Siloam Springs, Ark (March 21, 2001) - KLRC (www.klrc.com), the 6,000-watt radio station broadcasting from the campus of John Brown University, has been named one of three finalists to receive the Dove Award for best radio station in a small market. The winner of this prestigious award sponsored by the Gospel Music Association will be named at the 32nd Annual Dove Awards in Nashville, TN on April 26, 2001.
Sean Sawatzky, General Manager of KLRC says, “This is a huge honor for KLRC. The Dove Awards gives us national recognition for what we’re doing in Northwest Arkansas, Southwest Missouri and the corner of Oklahoma and we’re thrilled to be a finalist for this award. It’s a cliché but it’s true - simply to be nominated is a tremendous boon for the station, our student announcers and for our listeners.”
KLRC began in August 1983 as a 100-watt station serving only the John Brown University campus and the immediate community. The station was housed in the Cathedral of the Ozarks on the JBU campus. In the fall of 1988, the FCC approved a long awaited power increase to 3,000 watts. With the higher power, the FCC also changed the frequency of KLRC from 90.3 to 101.1 FM. In 1990, another power increase was granted taking KLRC to its current 6,000 watts. In January 1996, KLRC began broadcasting 24 hours a day as well as launched the first Christian radio web site in the state of Arkansas. Today, with a total number of weekly listeners exceeding 28,000 each week, KLRC generally ranks in the top 10 stations overall and in the top five among its target audience of women 25-49.
The station uses student announcers, with only two fulltime paid staff - General Manager Sawatzky, a JBU graduate in 1996 and Program Director Melody Miller, who graduated JBU in June 2000. Sawatzky says, “Melody has contributed greatly to the success of KLRC. We demand a lot from the staff and ourselves. KLRC is a unique station -- it’s positive and different from what anyone else is doing. Our staff is wholly united in our purpose. We’re all working together to make KLRC the best station possible.”
KLRC is fully self-supported through listener donations and business sponsorships and provides 20 hours of contemporary Christian programming per day with four hours of teaching format. On the job training provides exceptional on-air experience for as many as 18 student announcers. “This Dove Award nomination is the first time a Christian station in Arkansas - much less a student-operated station -- has received this honor,” Sawatzky says. “ To be named in the top three out of as many as 150 possible stations is quote a coup.” The criteria used to determine finalists are community involvement, air check, ratings and industry leadership.
Program Director Melody Miller says, “We definitely share this honor with our listening audience. We want them to be proud of their Christian station. Our audience is so incredibly supportive of the station - this honor is just as much a tribute to them as it is to KLRC.”
The Dove Awards will be televised live from Nashville on April 26, 2001.
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.