Chad Lampe, the newly-named station manager at WKMS, is setting high expectations for Murray State’s public radio station as he officially takes the helm this month.
“My goal is to ensure that we produce local journalism content and local music content to the best of our ability to meet or exceed national standards in the way we produce content,” Lampe said.
Murray State President Bob Davies named Lampe as manager, effective Feb. 1, after Lamped served as WKMS news director since 2007 and as interim station manager since last fall. Lampe replaces Kate Lochte, who retired in August after 25 years at the station.
Lampe has multiple responsibilities as manager, such as overseeing the station’s staff, reaching out to the community and making sure WKMS offers its audience focused content.
WKMS broadcasts to 40 counties in the region, including southern Illinois and the Pennyrile and Purchase regions of western Kentucky.
WKMS boasts a fan base of around 20,000-25,000 listeners each week and receives donations from listeners to help pay for operations. Lampe said the station is less dependent on federal funding than it was years ago.
Lampe said it’s his responsibility to make sure the station continues to provide news and specialized programs listeners can’t find anywhere else on the dial.
“I have to advocate to legislators or lawmakers to let them know that it is very important to provide this educational and cultural outreach and WKMS can help spur economic growth,” Lampe said.
WKMS has two major fundraising campaigns each year that last seven days with on-air fundraising. They encourage existing listeners renew their support by donating by mail or phone and also encourage new listeners to join. These campaigns usually raise more than $200,000 annually from listeners, he said.
“Our listeners provide validity for what we do because they support financially so my job is to make sure our team has everything that they need necessary to do the best job possible,” Lampe said.
Lampe said his job and the people who work for WKMS can have a positive effect on the community.
“The power of a journalist is really important,” he said. “And if it is given in the right fashion, and the right people are listening or engaging online, it can make a difference which makes our job important not only for our listeners, but for the Murray State community.”