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Gallery » First the newsstands, now the airwaves

Inside the control room of KICK FM, where students train to become broadcasters.
Photo Credit: Matt Preprost

In today's digital revolution, it's survival of the fittest.

News organizations are competing for an increasingly distracted and segmented market, where local news has become hyperlocalized and conversations have become bigger. To get bigger chunk of the pie, the Winnipeg Free Press is hitting the airwaves on one of the Winnipeg's campus radio stations in April.

John White, the Free Press’ deputy editor online, announced the plans March 18 on his Twitter page.

"We want to reach a new audience and expose them to our brand in a new way, leading to new print and online readers," White wrote in an email. “We also want to break down the perception of the Free Press as a stuffy, ivory-tower institution and show we are open to interaction and feedback. It’s something we’ve built online and something I want to expand.”

The show will be hosted on 92.9 KICK FM, Red River College's campus radio station. White is hoping to go to air by April 14.

White will host the show, with guests including Free Press reporters and columnists, as well as outsiders. The hour-long show will be divided into two halves: the first half-hour looking at Winnipeg’s biggest stories and how they developed, with the second half focusing on emerging trends in media.

“It will be very conversational and irreverent,” White said. “I’ll be taking calls and emails during both segments.”

Kick FM news director Adam Toy said the show will add to the station's stable of popular news talk shows.

“Obviously, it'll bring the Free Press to Winnipeg's airwaves -- print to air -- more than just what VoicePrint Canada does,” Toy said via Twitter. “It will also help flesh out 92.9 KICK-FM's news/current events lineup. Right now we have hourly news during the day, The Great Canadian Talk Show, and In Context for news/current events shows.

“KICK will be able to tap into all of the reporters over at the Winnipeg Free Press. For newsies like me, it's exciting,” he said.

The Free Press has already been toying with ways to interact with readers beyond the stories on their website, including live tweeting from City Council and the Law Courts, live blogging from Winnipeg Blue Bomber games, and live chats with reporters like Mike McIntyre.

White said the idea for a radio show was born shortly after he appeared on Toy’s news show, In Context, on Feb. 24 where he was part of a panel discussion on the future of media. (Stream that show here)

“I really enjoyed my time on the show, and it reminded me of how much I loved doing radio in college,” he said.

White, an RRC grad, said he chose the college station instead of a mainstream station because it allows the paper to interact with a different audience and connects him with students training to be broadcasters.

“I wanted to access an audience that would otherwise not be exposed to our brand,” he said. “We already have a certain audience on our site. Also, RRC has the infrastructure in place, so we can leverage the existing audience and the top-notch facilities.

“It’s the audience – young, engaged listeners looking for honest insight. Plus, I want to work with the students at my alma mater to have a hand in shaping their approach to delivering news,” he said.

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Matt Preprost of Red River College

  • 32 years old
  • Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
  • User since Oct 27th 2009, 09:39

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