LaGanzie Kale, is the founder and General Manager of KLEK 102.5 F.M., the first and only minority operated radio station in Jonesboro, Arkansas.
KLEK was made possible under Congressional passage in 2010 of the Local Community Radio Act, giving low-power stations a place on the FM dial. LaGanzie saw an opportunity and worked to build a station from the ground up. After obtaining the required permits from the Federal Communications Commission, raising funds and putting the necessary equipment, the 100-watt station launched on Jan. 1, 2015.
With the help of some volunteers, the programs may cover almost any subject of importance, including health matters, financial literacy, education, legal advice, politics and government, the arts and local culture. This is being done with no government funding and no paid advertising, but fundraising is a major part of LaGanzie’s job description.
The L-E-K in the station’s call letters are in honor of his mother, Lovie Edmond Kale, who died from complications of breast cancer on March 20, 2012.
In 2016 Kale was presented with an Arkansas Community Service Award by Gov. Asa Hutchinson, and also was recognized by Congressman Rick Crawford and U.S. Senators Tom Cotton and John Boozman.
He was nominated for the award by Emma Agnew, Jonesboro’s community services manager, who wrote this in her nomination: “He loves people, he loves entertaining, he loves music, and he loves being involved in the community. This radio station has given a direct connection to the greater community and to a lot of citizens who did not have it.”
Since then, he has received the Governor’s Volunteer Award, citation by the Arkansas Senate for Community Service, City of Jonesboro Volunteer of the Year, Arkansas State University “Excellence in Community Diversity Award” (Twice), Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated National Brother of the Week, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated Arkansas District Alumni Brother of the Year, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated Epsilon Alpha Alpha Chapter Citizen of the Year, Order of the Eastern Star Outstanding Community Service Award, the Annie Abrams Community Service Award from the Arkansas Democratic Black Caucus, the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Moving Communities Forward Award and the Jonesboro Regional Chamber of Commerce Goodwill Ambassador of the Year Award.
One example of the impact that Kale and KLEK has made in the Jonesboro community is the recent effort to rename a street after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. KLEK was front and center providing news coverage of the meetings and discussions leading up to the vote of the Jonesboro City Council. Kale interviewed various community stakeholders and aired PSA's on the station urging members of the community to come out in support of the street renaming in the face of widespread opposition. The city council passed the ordinance and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive was officially unveiled January 20, 2020. KLEK also broadcasted this event live.
KLEK continues to serve at the forefront of community service by extensively interviewing and hosting interviews and debates with local political candidates, and public service announcements focused on voter education, registration, and engagement. KLEK also educates the community about COVID-19 by airing public service announcements about how to prevent its spread and coping with life in a world that has been upended by the virus. Professionals from the medical and mental health field have also been interviewed.
During Black History Month in February 2020, Kale’s Alma Mater, Arkansas State University bestowed upon him the distinction of being a “Living Legend” as recognition of an alumnus who has made significant contributions to the community.
In addition to managing the day to day operations, LaGanzie is active in his community where he serves as Deacon of New Life Empowerment Ministries Church – Jonesboro, AR, Chapter President of the Mu Omicron Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Craighead County NAACP, Arkansas State University Department of Media Advisory Board, Arkansas State University H.O.W.L. Transition Center Community Ambassador, and the Arkansas Science Festival Advisory Board.
Originally from Helena-West Helena, AR he now resides in Jonesboro, AR. He is a 2003 graduate of Arkansas State University with bachelor’s degrees in general studies and in radio-television and a master’s degree in teaching and learning with technology from Ashford University.
About this Presentation
In March 2017, KLEK-LP received a donation of $25,738 to build a 100 feet self supporting tower from First National Bank in Paragould/Jonesboro, Arkansas. Information on our Funding Prospectus and Stat Sheet played a major role in the decision of the bank to fund our tower project. "Creating a Funding Prospectus and Stat Sheet" can show you how you can leverage the story of your station as well as collect and use data to help convince underwriters to support your major station projects.