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CPB SAS Narrative

Describe your overall goals and approach to address identified community issues, needs and interests through your stations vital services, such as multiplatform long and short-form content, digital and in-person engagement, education services, community information, partnership support, and other activities, and audiences you reached or new audiences you engaged.

Classical 90.7, KVNO is actively engaged in our community as the broadcasting voice of the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO). We are integrated into the academic mission of the university and proactively seek out new opportunities to expand our educational outreach to the community that we serve. To that end, KVNO launched in 2013 a twenty-four hour news and public affairs programming stream on KVNO-HD3. This all-news and educational programming broadcasting service is also available online at and The base of this programming stream is the live twenty-four hour feed of the BBC World Service augmented throughout the day and evening hours by syndicated public affairs programming in literature, science and technology, as well as informed public debate from the Commonwealth Club of California, the Georgetown Forum. The program objective of the KVNO-HD3 programming stream is to offer a dedicated broadcast and internet platform on which to showcase local university sponsored lectures, debates, public seminars and workshops. We are currently producing a new local series on creative writing and literature called The UNO Writers Workshop on the Air. This program is produced and hosted by a professor that teaches in the UNO Writers Workshop and includes interviews with local, regional and national authors. The program also includes pre-recorded UNO Writers Workshop public readings that are held during the academic year in the fall on the UNO campus. Other locally produced programming under development includes a series of formal debates on race relations in our community featuring local university professors and community leaders. Our programming plans also include live broadcasts of important public debates, lectures and seminars held on campus and off campus during the academic year.

Classical 90.7 KVNO FM-HD1 is a twenty-four hour all-classical and fine arts radio service that has been recognized for excellence in broadcasting over the past forty years. We are the only all-classical music station that serves our local community. KVNO programs an eclectic mix of locally produced classical music programming as well as syndicated classical and chamber music programs including major symphony orchestras from across the country. KVNO regularly records, produces and broadcasts a variety of local classical and chamber ensembles including regular series featuring the Omaha Symphony, the Omaha Symphonic Chorusand Omaha Chamber Music Society among other local performance ensembles.

KVNO broadcasts a weekday arts and entertainment program that includes on-air interviews that engage local artists, authors, actors and musicians in discussing upcoming productions, shows and exhibitions of their work. Our regular KVNO on-air staff includes dedicated arts and entertainment producer as well as a full-time News Director. We also employ a regular part-time student reporter and during the academic year supplement our news staff with student interns working for college credit. Our KVNO news staff is dedicated to telling local stories that are not normally featured elsewhere on the air in the community we serve. We actively seek out stories that impact underserved segments of the community and highlight local issues that have a social, political or economic component to them.

Over the past several years our news team of paid professionals, interns and student reporters has received many awards and recognition for merit from major national news organizations.

Describe key initiatives and the variety of partners with whom you have collaborated, including other public media outlets, community non-profits, government agencies, educational institutions, the business community, teachers and parents, etc. This will illustrate the many ways you have connected across the community and engaged with other important organizations in the area.

KVNO collaborates with NET Radio in Lincoln Nebraska, the statewide NPR network of public radio stations. Our respective news departments have set up a file sharing network to share our arts and entertainment reporting, feature news reports and daily reports from the Nebraska state legislature in Lincoln while the legislature is in session. We also share important breaking news stories and other news features.

During the weekday afternoons from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm central time, KVNO and NET Radio simulcast a live classical music program from the NET studios in Lincoln. During the late evening and overnight hours throughout the entire week, NET Radio simulcasts our KVNO live programming feed from Omaha. This important programming collaborative has been widely praised by local print media sources and listeners from across the state.

KVNO works with other local community fine arts and cultural non-profits to promote their programs and services. The KVNO Arts Calendar offers on air announcements of upcoming fine arts and cultural events without charge and encourages the public to attend and support these events.

KVNO is an active supporter of local music education and our Classical Kids program honors outstanding young musicians in our community ages 7-13. Working in collaboration with area music teachers and educators we seek out deserving young students and give them the recognition on the air that they deserve. In 2013 we organized a free public concert featuring several of our talented young musicians in a live performance onstage at the Strauss Performing Arts Center. This performance also included an alumnus of our Classical Kids program that is now a professional recording artist.

KVNO is the media sponsor of the annual Shakespeare on the Green productions in Omaha’s Elmwood Park during the summer months. These renowned free public performances of Shakespeare’s plays performed plein air by actors from around the region are promoted on the air by KVNO and often include KVNO on air personalities acting as the local master of ceremonies.

KVNO has established collaborations with local alternative print media in our community to share news reporting assignments. This collaboration has led to the creation of a weekly movie review on KVNO that is produced and hosted by two local reporters from The Reader, a locally published alternative newsmagazine. KVNO has entered into other collaborations with local news organizations like Nebraska Watchdog and the Omaha Star.

