Siloam Springs, Ark (April 26, 2001) - KLRC, JBU's Christian radio station was named 2001 Radio Station of the Year for small markets on Thursday, April 26 at the 32nd Annual Dove Awards in Nashville, TN.
The Dove Award is the highest honor awarded by the Gospel Music Association - which represents Christian musicians, retailers, video, and radio outlets. The award for Station of the Year was based on stiff criteria: the station’s community involvement, air check, ratings and industry leadership. Program Director Melody Miller contributes a great deal of the success of the station to its listeners. “Without their support and faithfulness, we could not have achieved this remarkable award. Absolutely the listeners of Northwest Arkansas, Oklahoma and Missouri are the best.”
“It’s quite an honor,” says Station Manager, Sean Sawatzky. “This was our first year to apply, and we weren’t really expecting to win. The application process is very intensive, and we thought if we even placed it would be a great showing for our first attempt. But we won! Amazing!”
One hundred fifty cities were eligible in the small market category, and KLRC was the only station staffed by college students. Sawatzky said he didn’t think the officials even realized that the station was in fact a college operation. KLRC’s 6,000-watt broadcast originates from the campus of John Brown University.
Sawatzky and Miller -- both graduates of JBU’s Broadcasting Department -- feel this award will benefit future broadcasting students. “Students make this whole thing work. It’s quite an accomplishment for all of us, and it speaks volumes for the quality of education broadcasting students receive here. It’s thrilling. We’ve gone head to head against more professional broadcasters and walked away with such an important award!” Miller says.
Lee Balzer, President of John Brown University expressed his congratulations, “On campus we have a goal -God’s highest and best. I am proud of the efforts of everyone associated with KLRC. Their commitment to excellence and professionalism has helped make KLRC a nationally recognized radio station. We couldn’t be more pleased with this award.”
Frank Breeden, President of the Gospel Music Association, congratulated KLRC on winning the prestigious award in a letter sent to the station management. In the congratulatory letter, he also expressed his appreciation for the station’s “excellent contribution to Christian broadcasting.”
Sawatzky and Miller joined other radio winners at the televised awards show. The award show will be aired on WGN, Friday, May 4th at 7:00 pm central time. The Inspiration Network will broadcast the program on Saturday, May 5 at 8:00 pm.
Never before has a college station received a Dove Award. “We’re thrilled,” says Melody Miller. “Sean and I are both perfectionists and are always looking to improve the way we do things. Our challenge now is to keep improving. God is so good!”
John Brown University is a private university with an enrollment of more than 1,500 students from 46 states and 30 countries. JBU is a member of the Arkansas Independent Colleges and Universities and the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities.