Last year, listener and volunteer Inam Shalati was one of the first to let us know that our signal was degrading in the Greater Louisville Area. Troubleshooting, listener calls, and brainstorming for a solution began. Volunteer engineer Doug Collins worked with Amy Hatter, our Executive Director, to find a way to boost the reach of our radio broadcast.
The final answer was to find a new transmitter and we are and grateful to be broadcasting from Louisville Public Mediaâ€™s WFPL station. The area covered by the new transmitter is a little better, and the signal will be stronger, but thatâ€™s not the end of the story.
A new transmitter means our station is now at a different spot on the dial. So, can everybody just pick it up now? No, because we broadcast on a sub-carrier authorization frequency, our signal is not received by most radios at all.
We provide all of our radio listeners with special radios pre-tuned to the frequency for the area broadcast. This means listeners in Louisville get new radios! It also means picking up all the old radios and sending them back to New York or New Jersey to be re-tuned, depending on the brand of radio.
This is not a one day project. Radios we distribute are delivered in person. The radios are in Lexington, the listeners are in Louisville. Over the rest of the summer, staff and volunteers will be arranging to meet each Louisville listener and exchange each radio, making sure the new one receives our signal and that things are working well.
We hope the improved signal will encourage new listeners in the Louisville area. We know that for many, our signal means more than just access to information. This change is a good one. We appreciate all of the people who have stepped up to this challenge, WFPL for welcoming us, and the patience of our Louisville listeners most of all.
They'll be coming around the mountain when they come...
By Lucy Stone
Radio Eye has almost reached its 24th birthday. In another 24 years we will joke about how we once delivered radios to Eastern Kentucky listeners, on foot, and up hills both ways.
Although our expansion hasn't been as drastic as some legendary hill stories, we have been met with some trouble and tribulation, but when has that ever stopped us? After weeks of calling nursing homes and senior citizen centers, mailing flyers and brochures to any address we could find, and attending any conference we heard about, we are finally making a name for ourselves in South Eastern Kentucky!
So far we have attended three conferences in Eastern Kentucky and we have another three marked on the calendar! It has been interesting to meet actual people face to face and talk to them about the great things we want to do in their area.
The biggest issue we faced was having people believe a service like ours actually existed. Once they got over the shock of what a Reading Radio Service actually is, they were beyond excited and happy to reach out to us with names of potential listeners. On top of that, we also have a file of listeners for when our stream is fully up and running. (Our Corbin and Pineville streams are currently in the testing phase, and we will be setting up in Hazard shortly.)
We recently sent a press release to Corbinâ€™s Times Tribune announcing our expansion into the surrounding counties and expect to get an influx of inquiries about our service. We currently read 10 Eastern Kentucky regional papers.
Fred Copeland, who reads the Hazard Herald and the Times Tribune, enjoys reading the Eastern Kentucky papers because that's his neck of the woods. "I enjoy it because it's my hometown. It's nice to know what's going on."
If anyone has any contacts, or knows of someone in the area who could benefit from our service, please don't hesitate to let us know! We're always looking for more ways to get our name out there and to establish better connections.
Meet the Listeners â€“ Philip Rose
By Merriam Spurgeon
Philip Rose is much more than a volunteer. He is also a listener, a donor and a member of Radio Eyeâ€™s board of directors. Legally blind since birth, Philip first heard about Radio Eye back in 1990 just as Dr. Al Crabb was launching the service. (Coincidentally, Mrs. Crabb was Philipâ€™s fifth grade teacher!)
In 1992 Philip began a six-month paid assignment with Radio Eye through the Kentucky Office for the Blind. He worked in the office assisting volunteers, doing controls and changing programs. His volunteer activities began in 1993 â€“ 21 years ago. Currently he comes to the office one day a week to perform quality control on the recordings. This involves listening for background noise and other audible distractions, checking readersâ€™ fluency, pronunciation and articulation and generally making sure that the recordings provide an overall pleasant listening experience.
Philip particularly enjoys listening to stories and he also likes to hear the Herald-Leader live. He doesnâ€™t use a receiver, preferring to listen on cable channel 97 or on the internet at www.radioeye.org. Even as a listener heâ€™s performing quality control, occasionally catching mistakes and reporting them to the office staff.
Besides serving on the Radio Eye board, which he joined this year, Philip also serves on the board of the Bluegrass Council of the Blind. Heâ€™s a major league baseball fan and he likes to keep up with programming on television stations and cable channels via www.tvguide.com.
New Programming at Radio Eye
Half Hour History: This new program is broadcast each Tuesday at 3pm. American History magazine is read during this program along with material compiled by Radio Eye volunteer and host, Wayne Roberts.
Country Weekly: Every Saturday at 3pm, tune in to our new half hour program of the reading of Country Weekly magazine. Radio Eye volunteer and host, Larry Hurt, will keep you up to date on country music news.
Children's Story Hour: This hour-long program is broadcast on Saturday mornings at 7am. Join Radio Eye volunteers as they read fairy tales, classics from Beverly Cleary, and many other interesting books for children.
Other Program Changes
We have added a third stream to our programming, which broadcasts to Eastern Kentucky. This new stream began on March 1st. New Eastern Kentucky newspapers include: Pike County News, The Mountain Eagle, Manchester Enterprise, Corbin's Times Tribune, Hazard Herald, Breathitt County News, Mt. Vernon Signal, Bath County News, Lee and Powell County News, and the Carlisle Courier. Eastern Kentucky newspapers broadcast at noon every day.
Another big change we made was moving the popular program, Grocery Show, to Wednesday at 3pm from Monday at 3pm. This change was due to Kroger changing their print date for their ads from Sunday to Wednesday. The Grocery Show is a 30 minute recording of ads from Kroger, Meijer, and Whole Foods.
