University radio station debuts podcasting service

As online broadcasting and “podcasting” becomes more the norm than the exception, the Northern Kentucky University housed local station WNKU-FM (89.7) is catching up with the times.

WNKU is jumping right into the globalized Internet media spectrum by launching a new podcasting service for listeners, from their Web site

“We live in a world now where people have come to expect news, information and entertainment when it is convenient for them,” said Aaron Sharpe, assistant manager of developing and marketing at WNKU. “One listener may be very interested in tuning in to ‘Simply Money’ for financial advice, but he can’t be by a radio at 5 p.m. Thursdays. Another listener may be a fan of The Greencards, but she can’t listen at work. Podcasting solves their problems by allowing them to listen either on their computers or MP3 players whenever they get the chance.”

Podcasting allows WNKU’s audience to listen to in-studio music performances, live segments of the “World Cafe,” local and “National Public Radio” news and new local talk shows such as “Simply Money” and “Business Wise” over the Internet at leisure.

“This is just one more way to get our unique programming out there for people to enjoy,” said WNKU Program Director Grady Kirkpatrick. “We’re excited about this new endeavor and look forward to hearing feedback from the listeners.”

With on-demand audio, anyone online can hear a program straight from the Web site. “In 2005, our live stream was visited over 83,000 times. We began promoting our podcasts in the first week of February and saw an amazing 110 percent increase in visits to our Web site that week,” Sharpe said.

With podcasting, users can subscribe to audio broadcasts via podcasting software such as iTunes or Juice. Those broadcasts – which are really just audio files – are downloaded to the subscriber’s computer automatically. Then, if the user wishes, the files are sent to a portable audio player such as an iPod.