From our Family to Yours

Jan 10, 2019

A “Letter from the General Manager” at the beginning of a new year is like the “Happy Holidays from Our Family!” letter you get from your third-favorite cousin (and just about as exciting): Heavy on the good stuff that happened to ME, light on the good stuff that happened to US.  Let’s change that, starting with…

  • 3,696.  That’s the number of trees YOU donated to the National Forest Foundation during our 2018 Year-End Fund Drive.  Put in other terms, that’s over 61 acres of forest.  And significantly, you contributed over $67,000 to support the news and music you love on Public Radio Tulsa!  Those trees will go to a national forest that the NFF deems most in-need.
  • Oklahoma.  This last year brought us two leaps forward in covering the news in our great state: Our StateImpact team expanded to four reporters, with beats ranging from natural resources to education, criminal justice to healthcare. And thanks to the Tornado Alley Project, Public Radio Tulsa now has the ability to broadcast emergency-messaging on mobile devices, HD radios, connected car devices, and other digital platforms, and as an added benefit, a whole host of information about what’s airing on the station at any given moment.
  • New Programs. We added Dr. Jason Heilman’s classical music expertise to our Classical 88.7 programming, with Classical Tulsa, and a range of special projects. He’ll guest-host StudioTulsa next week with a conversation with Signature Symphony conductor Andres Franco, discussing the symphony’s 40thanniversary. We continue to add to our podcasting ventures, including the podcast version of Classical Tulsa, featuring extended conversations with the radio program’s guests, as well as Joli Jenson’s podcast Found@TUa joint venture with the University to highlight the research being done at our host institution, and how that research can make a difference in our knowledge and daily life.

Like all years, of course, there were lows.  In June, we lost Doug Brown, host of Wind & Rhythm on Classical 88.7.  (Happily, Wind & Rhythm continues, now hosted by David Lawrence.)

And no doubt you heard – because who didn’t? – our Herculean struggles with our new broadcasting equipment. The good news is that the many technical issues HAVE been resolved…our new processors and STLs are functioning beautifully…and Brad, our Chief Engineer, hasn’t pulled ALL his hair out.

What does 2019 hold for Public Radio Tulsa?  

We’ll continue to provide you with the news, information and music you’ve come to expect from Public Radio Tulsa. And we’re always looking for new programs, both nationally and locally, that provide insight and relevance to your life.

On March 2, mark your calendar to join us at the Cain’s Ballroom for a live broadcast edition of Swing on This with John Wooley. It’s part of the Bob Wills’ Birthday Celebration at the Cain’s, featuring Bob Wills’ Texas Playboys under the direction of Jason Roberts. Details here.

In May, Scott Gregory and Jeff Martin, the hosts of Museum Confidential, our podcast collaboration with Philbrook Museum of Art, will be hosting a live edition of the podcast for the American Alliance of Museums’ MuseumExpo in New Orleans. Tough work, but someone has to do it. Congratulations to them both.

Finally, we’ll continue to work to update our physical plant at the station. Our main KWGS transmitter is approaching its 20th birthday. While maturity is a virtue for our teenagers, it’s not that great for broadcasting equipment. We’ll be working with funders to find the needed resources to replace this vital piece of equipment.

So…this DOES sound a titch more like Aunt Harriet’s annual holiday missive than I’d planned.  But it was a long year, with much ahead of us. And you know, when you’re part of the Public Radio family, sometimes you get a newsy family letter.

With gratitude and excitement for the year ahead,

Rich Fisher
General Manager