Kankakee Public Radio Station To Cease Broadcasting At End Of Year


Kankakee Community College has announced that it will end operation of its public radio station, WKCC.

KCC President, Dr. John Avandano says enrollment is down 17% for the Fall semester, and with shrinking funding from the state, the college’s board of trustees determined it can no longer afford to carry the bulk of the station’s costs.

“91.1 is a valuable community asset, and it is, I think, a very needed public service in our community”, said Avandano. “Maybe there’s some other entity that would come in and be willing to take it over and support it. We just know that we just can’t continue to support it in the way that we have. “

According to Avandano, total operating costs for WKCC climbed to over $250,000 in some years.  WKCC General Manager, Jonathan Coke, says currently costs are below $200,000.

Staff has been kept to a minimum over the years.  Jonathan Coke is the one full time staff member, assisted by one freelance reporter, and other freelance show producers and volunteers.

The station began broadcasting public radio news and information as well as classical and jazz programs in December of 2007.  It was not eligible to broadcast NPR’s flagship programs, Morning Edition and All Things Considered. However, it has aired other national programs including the Diane Rehm Show, The Splendid Table, The Best of Car Talk, Performance Today and A Prairie Home Companion.  

WKCC is set to continue broadcasting at 91.1 FM until December 18th of this year.

Story source: Illinois Public Radio