Necessary upgrades to Morehead State' radio will resume after a COVID-19 postpondment. 

Morehead State Public Radio, WMKY 90.3 FM, will replace outdated equipment to allow students to better prepare for their futures in broadcasting careers. Upgrades were made possible after the station received funds from listeners and the Coronavirus Relief and Economic Security Act. 

“We had some money through the CARES Act that happened last year through COVID plus some fundraising we had done prior to COVID for the purchase of a new board, and it was a good time to make the move,” said Greg Jenkins, the operations director for WMKY. 

The station received $112,136 through CARES and an additional $197,602 from the American Rescue Plan Stabilization through the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. 

Upgrades include the replacement of two audio boards in the master control and production studios. Both units, which are nearly 20-years-old and have missing or nonoperational parts, will cost just under $90,000. 

“They’re showing a lot of wear from use but also pieces of equipment in the board need to be replaced and there are no replacements,” said Jenkins, a Morehead native. 

The new consoles will be faster and have improved functionality. Listeners will also notice an improved sound quality.

“There will be some new bells and whistles that we don’t have on hand yet,” said Jenkins. “Once a student learns the process of running the board, they could go work in any studio, tv or radio and they will have the same kind of setup.”

Paul Hitchcock, MSPR’s general manager, said the upgrades will allow the station to provide students the ability to earn practical experience with the latest modern broadcast technology. 

Fifteen students are currently involved with MSPR, which is located in Breckinridge Hall. Students are responsible for operating equipment as announcers, producers, engineers and editors.

Johnathon Burton, who has worked with the program since 2019, said he’s excited about the updated equipment but is hesitant about the learning curve that comes with it. 

“I think the upgrade will be a welcome change,” said Burton. “It’ll make things easier, but it will also probably be something else I have to learn and get used to because I’m used to how the equipment works now.” 

The studio plans to replace one of the boards over MSU’s winter break and the other by the spring of next year. They expect there to be no disruptions to the broadcasting schedule during that time.