KMHD Jazz Radio, a member-supported jazz radio station operated by OPB in partnership with Mt. Hood Community College, announced today that it is making key operational changes that will expand its team with new talent, will better serve its existing audience and help reach new audiences.
KMHD will have a new staff structure that will shift from having paid hosts during the weekdays and volunteer DJs on the weekends and in the evenings, to one where all its content creators are compensated for their work.
The station will be implementing syndication agreements with many of its existing, forward-thinking hosts who have continued to create their programs from home during the COVID-19 pandemic. The agreements will support these independent producers who are passionate about the jazz story by offering their syndicated shows to the ever-expanding KMHD audience who listen from around the world.
This change also helps promote the health and safety of KMHD’s hosts amid the ongoing pandemic by limiting the number of DJs coming into KMHD’s physical studios and supporting content creation from their home studios.
“This marks an important step for KMHD,” said Matt Fleeger, KMHD program director. “Not only do we want to better support the creative contributions of our hosts and content creators during these difficult times and beyond, but in doing so, we can also help strengthen our mission of providing a directed musical experience to a diverse, multi-generational audience that soothes, delights and surprises – jazz without boundaries.”
In addition to bolstering its talent with new syndication agreements, OPB is expanding KMHD’s staff by adding three new positions focused on hosting and content creation. These positions are currently open and OPB is accepting applications.
These staff and talent changes will result in a fresh, new program schedule that KMHD listeners can expect to hear later this fall.
Additionally, KMHD has also recently brought on board OPB Digital Producer David Stuckey to serve in a new position as the director of KMHD audience development. He will oversee KMHD’s digital strategy across multiple platforms to strengthen the listener experience in new ways. He will also conduct audience research and will engage with new and existing audiences, including those who are underserved.
All of these changes are possible due to the financial support of KMHD members, and funds from a grant awarded to OPB from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. The grant provides support to KMHD over three years to participate in the Jazz Media Lab, a new initiative aimed at bolstering the individual strength of nonprofit jazz radio stations and their collective resilience as essential players in the jazz ecosystem. The program offers support, idea-sharing and a resource team to help KMHD diversify its listening base, invest in new media opportunities, engage with venues and community organizations, and build upon its meaningful relationships with local jazz artists.