Erinn Barcomb-Peterson
KU News Service

KPR, Audio-Reader leader Janet Campbell to retire

Tue, 07/22/2014

LAWRENCE – Janet Campbell, general manager of Kansas Public Radio and director of the Kansas Audio-Reader Network, announced today that she will retire Sept. 2.

Campbell began working at Audio-Reader, a radio reading service for the blind and print-disabled, in 1979, the year she graduated from the University of Kansas with a bachelor’s degree in education. Hired as a secretary, she became director of Audio-Reader in 1988.

She was named general manager of KANU-FM in 1998 after serving as interim general manager for 18 months. KANU was renamed Kansas Public Radio in 2002 to better represent its broadcast area, which now includes northeast and north-central Kansas, the Kansas City metro, east-central and southeast Kansas.

“It’s been a pleasure and an honor to lead Audio-Reader and Kansas Public Radio,” Campbell said. “The next director will be inheriting dedicated and talented staff, volunteers and listeners. I’ve enjoyed meeting the listeners and building programs at both agencies that will last well after I’m gone.”

Audio-Reader has more than 6,000 listeners and more than 300 volunteers. Programming is available on special radios, over the telephone and on the Internet. Audio-Reader also provides audio descriptions of some live theater productions in Lawrence and Kansas City, Missouri. Volunteers maintain a sensory garden next to the Audio-Reader’s campus location at 1120 W. 11th St.

KPR broadcasts on 91.5 FM in Lawrence, 89.7 FM in Emporia, 91.3 FM in Olsburg-Junction City, 89.9 FM in Atchison, 90.3 FM in Chanute, and 99.5 FM and 97.9 FM in Manhattan. A 15-time Kansas Association of Broadcasters Station of the Year, KPR also operates KPR2, a news-talk programming stream, which can be heard on an HD receiver or on KPR’s website.

In addition to expanding its broadcast area, Campbell led KPR into a $2 million, state-of-the-art broadcasting facility. Programming became available over the Internet in 1999, and a second channel of HD Radio launched in 2006. Live broadcasts of performances and events, including the inaugural Robert J. Dole Lecture at Allen Fieldhouse by former President Bill Clinton, became more frequent during her tenure.

Tim Caboni, vice chancellor for public affairs, praised Campbell for her knowledge of broadcasting and her ability to cultivate lasting relationships with volunteers and donors.

“Under Janet Campbell’s leadership, KPR has proven itself a top university public radio station,” Caboni said. “Her leadership will be sorely missed.”​

Steve Kincaid, assistant director and chief engineer at Audio-Reader and director of engineering at KPR, will serve as interim director of both agencies while a national search is conducted for an individual capable of serving in both roles.

KPR broadcasts on 91.5 FM in Lawrence, 89.7 FM in Emporia, 91.3 FM in Olsburg-Junction City, 89.9 FM in Atchison, 90.3 FM in Chanute, and 99.5 FM and 97.9 FM in Manhattan. A 15-time Kansas Association of Broadcasters Station of the Year, KPR also operates KPR2, a news-talk programming stream, which can be heard on an HD receiver or on KPR’s website.

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