KUAF Celebrates 30 Years of ‘Ozarks at Large’ With Kyle Kellams and Reflects on Role During the Pandemic

by and | Jun 10, 2020 | Announcements, Outreach & Impact

Kyle in the studioJune marks a major milestone for local National Public Radio affiliate KUAF 91.3 FM, as it celebrates three decades of KUAF news director Kyle Kellams hosting the locally produced program Ozarks at Large.

People sitting on couch.

Taken by Kat Wilson

The program had existed on KUAF as a weekly 30-minute one-on-one interview program, alternately hosted by James Russell and Dave Edmark. Both were retiring and Kellams was asked to take over as full-time host. Kellams’ first show on March 10, 1990, featured segments on Republican hopefuls for Governor, Tommy Robinson and Sheffield Nelson, and jazz trumpet player, Dizzy Gillespie.

Since taking over the program in 1990, Kellams has hosted more 9,000 programs. With KUAF’s move into a new building in 2010, Kellams expanded the program into a daily show, airing twice every weekday at noon and 7 p.m., as well as Sundays at 9 a.m.

KyleAs Kellams said in the May 10, 2020, Ozarks at Large episode marking the anniversary, “30 years in, [I] still can’t really believe this is my job. It is, in fact, what I’ve always wanted to do.”

Black and white image of people.

Taken by Don House

During the month of June, KUAF will air memories from former Ozarks at Large producers Jennifer Fulford, Chuck Carney, PJ Robowski and more, and will highlight archived segments from the past 30 years of the program.

KUAF is also asking listeners to call the station through the KUAF Connects line, at 479-575-6577, to leave messages of their fondest memory of the program which will air throughout June as well.

With the national pandemic and social distancing measures in place, the anniversary celebrations may look a little different. However, COVID-19 has also brought a new sense of appreciation for the local NPR affiliate to light this year.

“As the circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic change daily, staying connected to local and national news, and each other, is more important to listeners than ever,” said KUAF general manager Leigh Wood.

Kyle talking into microphone in studio.“We are grateful to be able to continue to serve our listeners in a time where current and accurate news is vital, and to be able to provide a platform where people can feel connected to one another while still social distancing.”

Ways to listen can be found on the station’s website.

And to commemorate the anniversary, photos, memories from past producers and more will be available at KUAF.com/CelebrateOzarksatLarge.

A version of this story also appeared in the University of Arkansas News publication.

Olivia Kays

Communications Project Manager

J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences

479-575-2130 // okays@uark.edu

Leigh Wood

General Manager

KUAF 91.3 FM

479-466-1235 // lkwood@uark.edu