MURRAY, Ky. — Murray State University’s public radio station, WKMS, has been selected for an exclusive podcast training program, Project Catapult, through the Public Radio Exchange (PRX) after an extensive application process. PRX is a nonprofit web-based platform that champions experimentation, risk-taking and stepping outside of creative comfort zones.
Project Catapult, a public media podcast accelerator launched in 2016, encourages stations around the country to create podcasts meaningful to their communities through a 20-week curriculum that includes content development, audience engagement and monetization strategies.
There have been two cohorts to date, with WKMS as part of the third.
The six chosen participants and their podcast ideas include:
WKMS in Murray, Kentucky — unpacking preconceptions of living in rural America.
East Tennessee PBS in Knoxville, Tennessee — placing the historical black experience in Appalachia into today’s national context.
KPBS in San Diego, California — stories of art and culture at one of the world’s busiest border crossings.
WAMU in Washington, D.C. — investigating how the city is responding to homelessness following the tragic disappearance of a young girl.
WWNO/WRKF in New Orleans/Baton Rouge, Louisiana — seeking answers to questions about climate change and its impact on everyday people
Wyoming Public Radio in Laramie, Wyoming — searching for stories that reveal the evolving identity of the American West.
WKMS is receiving a $70,000 grant to help build and develop a podcast that focuses on rural “flyover country” for a national audience. WKMS project personnel include Operations Director and Host Austin Carter, independent producer Ariel Lavery and Corporate Support Manager Dixie Lynn.
The team is part of a weeklong intensive training session in Boston, Massachusetts, this month, and the project will culminate in a celebratory live showcase in March 2020. From there, PRX will work with each team to ensure a smooth launch for their respective stations.
“We hope this project allows WKMS to expand its reach to new audiences and in turn, help to demystify rural living,” said station manager Chad Lampe. “I’m excited for our team to have this opportunity.”
WKMS broadcasts a continuous, comprehensive mix of news and music, with stations including 91.3 WKMS-FM, WKMS HD-1, All-Classical HD-2 and WKMS Music HD-3, Murray; 90.9 WKMD, WKMD HD-1, All Classical HD-2 and All Music HD-3, Madisonville; 89.5 WKMT, Fulton; All-Classical 92.5 Paducah, 88.9 Murray and 105.1 Madisonville; and WKMS Music 102.9 FM Madisonville. WKMS also streams all three of its news and music channels online at wkms.org, a robust website offering playlists, regional news and an online contribution page. For more information, call 1-800- 599-4737.