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Students tune in to KLPR 91.3 for news, sports, music
Jessica Kenyon
Antelope Staff
Photo by Kevin Whetstone
Senior Victor Garcia of Grand Island reads some breaking news to his listeners during his Sunday evening radio show.

KLPR-FM 91.3, the student-run campus radio station, has taken a different turn this year with more student involvement and student managers who are fired up for change with new equipment, a new advisor, contests and prizes.

“This year we are taking a more hands-on approach for the entire class to have something to do with the radio station.  Everyone in the class has their own task to do as well as their air shift, so the radio station is a collective class effort rather than a few students working while others just play.  Whether it is sorting the music we receive in the mail or setting up when we are going to have our next remote, it is all set up by the students,” said KLPR general manager Merritt Lawson of Kearney, a senior organizational communications major.

The staff is also looking forward to upgrading and modernizing the equipment in the studio and production rooms. “I’m excited about moving the students and station into the digital age. We are also beginning to broadcast more news-talk, sports, and public affairs programming, in addition to the wide variety of music that has been a hallmark of the station, reflecting the diversity of the KLPR student-staff,” said Elle Scholwin, KLPR advisor.

Students have been using the same production board since August 1988, working around broken cords and switches. “Having new equipment in the studio will help things run more smoothly, allowing us to quickly adapt to the listeners needs,” said junior broadcasting major Amanda Hodge of Grand Island.

KLPR will be broadcasting UNK football and basketball games, as well as Tri-City Storm hockey games. While the station did broadcast games in the past, they were covered by different students each game, so students who were unfamiliar with the games would be expected to either do play–by–play, color or run the board in the station.

This year, KLPR sports manager Jason Arens of Springview, a junior majoring in sports communication and Lawson will be covering the home games so the listeners know there are two professionals in the booth giving insight about each game on a consistent basis. There will also be a sideline reporter down on the field who will be bringing another dynamic to the broadcast.
Broadcasting students are very excited about the opportunity to broadcast Tri-City Storm games this year. “We will be working with the voice of the Storm, Skip Berry, to broadcast a good chunk of the Storm games on KLPR. This will give the station more advertising and give the students great experience. We are looking at broadcasting somewhere around 20 games during the hockey season,” Lawson said.

Student DJ Jennifer Kardell of Kearney, a senior majoring in public relations, said, “I am really excited about KLPR picking up Storm games. The team is starting its 10th season, and I have been a huge fan since day one. I used to listen to all the away games, but last year there were no broadcasts, so it’ll be exciting to have that back. This is a great opportunity for KLPR, and I’m glad I get to be part of it.”

Assistant to the director of promotions Hodge, already started her air shifts, “Our first show went really well. I loved it. There might have been a few mistakes, but that happens your first few times. I’m really looking forward to being able to have contests and getting to give out prizes.”

The KLPR staff will be giving away tickets to Storm games and Tri-state cage fighting matches, along with multiple other events and even coupons and gift cards to restaurants and businesses around Kearney.

The staff is ready to work more closely with students this year at UNK remotes, being able to play music from local artists and having the opportunity to give out prizes to its listeners. “The station is a lot more interesting this year, they’ve been playing better music and I like that they’ve been adding a more talk show style. It’s also great that the station is offering tickets to Storm games and gift cards to restaurants, giving other students an incentive to listen,” Kelsey Parr of Grand Island, a senior majoring in elementary education said.

Aside from new station duties, the students have also had to adapt to a new teacher. Elle Scholwin has taken the role as KLPR’s advisor and also teaches other JMC classes at UNK.

“I cannot say enough about what Elle Scholwin has done for KLPR.  She has brought the leadership to the station that overtime had worn away and has started to build a great foundation that we can build upon to really strengthen KLPR.  Her husband [Rick] has also helped in terms of setting us up during remotes and football games, which have allowed us to have better broadcasts and do things we never were able to last year,” Lawson said.

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