Inside KDHX

Sound Diplomacy Report Validates KDHX’s New Vision

ST. LOUIS (Sept. 22, 2023) - Today, KDHX announced a bold new vision that commits to harnessing the power of music to create a better St. Louis. The community radio station’s new vision outlines three commitments. These commitments are rooted in KDHX's existing strategic plan and aligned to address many recommendations outlined in the recent Sound Diplomacy study. KDHX will intentionally strengthen St. Louis's musical landscape by committing to:

● Serve as a leader and convener to develop the St. Louis music industry. KDHX is
committed to collaborating with organizations across sectors, from arts foundations and
non-profit organizations to local businesses, using its airwaves and centrally located
building in Grand Center. These partnerships will amplify the social, cultural, and
economic impact of music in St. Louis.
● Use music to connect our region. Music has the power to connect people from
different backgrounds and with different interests. KDHX commits to using its platform to
unite the St. Louis region.
● Amplify underrepresented voices in music. KDHX pledges to expand the spotlight on
local artists, particularly those from underserved communities and genres in St. Louis.

"The Sound Diplomacy study has reaffirmed what we've always known — that while St. Louis has a deep musical soul, there's untapped talent and a need for more inclusivity,” said Gary Pierson, President of KDHX Community Media Board of Directors. “Change is challenging but essential for our community to grow."

The Sound Diplomacy study offers a well-rounded examination of St. Louis’ music ecosystem and its limitations. The report validates KDHX’s new vision, emphasizing the station’s role as a force for good in the region.

“This study clearly outlines how KDHX, as a community radio station, can answer the call to make St. Louis a better place for everyone, especially musicians,” said longtime KDHX supporter and former St. Louis Mayor Vincent C. Schoemehl.

“There is so much that’s exciting about a new direction for KDHX,” said KDHX Executive Director Kelly Wells. “Since our strategic plan began in 2021, KDHX has been reevaluating its role in St. Louis. The changes being made will build KDHX into the station the St. Louis music community and music industry needs it to be.

Operational Changes
As a result of its redefined vision, KDHX is modifying its Fall 2023 programming. Today, KDHX announced the end of ten weekly programs and the respective volunteer DJs have been dismissed. An additional 12 volunteers must undergo mediated discussions to continue in their roles. The volunteers who were dismissed displayed a pattern of behavior that was detrimental to KDHX. Currently, KDHX has 80 volunteer DJs.

“KDHX is committed to leveraging the unifying power of music to better St. Louis,” said James Hill, Vice President of KDHX Community Media Board of Directors. “While this new vision is exciting, it has not been universally embraced within our volunteer base, including some who have been with us for many years. Regrettably, we've had to separate from volunteers whose actions have compromised the station's financial stability. These are challenging but crucial decisions as we advance KDHX's mission.”

Next week KDHX begins their annual Fall Fund Drive. During this time, KDHX will be taking to their platform to share more about the vision they are asking listeners to financially support.

About KDHX
KDHX is a non-profit (501c3) organization, providing independent, commercial-free, listener-supported community radio to the entire St. Louis region and global online audience. For 36 years, the 43,000-watt station has broadcasted 24/7 on 88.1 and in the early 2000’s added an online stream.

KDHX’s 2021-2024 Strategic Plan can be found here:

Sound Diplomacy, which conducted the St. Louis study in association with the Kranzberg Arts Foundation and the Regional Arts Commission, provides research and recommendations on enhancing economic, social, and cultural growth. The full report can be found here:

1005-SOUND-DIPLOMACY-St-Louis-Executive-Summary_8.5-x-11_V3.pdf .

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