Through a partnership with other public radio stations in Arkansas and border cities, KUAR is now offering listeners statewide news coverage. Previously, news coverage focused mainly on the central portion of the state due to staff limitations.
Contributors to this partnership include KUAR in Little Rock, KUAF in Fayetteville, KASU in Jonesboro, WKNO in Memphis, and KTXK in Texarkana, Texas. The stations are in contact daily and share their feature reports with one another.
“It’s a great way for KUAR listeners in central Arkansas to hear stories produced out of cities like Fayetteville or Jonesboro. And our news features are airing on their stations as well,” says KUAR General Manager Ben Fry.
“An excellent example of a time when our listeners were able to really benefit from this partnership was the day of the Tony Alamo verdict,” says KUAR Assignment Editor Kelly MacNeil. “We contacted KTXK in Texarkana and asked if they would be sending someone from their staff down to the courthouse. They ended up doing so, and KUAR listeners were able to hear the voices of the victims and attorneys that day. It really connected our listeners to the event.”
Some members of the news team had already witnessed the success that news collaborations can bring. News Director Ron Breeding worked at KARN, which partners with other stations to form the Arkansas Radio Network. Also, reporter Michael Hibblen recently came to KUAR after working at the National Public Radio affiliate WLRN in Miami, which was part of the Florida Radio Network.