Storm Hockey Signs Radio Deal with KKPR and UNK Student-Run KLPR

Todd Gottula

KEARNEY, NE – The Tri-City Storm has signed a one-year contract with Kearney radio stations KKPR 98.9 FM and KLPR 91.3 FM to broadcast the hockey team’s games this season.

KKPR will carry 31 regular season contests, while remaining games will be aired on KLPR, which is the campus radio station at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. The radio deal comes following a one-year absence from the airwaves for the Storm. Terms of the agreement have the Storm organization buying air time to carry the broadcasts.

“Radio is an essential vehicle to connect with our fan base. One of our top priorities has been to create a broadcast partnership,” said Greg Shea, Storm president. “We are thrilled to partner with KLPR and KKPR, which has clearly created a model over many years that demonstrates a commitment to area athletics.”

Broadcaster Skip Berry is the voice of the Storm and will provide play-by-play coverage for games on both KKPR and KLPR. Berry has almost 10 years experience in radio broadcasting. He spent last season working games for the Bismarck Bobcats of the North American Hockey League.

“Storm hockey’s new ownership and operations staff continue to show their willingness to innovate and adapt in order to bring central Nebraska a fresh edition of what has become part of the fabric of our lifestyle,” said Craig Eckert, general manager of KKPR. “Platte River Radio has over a decade of service to local athletics, and we are glad to be included in this remarkably creative way of bringing the Tri-City Storm and its fans together on a regular basis.”

As part of the agreement with KLPR, UNK students will be involved in many aspects of the broadcasts and work alongside the Storm’s broadcast and media relations team.

“This will give students the opportunity to work with professional broadcasters and do production work,” said Dr. Ralph Hanson, chair of UNK’s communication department. “This will build on the play-by-play and sports talk that KLPR has been long producing for Loper football, basketball and many other sports.”

Elle Scholwin, faculty adviser to KLPR, said the partnership with Storm hockey is a way to get additional recognition in the community and on campus.

“KLPR-FM is proud to be part of a university and community that provides ample variety for sports doing and sports viewing,” Scholwin said. “Our continued airing of Loper athletic events, and the addition of Tri-City Storm hockey into our broadcasting lineup, will provide the essential real-world training to further prepare UNK students to excel.”

Added Shea: “We have always valued our relationship with the UNK athletic department and administration. This radio deal further strengthens those partnerships.”

KKPR is owned by Platte River Radio, which also owns ESPN stations KXPN 1460 AM in Kearney and 1550 AM in Hastings, as well as The Breeze 94.5 FM and KHAS 1230 AM in Hastings. KKPR’s 100,000-watt signal can be heard across central Nebraska in a 100-mile radius from the Tri-Cities.