Southeast Public Radio Wins Missouri Broadcasters Award

Photo of Kenneth W. Dobbins, Dr. Frank Nickell, Jacob McCleland and Dan Woods

From left are Kenneth W. Dobbins, president of Southeast Missouri State University; Dr. Frank Nickell, writer and host of the “Almost Yesterday” series; Jacob McCleland, Southeast Publc Radio producer; and Dan Woods, general manager of Southeast Public Radio. 

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo.,

June 13, 2008 – Southeast Public Radio at Southeast Missouri State University won its first Missouri Broadcasters Association Award June 7 in Kansas City, Mo., for its “Almost Yesterday” series.

Southeast Public Radio won the award in the “special programming” category. Dr. Frank Nickel, director of the Center for Regional History at Southeast Missouri State University, writes the segments and hosts the program, which airs every Wednesday morning at 7:49 a.m. during “Morning Edition” on 90.9 FM KRCU and 88.9FM KSEF.

“Almost Yesterday” is a glimpse into the rich history of the southeast Missouri region. Nickell takes listeners on a journey to specific moments in time, such as the first radio broadcast on KFVS, the history of Farmington’s Carlston College, and the short-lived safari on a Mississippi River island. A gifted storyteller and local historian, Nickell’s wit and love for the past are combined with sounds and music that augment his narrative.

“Almost Yesterday” has been running on Southeast Public Radio for about a year, and 32 segments have been edited and produced by Jacob McCleland, Southeast Public Radio host and producer.

Nickell says the program calls attention to the diversity of southeast Missouri.

“I wanted to do something that connects the past to the present. We try to capture some of the historical significance of southeast Missouri,” he said. “I think there are so many interesting stories. There are stories around every corner. As a society, we are increasingly recognizing the value of stories.”

Nickell says the stories he tells on “Almost Yesterday” have been gathered from his conversations with people across the region through the years.

“All of us are a part of history,” he says.

The program, according to Nickell, “illustrates how our paths in southeast Missouri connect with the nation. We are a small area with broad connections nationally. It’s been great fun to seek, develop and record the stories.”

“It is really quite an honor for us to be recognized,” McCleland said. “We had the opportunity to get our names mentioned with the biggest broadcasters in the state.”

“Almost Yesterday is very popular with our listeners and I’m so happy that we are able to bring this award home to Southeast Missouri State University and Southeast Public Radio,” said Dan Woods, general manager of Southeast Public Radio. “I am proud of the work that is done day in and day out by our volunteer program hosts. This award highlights the great work done by Dr. Nickell and Jacob McCleland.”

Nickell said, “Jacob and Dan were willing to venture out into doing this” program. “They have been very helpful. I am very appreciative to this spot they have committed to on Southeast Public Radio. I am pleased I’ve been able to be a part of Southeast Public Radio’s excellent programming.”

Other topics covered by “Almost Yesterday” include the Halliday Hotel fire in 1943 in Cairo, Ill., the tri-state tornado that passed through southeast Missouri on March 18, 1925; the great fire of 1916 in Cape Girardeau’s downtown district; the blizzard of 1979 that hit southeast Missouri; the Golden Eagles Marching Band performing at the Super Bowl in Miami, Fla., in 1971; and the success of the 1952 Cape Girardeau Junior American Legion Baseball team.

Nickell says he plans to produce additional “Almost Yesterday” segments in the coming year.

“There is no end to these stories, because we’ll never run out of people,” he said. “Every person has a story.”

Nickell says he encourages listeners to call Southeast Public Radio at (573) 651-5070 with story ideas with broad historical significance for the program.

The Missouri Broadcasters Association presented awards in 81 categories to television and radio broadcasters. Southeast Public Radio was judged as a medium-sized media market. The New York State Broadcasters Association selected the award recipients.