Photos by Diane Fetzner and Courtesy of KGHP Radio.
As with any good business, community radio KGHP is constantly adapting to what its consumers want from a local radio station. Long known as the go-to source for impactful news and information specific to the Lower Sound area, the nonprofit made some incredible achievements in 2016 and hopes to continue that success in 2017.
Internet streaming has allowed the station to reach listeners all over the globe, and volunteer DJ Ed Brook’s radio segment is now nationally syndicated and being broadcast coast to coast. KGHP picked up the Nonprofit of the Year award from the Gig Harbor Chamber of Commerce and has introduced a new segment, “Professional Spotlight,” where local professionals are interviewed about their work and ties to the community. The station now live streams video of football and basketball games to go along with its radio broadcasts of high school events.
“KGHP-FM’s goals going into the New Year are much of the same as our continued mission—to provide quality broadcasting entertainment to our community, as well as offer a real world work environment to our students who utilize the radio station to learn the broadcasting arts,” said Station Manager Spencer Abersold.
The Peninsula School District is the owner/operator of the station and gives students one of the best hands-on experiences in learning the ins and outs of broadcasting. Former student Alex Benzegala just landed a play-by-play radio job on the east coast, something that makes Abersold smile.
“He had a dream to become a sports broadcaster; we gave him the opportunity to do our sports coverage despite his speech issue. We are very proud of Alex and all the things he has had to overcome, and all his success. And we are proud to be a small part of his start into the broadcasting world,” said Abersold.
No matter what time of day you tune in, you will hear something different than that of the giant commercial stations that seem to play the same 40 songs on repeat. KGHP’s library of music contains 23,000 songs and is continually expanding.
“DJ Mike Kelly who also serves as the boys and girls swim coach at Gig Harbor High School has a show called ‘Kelly’s Heroes,’ which is now listed as the longest running reggae show in America,” said Abersold. Harbor Chat, Blue’s Streak, and the morning mix are among the most popular programming.
Under its nonprofit designation, KGHP is not allowed to run commercial advertising and instead gets the bulk of its operational funding from community businesses that sponsor the station through monetary donations. In turn, the station makes daily mentions of its sponsors, giving local businesses great exposure.
“The more community based businesses that sign up to publicly support our station, the more integrated we become to our community and its needs,” said Abersold. “For less than two dollars a day a business can get their message out a guaranteed six times a day on our air waves.”
Since its first broadcast in 1988, KGHP has maintained its commitment to important local information and a variety of unique content. A diverse group of volunteers helps keep the station going and provides unique entertainment on the airwaves.
“The staff, volunteers and students are all grateful to the community for supporting and sponsoring this radio station. We understand our role and service to the community and are honored and humbled to be given this responsibility and opportunity to serve you,” said Abersold.
14105 Purdy Drive NW
Gig Harbor Washington 98332