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University of Iowa News Release

May 26, 2004

Photo: Joan Kjaer, newly appointed interim director of broadcasting at the University of Iowa.Click here for a higher resolution version of the image.

Kjaer Named Acting Director Of UI Radio Stations

Joan Kjaer, program director of public radio station KSUI-FM, has been appointed interim Director of Broadcasting at the University of Iowa. As interim director, she will be in charge of both of the UI's radio stations, KSUI and WSUI-AM.

Kjaer graduated with honors from the University of Iowa in 1975 with a double major in religion and anthropology and began working at WSUI/KSUI in 1977 after receiving a Women's Training Grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. She worked as a producer and announcer for twenty-two years and was promoted to program director of classical/arts station KSUI in 2000.

In addition to her management duties, Kjaer hosts the early morning program of classical music on KSUI and created "Know the Score," a weekly two-hour arts and humanities series that showcases musicians, writers and artists as well as discussions of the cultural climate. These programs are produced once a month in front of a live audience at the University of Iowa Museum of Art in a cooperative effort that began three years ago.

"Joan is an excellent broadcaster herself, and she will use her own experience to help both of our radio stations be as good as they can be," said Steve Parrott, director of University Relations. "She is passionate about her commitment to public radio and to classical music, but she is also open to new ideas, as evidenced by her role in creating KSUI's jazz series, 'As Night Falls.' She will bring the same passion to making sure that the radio stations cover the local community as well as news and events of national and international significance."

"This is an exciting and a challenging time to take on this role," Kjaer said. "We are doing more locally-relevant and locally-focused work than ever before. We have more listeners and more donors to the stations than ever before. The biggest challenge facing the stations today is the changing funding picture. WSUI/KSUI have had tremendous support from the University of Iowa and state taxpayers during their decades of broadcasting but will need to provide more of their own funding in the future. I'm convinced we can do it. It's an extreme honor to accept this position at this time."

Kjaer takes over the general manager's duties immediately. She will continue her work on the air and maintain oversight of KSUI during the interim appointment. Kjaer remains a member of the board of the national public radio music organization AMPPR (The Association of Music Personnel in Public Radio).

WSUI, 910 AM, is the original broadcasting station of the University of Iowa, beginning operation in 1911. When regular voice broadcasting began in 1919, the station was the first transmitter broadcasting on a regular schedule west of the Mississippi River. WSUI broadcasts the primary programs of National Public Radio and Public Radio International but also produces and broadcasts several local series, including the call-in program "Talk of Iowa," and the literary program "Live From Prairie Lights" from Prairie Lights Bookstore in downtown Iowa City.

KSUI, 91.7 FM, (101.7 FM in Dubuque), is a classical music and arts service that began broadcasting in the late 1940s. KSUI offers a blend of nationally-syndicated classical and other arts programs as well as locally-produced programs, such as the weekly, two-hour arts and humanities series "Know the Score," Cedar Rapids Symphony Orchestra and Opera Theatre performances, and the weekend jazz program "As Night Falls."

STORY SOURCE: University Relations, 101 Jessup Hall, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1000.

MEDIA CONTACT: Steve Parrott,, phone 319-335-0552, cell 530-6972