In a move aimed at building upon the reputation KPTZ has earned as a dependable source of first-hand community news, this local noncommercial community radio station has recently chosen station volunteer Jim Burke to fill the newly created position of KPTZ News Producer.
Longtime volunteer KPTZ News Director Steve Evans openly celebrated the hire. “This is a move that has really been too long in coming,” he said. “In my view, the heart of community radio is the way it brings the audience into direct contact with the events and movers and shakers in our region, and although it has been fun being the volunteer leader of volunteer producers in that effort for all this time, we really need a professional staffer for our service to the community to be sustainable and truly reliable.”
At the same time, there will always be an essential place for volunteers to fill out the news and community affairs programming at the station. Evans pointed to the amazing work of volunteers like Charlie Bermant, who in 2018 led the resurrection of daily local newscasts (a service that had died out years earlier), enlisting the help of Lily Haight and Diane Urbani de la Paz. That lineup more recently has evolved to newscasts by Simon Jaynes / Thursday, Casey Dolan / Wednesday, Ann Katzenbach / Friday, and, of course, Jim Burke / Tuesday — not to mention the many other dedicated volunteer producers of KPTZ’s top-notch local community affairs programs such as Compass, Everybody Can, Brewocracy Now, Our Town, Nature Now, Community Tides, Booklovers’ Café, and more.
“What a great time to be joining the news staff at KPTZ,” said Burke of his new job. “As News Producer, I look forward to growing our team of amazing volunteers, expanding our news programming to reflect the hopes and concerns of our vibrant community, and making the move to our new station in Fort Worden’s Makers Square.”
“The hire of Jim Burke assures that KPTZ is on track toward fulfilling a long-held organizational goal, which is to employ a qualified news reporter for us to assure excellent and consistent local news coverage,” said KPTZ General Manager Kate Ingram, who also said the station’s goal is to expand the role to a full time position, once the requisite additional budget funding is secured.
KPTZ’s full program lineup is available at 91.9FM, and for live streaming here on the KPTZ.org website. All of the community affairs programming is also archived on the website as podcasts.