KVNO periodically conducts guided public tours of our broadcast facilities that include local school and youth groups as well as interested members of the community of all ages. We participate in job fairs and local arts festivals and our affable morning host, Otis Twelve often acts as a master of ceremonies at community fundraisers and charity events.

KVNO is integrated into the academic mission of the university and provides numerous opportunities throughout the year for UNO students to work in a professional broadcast environment. Our staff works closely with teaches and instructors on campus to further enhance the learning experience with practical applications and professional advice. KVNO staff members attend and participate in lectures and seminars about the media and broadcasting in our community.

What impact did your key initiatives and partnerships have in your community? Describe any known measurable impact, such as increased awareness, learning or understanding about particular issues. Describe indicators of success, such as connecting people to needed resources or strengthening conversational ties across diverse neighborhoods. Did a partner see an increase for related resources? Please include direct feedback from a partner or a person served.

Our KVNO Classical Kids in Concert performance last summer provided a rare opportunity for talented young people in our local community to perform in a professional venue in front of a live audience. The young musicians who participated in this concert all expressed their appreciation for being provided this opportunity and relished the experience they gained from it. Several of their parents publically expressed their gratitude for this opportunity and expressed the hope that we would do this again next year. Our Classical Kids program includes a presentation by our KVNO Music Director at each of our selected young honorees local schools with their fellow classmates in attendance. This initiative to recognize the hard work of young musicians is supported by local music educators who work with us to find qualified young applicants and serve as judges for the competition.

Our community internship program has provided many local residents with the practical skills and the experience that they need to pursue careers in broadcasting. Many of our interns have gone on to pursue careers in broadcasting as news reporters, announcers and sports journalists after having had their first professional experience working at KVNO.  Several of our recent interns have gone on to pursue post graduate degrees in communications at prestigious journalism schools such as Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism in Chicago. One of our recent interns is seriously considering the pursuit of a doctorate in communications so that he can teach broadcasting at the university level. One of our current paid interns is working as a regular part-time news and sports reporter for KVNO. He recently enrolled as a student at a local community college in Omaha. This motivated young man volunteered to work in our news department long before he became a paid part-time staff member. He now plans to pursue his bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism. We are all very proud of him and admire his individual initiative and achievements.

Please describe any efforts (e.g. programming, production, engagement activities) you have made to investigate and/or meet the needs of the minority and other diverse audiences (including, but not limited to, new immigrants, people for whom English is a second language and illiterate adults) during Fiscal Year 2013, and any plans that you have to meet the needs of these audiences in Fiscal Year 2014. If you regularly broadcast in a language other than English please list that language.

Our local news reporting often focuses on the needs of minorities in our community. Our News Director is committed to raising awareness of the serious concerns minorities, the poor and the elderly in our community face.  Over the past year we aired extended news stories on how minorities and the less privileged members of our community are affected by the lingering impact of the Great Recession and high unemployment. We have produced local extended news segments on child hunger in our community, on programs to reduce teenage smoking; on the growing number of poor elderly in Nebraska and the problems they face with underfunded programs to help the neediest of the poor.  We regularly air extended reports from Harvest Public Media and NET News on rural issues in Nebraska that impact urban residents in our state. Our KVNO News Director has produced extended news feature reports about school truancy problems in Omaha and the problems associated with youth violence in North Omaha and several of the remedies the local community in is engaged in to reduce acts of violence in their community. Our daily broadcast of news from the Nebraska unicameral, while it is in session, provides many of our listeners with an in-depth analysis of important issues our state senators are debating. We will continue to focus on stories in the coming years that include an important political, social and economic component and target serious issues facing the underserved population that we seek to serve. Our hope is that by devoting our time and resources to covering important social issues we will help better enlighten our listeners from across all social and economic strata in our community as to the pressing needs of the unfortunate and often ignored segments of our community.

Please assess the impact that your CPB funding had on your ability to serve your community. What were you able to do with your grant that you wouldn’t be able to do if you didn’t receive it?

CPB funding is absolutely essential to maintain our independent voice and to provide a free and alternative classical music broadcast service that is not available anywhere else in the market we serve. KVNO relies on our CPB grant funding to help pay the salaries of our staff and secure nationally syndicated fine arts and music education programs from American Public Media and other program providers. Without funding from the CPB we would be forced to reduce the hours of our broadcast day, cut even more staff members from an already significantly reduced staff and rely more on free nationally syndicated programs to fill out our broadcast schedule. We would not be able to send a remote crew out to record and broadcast as many of our local classical and chamber ensembles as we would like, thus denying these worthy arts organizations the chance to be heard by the wider community. With greater exposure, comes greater acceptance; KVNO is committed to promoting the local fine art and music and without the generous support of CPB funding our ability to do that would be significantly diminished.