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KASU concludes fall membership drive, successfully reaches highest goal ever

October 21, 2010 -- KASU, the public radio service of Arkansas State University, has concluded its 2010 fall membership drive with the highest amount of pledges ever, totaling $43,110. KASU development director Todd Rutledge noted that KASU support came from people in a wide variety of occupations and included many retirees. Geographically, about 200 pledges came from throughout northeast Arkansas and southeast Missouri. This fall’s total pledged amount exceeded the fall 2009 pledges by more than $4,000. The average pledge was $149.

Station manager Mike Doyle noted that members of the KASU staff steadfastly worked on the air and answered telephones daily from Oct. 9 to Oct. 20, and he thanked the listeners for their generosity. “We had some slow periods, and it took us a little longer to wrap this one up. But our goal was the highest ever, and we worked hard to keep momentum going.” Doyle said that KASU needs to show $115,000 a year in community support in order to qualify for a matching community service grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. That community support is provided by contributing listeners who are known as members and by business and non-profit entities that underwrite programming in exchange for recognition on the air. The remainder of the KASU budget is funded by Arkansas State University.

Rutledge said that individual pledges ranged from $20 to $1,000 and that, as with any community fund drive, people gave what they could. “We reached this record goal one pledge at a time. That’s how it happened. And why did it happen? Because these contributors understand that listener support makes it possible for KASU to provide news magazines like “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered;”  conversations like those heard on “Fresh Air,”  “The Diane Rehm Show,” “The Story,” and “Talk of the Nation,” and music that ranges from “Performance Today” with Fred Child  to “Jazz with Bob Parlocha”  to “American Routes” with Nick Spitzer,” Rutledge noted.

Doyle said that the largest number of pledges came from the Jonesboro and Paragould areas, with many portions of northeast Arkansas and a wide area of southeast Missouri represented. “We continue to get calls from Kennett, Poplar Bluff, and Doniphan.This indicates that many Missourians count on us for NPR programs and regional news. Mark Smith of our staff has regular interviews with  southeast Missouri’s representative in Congress, along with Arkansas’ U.S. Senators and First District representative. Regardless of who wins the Lincoln, Berry, and Emerson seats in the Nov. 2 election, we’ll make every effort to continue that practice,” Doyle stated.

For more than a dozen years, KASU has presented regular live music concerts and Doyle said the station will continue making arrangements for “Blue Monday,” “Bluesday Tuesday,” “Bluegrass Monday,” and “Jazz Thursday,” while planning new musical events. Longtime KASU volunteer “Hairy Larry” Heyl has planned a jazz festival Saturday, Oct. 23, from 2-6 p.m. on the lawn of The Edge Coffeehouse, 1900 Aggie Road, Jonesboro, near the ASU campus. The event, known as “Bebopalooza,” is presented by KASU to thank the community for its support. Local jazz musicians will perform, including members of Jazz Alliance, the Swing Band Project, and The Little Big Band. The event is free, and the community is invited. “There’ll probably  be some jazz at The Edge still going on after the Red Wolves game,” Doyle noted.

For information about KASU 91.9 FM, including its live music concert series, contact Mike Doyle, station manager, at ext.
3486.For information on supporting KASU, contact Todd Rutledge, director of development at KASU, ext. 2807. To request a program guide, call (870) 972-2200 or 1-800-643-8269. 

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