Archive | June 2012

A Reality in Grand Center

Just before 5 a.m. on Monday, June 18, 2012 a new era began for St. Louis Public Radio. At that time, Morning Edition host Bob McCabe opened the microphone for the first time from our new studios at UMSL in Grand Center, the new home of St. Louis Public Radio.

The move to 3651 Olive Street in the Grand Center District in midtown St. Louis ends a 40-year history of the station broadcasting from Lucas Hall on the University of Missouri-St. Louis campus. We celebrated this history earlier this month with the station’s 40th anniversary of broadcast operations on June 2.

An early photo of the on-air studio at St. Louis Public Radio (KWMU) in Lucas Hall on the UMSL Campus

This relocation to a new facility in Grand Center is part of a move that includes the academics from UMSL also moving into the city of St. Louis. Within the 27,000-square feet of UMSL at Grand Center there are three classrooms, conference areas and academic offices, and the studios and offices for St. Louis Public Radio.

The portion of the building devoted to St. Louis Public Radio includes nine broadcast studios and expanded office space to accommodate our increased investment in reporters and producers to cover the St. Louis region.

The location of our new home brings with it a wealth of opportunities for new partnerships while expanding on our existing alliances throughout the area. We are now next door to our public media colleagues at the Nine Network for Public Media and the St. Louis Beacon.  Our community radio friends, KDHX, will be building their new home just down the street from us.  In addition, with the home of the St. Louis Symphony at Powell Hall, the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts, the Contemporary Art Museum, Jazz at the Bistro, and the Fox Theatre all within a five-minute walk of the station we expect to expand our role as a Champion for the Arts in St. Louis.

With the first day of broadcasting in our new home, we thought it fitting to talk about the new building with the design architects Heather Woofter and Sung Ho Kim on our initial broadcast of St. Louis on the Air from the new studio. In addition, Vince Schoemehl, the President and CEO of Grand Center, also joined in on the conversation discussing the building and its role in the Grand Center district.

The work to create a new home for St. Louis Public Radio goes back nearly ten years and is really a beginning more than it is an end.  It is the beginning of a new opportunity for the station to expend its public service to St. Louis and engage the community in new and innovative ways. Please save the date of Saturday, September 15, 2012 to come visit the station at our official Grand Opening of UMSL at Grand Center.

Finally, the video below by Brent Jones of The St. Louis Beacon chronicles the exterior construction of the building from April 2011 until today.

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St. Louis Public Radio establishes a Fellowship for Coverage of Regional Race Matters

St. Louis Public Radio | 90.7 KMWU is pleased to announce the establishment of the St. Louis Public Radio Fellowship for Coverage of Regional Race Matters. The inaugural Fellowship, made possible, in part, by a grant from the Public Policy Research Center (PPRC), is designed to discover, encourage and train the best possible representatives of a diverse new generation of public media talent.

“On-going changes in our listeners’ needs not only require thoughtful, engaging and entertaining programs, they also call for a strong commitment to diversity within our organization,” said General Manager Tim Eby. “As St. Louis continues to grow and change, it is our duty to reflect its composition in the staff we create and the programs we offer.”

The Fellowship will provide the opportunity to pursue in-depth, on-air and online projects that cover race issues in the bi-state region. These reports will leverage on-going PPRC public policy research, as well as build on St. Louis Public Radio’s established ongoing initiative: “St Louis in Black & White” and the “Bound by Division” series.

“This Fellowship is a unique opportunity for PPRC to support investigation of one of the key public policy issues in the St. Louis region,” said Mark Tranel, director of the University of Missouri-St. Louis’ Public Policy Research Center. “PPRC’s funding for this Fellowship comes from a bequest from Margaret Bush Wilson, a civil rights leader, and the work that will be done over the coming year will be a fitting tribute to her efforts to promote racial justice and harmony.”

The St. Louis Public Radio Fellowship will serve as a way to attract unique audio contributors who will share their stories and voices with the station’s listeners and to mirror St. Louis’ changing population in the staff created and the programs offered. Professional training for this full-time fellowship will be provided at the new, state-of-the-art St. Louis Public Radio studios at Grand Center. The program will begin in August 2012 and conclude in July 2013.

The Fellowship will offer high-level mentorship and professional development focused on multi-platform journalism, and content gathering and sharing. Fellows will be given rigorous training in public radio journalism, talk-shows, and online content gathering, andwill work alongside some of the nation’s most respected professionals, including:  reporters/producers, talk show producers, online/web content staff, and operations/production staff.

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St. Louis in Black and White presents an oral history of civil rights, the black experience, and race relations in St. Louis from 1847 to 2010. The intention of this project is to enlighten blacks and whites on history with which they may not be familiar and to inspire greater understanding and harmony between the races in our community today. Hopefully, these stories serve as a springboard into a more detailed look at that history and its legacy.

Bound by Division was a past series of feature and news reports examining the economic, cultural, social, racial, geographic and political boundaries that divide the population of Missouri.