Radio Eye's listener survey was conducted at the end of 2013 to ensure we broadcast only the programming that our listeners need the most and are most interested in. Print copies of the survey were mailed to 610 radio listeners in the summer of 2013, and surveys were also conducted over the phone with the help of volunteers Inam Shalati and Everett Bethune. Overall, 74 listeners (12%) completed the survey.
Benefit of the Service
â€œYour program and services are a complete blessing to me, and I whole heartedly thank you,â€ listener Peggy Sue told us. And listener Leonard M. says, â€œService is wonderful and appreciated! Just recently have I been able to take advantage of the many options/programming available. I hope to enjoy even more programming in the future.â€
Hereâ€™s how our listeners say Radio Eye helps them:
87% report feeling less isolated because of Radio Eye programming
93% know more about current events
18% have attended an event they heard Radio Eye announce
65% know more about health topics
15% talked to their doctor about something they heard
91% believe listening increases their knowledge of general topics.
Out of our programs, the most popular were (1) the Lexington Herald-Leader, with 64% listening; (2) the Louisville Courier Journal, 38%; (3) Book Series, 28%; (4) Grocery Show, 26%; (5) Health Corner, 19%; (6) Sports News and Diabetes & You tied with 18%; (8) Disability News, People's Pharmacy, and New York Times tied with 16% listening.
The most wished for books for our Book Series were histories, mysteries, and biographies. To give our listeners what they want, we have started recording books that fill these interests such as biographies of Teddy Roosevelt, Walt Whitman, and Abraham Lincoln.
Most of our audience listens in the morning and early afternoon - 73% between 8am and noon, and 41% between noon and 4pm. This year we asked what days listeners had their radio on and found that Monday was the most listened to day with 73%. 14% of Lexington listeners listen to the morning broadcast on cable TV on Lexington Public Library Channel 97, in addition to listening via their radio receivers.
This year's survey will be mailed to radio listeners in August, and will also be made available through phone and the internet.
THANK YOU TO OUR SUPPORTERS - WE COULDN'T DO THIS WITHOUT YOU!
Lexington Public Library
Library Channel 20
Louisville Public Media
WEKU Public Radio
WUKY Public Radio
$15,000 to $29,999
Linda Neville Trust
$5,000 to $14,999
The Gheens Foundation
Lexington Clinic Foundation
Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government
Lexington Lions Club
Toyota Motor Manufacturing/KY
$2,500 to $4,999
Appalachian Community Fund
The Cralle Foundation
Frances Hollis Brain Foundation
The Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels
$1,000 to $2,499
Carrie and Johnny Hutchins
Lexington Medical Society Foundation
Miller Family Foundation
Fon and Mac Rogers
Second Presbyterian Church
Thrivent Financial for Lutherans
$250 to $999
Arthur J. Gallagher Foundation
William Rogers Beasley
Bluegrass Community Foundation The Carl Family Foundation
Margaret and Philip Chase
Brenda and David Cox
Edna C. Fischer
Timothy and Sue Overman
The Rotary Club of Lexington
Friends of Radio Eye $100 to $249 Anonymous Donors â€“ Combined Federal Campaign Bank of the Bluegrass and Trust Michael Barnard Berea Lions Club David and Roi-Ann Bettez Anne Bolton Ron and Susan Byars Anne Combs Geneva and George Davis Gary and Alice Dehner Chris and Pat Ekris Helen and Don Endriss Mike Fister Greg Franklin John Gensheimer Linda and Charles Gorton Rose Marie Hackett Phil and Connie Harmon Mary Hawkins Debra Hensley Levi Holmes Marge Holmes Melanie Kilpatrick Nelson Lamkin Link-Belt Construction Equipment Lawrence Lynch Phyllis and Keith MacAdam Shelly and Dick Meyer Mel and Madalyn Moser Jerome and Nelle Oâ€™Daniel William Offutt, IV, MD Roger Paige and Sara Schoenberg Colin Raitiere Retina Associates of Kentucky Wayne and Margaret Roberts Jenny Robertson Marilyn Robie Bob Rogers Joyce and Gary Rogers Mary Rogers Patsy and Jerry Rose John Saunders Catesby and Lad Simpson Matt Simpson Walker Sloan Adrienne and Jim Stevens Mark and Sharanna Swisher Traditional Bank James and Marium Van Meter Gary Wallace Blanca and Walter Ward Missy Ward Tiffany Wheeler
In Honor Of
Al Crabb by O. Leonard Press
David Hufana by Lisa Hufana
Palina Hurst by Hope Hurst Lanham
Dorothy Kinberger by Sheryl and Wendell Eddings
Ken Kurtz by Cliff and Cathy
Radio Eye staff by John Noakes, Jr.
Inam Shalati by Julie Gembara
Adrian Wichman by Jo Brown and
Larry and Sandie Wilson by Lynn
In Memory Of
Phillip Bettez by Louis and Vera
Patsy Bratton by Mary Quertermous
Cam Cantrell by Pamela Duncan
Ethel Chase by Margaret Chase
Rita Coughenour by Charles
Dad and Troy by Jane Mattingly
Robert â€œBobâ€ Dickinson by:
The Huntsmand Court Neighbors
Mary Catherine Grunzinger by
Theresa and Kenneth Moakler
Mary Logan Hatton by Carroll and
Terry Isaac by Al Isaac
James Kmetz by Joan Kmetz
Murray Lasley by Susan Starr
Janet Marshall by Richard Marshall
Lee Marshall by Nancy Kirkwood
Dr. Floyd Morris, OD by Nancy
Rita J. Pritchett by Rebecca Wood
Dick Pugh by Lisa Hufana
John Settles by Norma Mattingly