Siloam Springs, Ark. (March 22, 2006) - 101.1 FM KLRC has been selected as the Radio Station of Year from a national pool of small-market Christian radio stations. KLRC is the only college station to win the award in GMA’s history. The Gospel Music Association awarded KLRC the most prestigious honor in Christian radio based on industry leadership, ratings, overall on-air sound, as well as community involvement.
The 4,000-member Gospel Music Association (www.gospelmusic.org) has been dedicated to exposing, promoting and celebrating the gospel through music since 1964. The GMA represents all styles of gospel music and holds an annual music awards event each year to recognize achievements in all genres of gospel music.
This is KLRC’s third award in the past five years. Sean Sawatzky, station manager, attributes the station’s success to its focus on community involvement.
“If we aren’t serving the people who listen to our station, we are no different than a CD player, iPods, or satellite radio,” he said. “Christian radio is a partnership – a relationship, and we must never lose sight of this.”
Sawatzky attributes KLRC’s listeners as a main factor in the station’s achievement. In past year KLRC experienced record growth as it became one of the top stations in Northwest Arkansas with 50,000 listeners.
“I am excited to share this award with our listeners,” Sawatzky said. “They play such an important role in KLRC’s success. This honor is theirs as much as it is ours!”
As a station that features many student disc jockeys, Melody Miller, program director emphasized the value of the award for undergraduates in John Brown University’s Communication Division.
“It is exciting for our students who get to learn at an award-winning station,” Miller said. “Also, it is great for JBU and KLRC to be recognized in this way.”
KLRC will be presented the GMA Radio Station of the Year award during the Gospel Music Association Week, the industry’s feature event on April 1 to April 5 and will be recognized nationally at the 37th annual GMA Music Awards on April 5, which have been known as the Dove Awards. The program will be broadcast through national syndication starting April 15 through May 21. Check local listings for airtimes.
The recognition of the station’s excellence comes just as KLRC is gearing up for its yearly fundraiser, Sharathon, from March 27 to March 29. The first day is designated for listeners to share testimonies of how the station has impacted their lives. Only the final two days are used for fundraising. Last year, strong listener response allowed KLRC to end Sharathon early as the station passed its goal. This year the station is setting a goal of $400,000, a $35,000 increase from last year’s goal.
With the continued support of listeners, KLRC will keep working to make a positive difference in Northwest Arkansas.
“We appreciate our listeners’ support and believe the GMA award shows KLRC is impacting lives,” Sawatzky said. “Sharathon is a tangible way for listeners to be a part of the station.”
KLRC is a 24-hour, commercial-free, contemporary Christian music station that started in August 1983 serving only the JBU campus and immediate community. In 1996, KLRC began broadcasting 24-hours a day from its facility in the Communication Division. KLRC is still owned by JBU and is located in its own building on JBU’s main campus. Today listeners can listen online at www.klrc.com.
John Brown University is a private Christian university, ranked sixth by U.S. News & World Report in the Southern Region. JBU enrolls more than 1,900 students from 43 states and 40 countries. JBU is a member of Arkansas’ Independent Colleges and Universities and the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities.