LAWRENCE — The Kansas State Underwriting Network (KSUN), a collaboration among the five NPR member stations in the state, has topped $1 million in shared sales.
KSUN allows any of the stations to sell sponsorship announcements on other public radio stations across the state. Clients can schedule messages on all five stations for total coverage or on two or more stations to target their message for specific markets.
Stations in the KSUN network are Kansas Public Radio, based in Lawrence; KRPS in Pittsburg, KMUW in Wichita; Radio Kansas in Hutchinson; and High Plains Public Radio in Garden City.
“When this experiment started more than 10 years ago, we hoped it would add to station revenue by having, essentially, a statewide sales force advocating for KPR. This has succeeded beyond our wildest expectation,” said Phil Wilke, KPR’s media manager. “KPR can sell sponsorships for Wichita public radio. KRPS in Pittsburg can sell sponsorships in western Kansas. Cooperation among the stations has greatly simplified the process for clients.”
KSUN began a little over 10 years ago with a contract worth $5,360. Since then, annual collaborative sales have reached as high as $147,000 per year. As of the end of 2015, the five stations in the KSUN network have sold $1,024,557.
This collaborative selling model is rare among public radio stations nationwide. Some local and regional sales networks exist, and some statewide networks have been tried and failed, but KSUN is one of the few collaborations still generating revenue for member stations.
“The benefit to the client is that they only have to deal with one point of contact and pay one invoice while being able to place messages on five different stations across the state,” Wilke said. “It’s an easy way for them to reach a very desirable radio audience with nominal effort.”
KPR, a 15-time winner of the KAB’s Station of the Year, licensed to KU, 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. KPR can be heard online. KPR also operates KPR2, a news-talk programming stream, which can be heard on an HD receiver or on KPR’s website.