Mid-Michigan Community Celebrates WKAR’s 100th Anniversary

Nearly 400 community members recently visited WKAR Public Media to commemorate one hundred years of service to the Central Michigan and Spartan communities.

The community celebration was held on August 20, 2022 at WKAR on the campus of Michigan State University. Guests were given an insight into WKAR’s television, radio and digital production studios.

“We are so grateful to the many people who have helped us inform, educate and inspire the community for 100 years,” said Shawn Turner, Acting General Manager and Chief Broadcasting Officer of WKAR. “We hope attendees leave their visit with us excited for what the next 100 years hold for WKAR – and our community.”

Visitors met local on-air personalities and talented people who work behind the scenes to bring award-winning original programming, local news and the best of PBS and NPR to the middle of Michigan.

The day included a short program hosted by Turner acknowledging a Congressional Recognition Certificate from U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow and a special tribute to WKAR signed by Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist.

Amanda Pinckney

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WKAR-MSU

Sparty congratulates members of the Boys and Girls Club of Lansing who participated in the WKAR Public Media Career Exploration program.

Members of the Boys and Girls Club of Lansing who participated in WKAR’s Public Media Career Exploration Program received certificates of completion from WKAR’s Director of Education, Robin Pizzo.

Tour guests spin to win prizes

Amanda Pinckney

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WKAR-MSU

Tour guests shoot for prizes in the WKAR A television studio.

Families and friends enjoyed ice cream while exploring fun science activities with WKAR Family and the Curious Crew. While making buttons or picking up a free book, fans also had the chance to take pictures with characters from Sparty and PBS KIDS® SuperWhy! and Daniel Tiger.

Daniel Tiger with fans

Amanda Pinckney

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WKAR-MSU

Daniel Tiger meets fans of PBS KIDS favorite Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.

WKAR 90.5 and WKAR NewsTalk aired live during the festivities, including an hour of special and guest reporting.

Visiting guests in radio studio

Amanda Pinckney

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WKAR-MSU

Tour guests meet classic host Jody Knol in the WKAR E radio studio.

“The radio staff and I have enjoyed meeting new listeners as well as reconnecting with longtime WKAR friends,” said Drew Henderson, Senior Director of Broadcast Operations. “I’m also proud that visitors had the chance to see the work we’ve done in NextGen Television when they tour our facilities. We’ve come a long way in the past 100 years!

The community celebration was the second of two special anniversary week events to kick off a year-long celebration. The first, a gathering of community leaders and special guests, was held on August 18.

The Century of Service celebration continues through June 2023 and will include historic highlights shared on WKAR TV, radio and online; and additional community events, both in-person and virtual.

MSUFCU is the primary underwriter of WKAR’s Century of Service. Additional support is provided by Consumers Energy.