How is Ozarks Public Radio a Part of Your Life?

We're honored to serve the Ozarks' region through a collection of local news and music and national programming. As we build upon our more than 40 years of thoughtful reporting and engaging content, we welcome the chance to learn about and share your listening experiences with the masses!

Through the years, we've periodically heard the voices of some listeners about why they tune in to KSMU. Now, we hope to grow that feedback, and better understand your "listening environment." We'll be periodically adding testimonials to this page, which you can read and listen to below.

Do you listen in the car, while making dinner, or at work? Is your radio on in the morning, afternoon, or on the weekends? Tell us how Ozarks Public Radio is a part of your life and why you're #TeamKSMU!

Email scott@ksmu.org so we can tell your story.

Tom McFarland / KSMU

For Pamela Weiss, KSMU is the first thing she hears in the morning.

“It wakes me up,” she says.

And it’s often the last thing she listens to before bed. Pamela will even tune in overnights to the BBC if she’s up then. She finds many of the stories on KSMU engaging, and vividly recalls a news segment that transported her mind to North Africa.

“The words took you there, and you heard the birds, and you heard the streams, and you heard the rocks crunch under his [reporter’s] feet,” she said.

Theresa Bettmann / KSMU

Meet Paul and Debbie Rollison, both longtime KSMU listeners. We counted seven mugs and pint glasses containing the KSMU label – new and old versions – on a recent visit to their Springfield home.

It’s there that Paul introduced us to his “Old Harman Kardon receiver that I bought in the early eighties.”

Paul, a native of Great Britain, lived in Champaign, Illinois before moving to Springfield in 1987. He brought the audio receiver with him, and soon after the Harmon Kardon was introduced to KSMU’s FM frequency.

Ellen Neville
Theresa Bettmann / KSMU

For Ellen Neville, listening to KSMU is common practice while making art. She says the station helps her listen to stories because it "keeps my brain involved and engaged."

In the mornings, she frequently starts her day with NPR's Morning Edition, heard weekdays on KSMU.

"That kind of gets me started for the day and gets my brain going," Neville says.

Kass Leer, Zealand Gentry Leer,
Tom McFarland / KSMU

Public radio isn’t just for adults. And while it’s not uncommon for youth to listen to KSMU, donating to the station may not come until later. Not for Zealand Gentry Leer, who at age 5 hand-delivered her contribution to staff at the KSMU studios.  

“She got really excited, about donating to KSMU,” her mother, Kass, recalls. “And we made a big deal of it, we counted the days before we went, we got in the car, and she decided she wanted to hand the money in in person.”

Longtime KSMU listener and volunteer Warren Fritzinger discovered KSMU more than 20 years ago when he and his wife moved from Chicago to Mt. Vernon.

Better known by Fritz, he’s a frequent presence at KSMU’s Springfield studios.  

“I’m down there at least once or twice a week,” he says, adding that “From here to Springfield I always have it [KSMU] on.”

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