Impressive year-on-year growth and a commitment to the Great Bend community are two reasons the Eagle Media Center was recognized with the 2015 Business of the Year award, Saturday night at the Great Bend Chamber of Commerce & Economic Development’s Annual Meeting & Banquet.
Prior to a rebrand in 2015, the local media company was known as Eagle Radio since 1986 when Bob Schmidt purchased KHOK and founded the brand. In 1995, he acquired the FM and AM KVGB stations, with the AM station being on the air for nearly 80 years now. But in 2011, the company’s notable efforts to expand and diversify started with the addition of the Great Bend Post, a website offering local news, weather, calendar listings and more. In 2012, the media company added a digital billboard at 10th & Main in downtown Great Bend. They also became a Google Partner, giving them the ability to help their clients advertise online as well as on-air.
The growing media enterprise is locally owned by its employees, which is why they are still “local and live” at 1200 Baker in Great Bend. Local programming, leading news content and sports broadcasting are a few of the reasons their loyal listeners tune in day after day.
Another reason is the radio personalities who have built a following over the years, such as Rick Nulton who recently retired in 2015 after nearly 30 years on the air. Scott Donovan, Randy Goering, Phil Grossardt and John O’Conner are other names people have heard from their car stereo countless times and for good reason. The broadcasters at Eagle Radio have won awards from the Kansas Association of Broadcasters virtually every year, and some have been permanently recognized for their contributions to the industry:
• Randy Goering - Great Bend Hall of Fame Inductee & Past Winner of the Hod Humiston Award given to the Sportscaster of the Year in Kansas
• Steve Webster - Fort Hays State University Hall of Fame Inductee
• Phil Grossardt - Medium Market Announcer of the Year from KAB
• Scott Donovan - Past President of Kansas Association of Broadcasters
“Gone are the days of tuning in from a stereo at home,” said Market Manager Randy Goering. “Our listeners follow us on every platform - tuning in from the car, streaming radio online, engaging with us on The Great Bend Post and Facebook, participating in our community promotions. We give businesses so many ways to connect with their customers.”
For several years, Eagle Radio has organized shopping local promotions a couple times each year to get consumers into local businesses. Their efforts go far beyond the for-profit sector, however. The Kans for Kids Radiothon has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the local charity serving cancer patients over the last five years, due largely to the dedication and enthusiasm of the employees who organize the event. Many non-profit organizations are aided and supported by the awareness raised through local news and event announcements on-air and online through Eagle Media Center.
“We are so honored to be selected as Business of the Year,” Goering said. “We have put together a terrific team that values community and works every day to keep the community connected and encourages shopping local first.”
Eagle Media Center has 15 full time employees and 4-5 part time employees at any given time. For more information, visit them online at www.greatbendpost.com.
Business of the Year Criteria
“Business of the Year” is an annual award presented by the Great Bend Chamber of Commerce to showcase companies that demonstrate excellence in customer service, growth, and response in positive ways to adversity. Businesses must also show community involvement and demonstrate innovative business practices by improving products, services and programs.