebrated the successful conclusion to the station’s Sound of the Future capital campaign. The station raised more than $5 million in the largest fundraising effort in WKSU-FM’s 61-year history. The four-year campaign focused on raising funds to upgrade WKSU-FM’s broadcasting infrastructure in a move towards digital technology. A significant donation was also made to support FolkAlley.com.

The Sound of the Future campaign was led by WKSU-FM Executive Director and General Manager Al Bartholet with assistance and input from WKSU-FM Director of Philanthropic Giving Pamela R. Anderson, the WKSU Community Advisory Council and a 21-person steering committee, co-chaired by Lee Irving and former Kent State University President Carol A. Cartwright.

“We are grateful to everyone who donated to or worked on the Sound of the Future campaign,” Bartholet says. “Its success means better sounding radio for Northeast Ohio as WKSU moves through our next half century. Digital technology makes the station more efficient and effective as we continue to provide quality public radio to the region.”

Gifts to the Sound of the Future campaign were divided between cash and pledges, documented planned gifts and in-kind donations. The largest percentage of the total went to WKSU-FM’s digital conversion, the station’s News & Information Fund and Folk Alley.

As a result of the campaign, all five of the station’s broadcast towers now send digital signals, and two primary studios were converted from analog to digital in the WKSU Broadcast Center on the Kent State campus. In conjunction with a major gift, the station’s on-air studio, which was completely reequipped, was renamed The J.M. Smucker Company Studio. The new digital technology allows WKSU-FM to air four simultaneous program schedules that can be accessed by listeners using HD Radios.

Kent State Vice President for University Relations Iris Harvey says, “The Sound of the Future campaign not only strengthened WKSU-FM’s digital ability, it also brought together station supporters to celebrate the good work the station has done over the past 60 years. WKSU-FM exemplifies Kent State’s commitment to excellence and service to the region.”