As TROY Public Radio celebrated Nationwide Public Radio Day on May 3, 2022, the station was in the midst of a yearlong, historical commemoration of 45 years on the air. This year, as Public Radio Day rolls around again, there is excitement not only for where the station has been, but also where it is going.
TROY Public Radio began broadcasting on March 1, 1977, at WTSU and has since grown to have three towers, an audience in three states, listeners online around the world, a smart speaker service and a growing network of podcasts.
“Public Radio Day is the perfect time for us to stop and celebrate everything that TROY Public Radio means to its listeners, supporters, and staff,” said Kyle Gassiott, Operations Manager. “We have been a part of the community for 45 years and are getting ready for the next half century plus. You can hear TPR anywhere in the world, we’re available LIVE and on demand, and we’re constantly thinking of ways to expand our service and reach more listeners. We are definitely excited about TPR’s future.”
As a part of today’s commemoration of Nationwide Public Radio Day, TROY Public Radio will be holding a special remote broadcast focusing on the history of public broadcasting in Alabama from noon to 2 p.m. at the Alabama Archives & History in Montgomery in conjunction with the “Alabama Radio Moments” exhibit. As a part of the broadcast, the station will be connecting with listeners across the coverage area to hear how Troy Public Radio is part of their lives and what the service means to them. In addition, TROY Public Radio will be offering a special “TPR Surprise Premium Pack,” containing four public radio premium gifts, for donors who make a one-time gift of $150.
One of the most exciting areas of growth currently, Gassiott says, is the growing inventory of podcasts the station offers. That number now stands at seven and is continuing to grow, including popular podcasts like “In Focus with Carolyn Hutcheson,” “The Talk of TROY” and the “Mad Melodies,” a podcast on music produced by TROY Public Radio student producer Marissa Lacey.
“Carolyn’s show has gotten over 10,000 downloads and will be expanding to seven days a week,” Gassiott said. “Marissa’s show ‘Mad Melodies,’ the first student pitched/produced podcast, had close to 4,000 listeners to its first episode alone. And there are more plans to add content.”
Hutcheson said the addition of podcasts has only continue to grow her program’s reach.
“Troy Public Radio’s 45th Anniversary has brought new avenues of listening to its supporters with the debut of ‘In Focus Weekend’ and the addition of podcasts,” she said. “Currently, some 10,000 listeners tune in to hear the podcasts at their convenience. For almost 30 years, ‘In Focus’ has prioritized bringing local voices to the airwaves, to showcase the stories and happenings in Alabama, Florida, and Georgia. As host, I send my heartfelt thanks to the
contributors who make it all possible, and to Troy University, our radio home.”
Another area of growth for TROY Public Radio through the last several years has been the involvement of students.
For Lacey, the involvement with TROY Public Radio has helped her to grow and has opened doors to a bright future. A graduating senior, Lacey has brought home numerous awards, including recognitions for her work from the Southeastern Journalism Conference, among others. She also was recently named as the Steve Padgett Outstanding Senior in TROY’s Hall School of Journalism and Communication.
“Mad Melodies is a music podcast under TROY Public Radio that highlights upcoming artist on campus while also discussing the diversity and variety of music that Troy University loves to listen to,” Lacey said. “Starting this podcast has been such an honor because I have taken everything that I’ve learned in my four years of being with TROY Public Radio, and I’m now applying it to something I have built from the ground up. It has definitely been a challenge being Social Media Content Creator, the Host, the Producer, the Editor and many more hats for ‘Mad Melodies’, but it also gave me an appreciation for those like Kyle Gassiott, or Joey Hudson, who have this as their entire job. I am hoping to make a path so others can walk as they come to Troy University, and find their passion in any type of journalism.”
Lacey, who has been worked with TROY Public Radio since first coming to campus as a freshman, is grateful for the all the opportunities the station has provided her.
“Troy Public Radio has been such a blessing since the day I walked in my freshman year volunteering to now, being in my senior year helping interns and volunteers out,” she said. “Being the host of ‘The Talk of Troy’ is such an honor and although I’m going to miss it when I graduate, I can’t wait to hand off the host duties onto somebody else with big dreams, big aspirations, and I know that they’re going to do great in the hands of TROY Public Radio.”