Friday, February 15, 2013

KPLU's new general manager has big plans

by Reland Tuomi, Guest Writer

Erik Nycklemoe has been the new general manager of KPLU since Feb. 4, and although he has only been here for a short while, he already has big plans for PLU’s public radio station.

Eric Nycklemoe has been the new General Manager of KPLU since Feb. 4. Photo by Reland Tuomi.
Nycklemoe, a Minnesota native, was hired for the position after working for the president of American Public Radio (APR) as the Director of Network Initiatives.

Nycklemoe said APR provided him with experience that will be “directly…beneficial” to KPLU. “This organization [KPLU] has been flat for a few years, and my first priority is going to be to increase revenue.”

Nycklemoe said he has some ideas for future changes in KPLU, such as utilizing the digital age and Wi-Fi by broadcasting over WebStream as well as analog.

However, Nycklemoe said changes will wait until he has a better understanding of the listener audience.

“I don’t know this part of the country yet, and I’m just going to listen and get to know … things a lot better,” Nycklemoe said. “In my first 100 days I want to meet 100 people.”

Concerning funding, Nycklemoe stressed that the number one source of financial contribution is from listener support, which he plans to expand by connecting with listeners.

“Once listeners recognize a program is important to them,” Nycklemoe said, “they become more receptive to giving money.”

One of the main challenges Nycklemoe said he wants to undertake at KPLU is adapting to the volatile media environment.

“When Wi-Fi is available in cars, you’ll be able to stream anything,” Nycklemoe said. “Our advantage right now is we can broadcast directly to the car.”

Though Nycklemoe has not been general manager for long, he has already cut one program from KPLU called Record Bin Roulette.

“It aired some material that was not public radio values,” Nycklemoe said. “It was jarring,” and “it’s not on target for what we want the station to be.”

Nycklemoe concluded by emphasizing how humbled he is to be working here at KPLU. “There are a handful of universities that operate public radio stations well, and PLU has that jewel here,” he said.