WEKU celebrates 50th anniversary, launches 50 Club

RICHMOND, Ky. — On Oct. 7, 1968, radio listeners in central Kentucky woke up to a new and exciting alternative — WEKU-FM.

The public radio station at Eastern Kentucky University will celebrate its 50th anniversary with a “major” announcement about its future and the launch of a new 50 Club.

The station’s fall membership drive runs Oct. 5-12, but the station is focused on a “Power Hour” from 7 to 8 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 5, during which the station hopes to hear from 250 new members, welcome 100 listeners to the 50 Club and raise one day’s worth of funds in just 60 minutes. New General Manager Mike Savage said the “major” announcement will happen live on WEKU on Friday, Oct. 5, during the 7 a.m. hour.

For a sustaining contribution of $50 each month, members of the 50 Club receive several special benefits, including recognition on a special commemorative plaque at the station, an invitation to a special dinner event with station staff and local hosts, a one-on-one visit with Savage, and a one-day sponsor announcement on the station.

“Listener support is critical for WEKU to provide NPR news, entertainment and arts and cultural programming,” Savage said. “On average only one out of ten listeners actually supports public radio with a donation. The money raised helps to cover some of the $650-per-hour cost to run WEKU. I’m asking listeners to make a difference during our 50th anniversary by becoming a new member with a donation of any amount.”

To join WEKU, visit weku.fm and click on the “Donate” link. The telephone number to call during the membership drive is 800-621-8890.

Savage, an award-winning 25-year broadcasting veteran and a former member of the NPR Board of Directors, was named general manager of WEKU this summer. Most recently, he served four years as general manager of WBAA at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, where he led a full-time staff of 12 and was responsible for managing a $1.5 million budget to cover one news and two music stations. While there, he became the first-ever petitioned candidate to be elected to the NPR board, where he served on several committees, including a stint as vice chair of the Distribution/Interconnect Committee, which governs the public radio satellite system.

WEKU-FM (88.9 FM), a National Public Radio-affiliated station, primarily features NPR and area news and talk programming. In addition, it operates satellite stations throughout the region: WEKH (90.9 FM in Hazard), WEKF (88.5 FM in Corbin) and WEKP (90.1 FM in Pineville) along with 106.7 in Frankfort, 96.9 in Barbourville, 96.3 in Harlan, 102.5 in Middlesboro and 95.1 in Pikeville. WEKU also operates Classic 102.1 – a classical music and classic jazz station in Lawrenceburg serving the greater Lexington and Frankfort areas.

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