Locally know and Big Country recognized, 89.5 KACU is still thriving after many years of delivering news and updates on regional events.
It is the local National Public Radio (NPR) affiliate located on ACU’s campus on the first floor of the Don Morris Communications Building.
KACU maintains a small staff on purpose as it is a competitive program to get into and one that requires a significant time commitment. I sat down with sophomore, Catherine Blakemore to get an inside scoop of what a KACU announcer’s day consists of.
The Job Description
Catherine has worked at KACU for two years now as she is 1 of 4 student staff members.
She is a news anchor and announcer for the “All Things Considered” shift from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday that attracts about 1,000 listeners every hour, not including online streamers.
“We create newscast and read underwriting like promos for local companies,” said Blakemore. “We’re mainly talking to people commuting in cars and even to people streaming us online”.
According to Catherine, her day starts around 2 p.m. when she arrives at the station. She then begins researching Abilene’s local news from the newspaper to online sources to Abilene Reporter News and even to The Texas Tribune.
After gathering all the data, she then prepares a newscast,
“It usually involves 5 to 8 short paragraphs, each paragraph containing its own story,” said Blakemore. “We cover local and state news and have a little piece of paper that essentially tells when we need to go on air.”
At exactly 3:04 p.m., Catherine goes live and begins her shift with news. It continues for another 3 hours constantly going on and off the air with different news updates and local ads that pay KACU to promote themselves.
Her shift ends at 6 p.m. and starts all over again in just 2 short days.
So next time you tune in, keep an ear out for Catherine and remember how much work and preparation goes into the show. I know it opened my eyes.