“Happy” doesn’t feel like it’s been in anyone’s vocabulary for the past couple of months, but I assure you – we are happy to be here!
If you’ve listened to KIK-FM recently, you’ve probably noticed some changes. Our goal is to honor the legacy that came before us, since this station first went on the air in 1970 as KCMT and as it’s current name – KIK-FM – since 1985. Like anything, changes are inevitable, not often easy, and charged with emotion. We know you have known and listened to this station for a long time and we want to honor the hard work of those that have been here before us, and continue to move forward into a strong future.
This radio station is embedded in the Alexandria and surrounding community and will continue to be. Since this new staff started last fall, we have seen the resilience of everyone around us through the devastation of the downtown fire, the widespread effects and frustrations of COVID-19, and the heart-wrenching events of the past week and a half across the state, the nation, and the world. Everyone is facing different struggles they never imagined. An analogy I saw recently that I feel is true is – that we are NOT in the same boat. We are in different vessels in the same storm.
We have been overjoyed to put some positivity out there, and showcase our local Hometown Heroes, Essential Moms, First Responders, and local businesses that need your support during Open For Business. Dads are next!
The entire full-time on-air staff (all THREE of us) are MN natives who live right here in Alexandria. Nik Knight has relatives going back for decades in Osakis, Kris Valentine grew up in St. Paul but worked for many years in St. Cloud. I graduated from Monticello, worked many years in St. Cloud, and have family on both sides that have come to Alexandria (on Lake Darling) and Miltona for years. This is our state. You are our people, and we are yours. We want this to be a station where you can get the information you need, that supports area businesses, our local ag industry, and is simply enjoyable to listen to. Some things are still a work in progress, but we feel good about the direction we’re going.
On a personal note, my family moved here from our most recent location – Winona, MN – to make a home and be closer to our families here in Central MN. Our kids found out about the move about two weeks before school started, and we got them up here in time to start school and sports practices and jump right in. So – you can imagine that they weren’t too happy with Mom and Dad. They were nervous at first – but were quickly embraced by teachers and their sports teams and families and the mood at home quickly rebounded. I, for one, am eternally grateful to the teachers, coaches, and staff that helped my children feel welcomed in a new district and able to finish the year as strong as possible, even though distance learning was no fun for a-n-y-o-n-e.
We’ve been in a rental cabin on a lake since last fall. In mid-March, on the first Monday of the stay-home order due to coronavirus, our dog was let out and didn’t come home. We searched for days and were overwhelmed by the outpouring of care and support from neighbors we hadn’t even met, our sports families, and new coworkers. Unfortunately, a neighbor found our Kirby. He had fallen through the ice and didn’t make it. As devastated as our family was to lose him after 9 amazing years – the outreach we felt made us feel so good about this community and helped us heal. We have not been made to feel like outsiders, but have been brought into the fold as neighbors. In fact, next week my family will finally be moving into our own house again. It’s sort of a scary time to buy a house, but we know that this is where we want to raise our kids, so we’re leaping in with good faith and planting our roots.
We at KIK-FM, like so many others, had big plans for the summer to get out and see your face and shake your hand at various fun events. Remember those? We’ll get there. Our #1 mission is to make sure our community stays strong. Without local businesses and our ag industry – we wouldn’t make it, either. That is our focus. The commercials you hear on our stations support the businesses of your neighbors, who live and work and sit in the stands of our kids’ sporting events. When you listen local, you support local.
We know it’s not all familiar yet, and there may be changes you don’t necessarily care for. We can’t promise we’ll please everyone, but we are working hard to make radio you’ll enjoy listening to, and be a strong platform for our customers to advertise their businesses to make them stronger and keep this community thriving. We always welcome your feedback. You can reach out by phone at 320-762-2154, by text at 320-763-5458, through our Facebook page, or on our website.
In the meantime, we’d love to be your summer companions (and beyond). From Kris & Nik in the Morning, the Old School Lunch at Noon, The Top 3 @ 3, to our new Saturday Night Party Playlist – we’ve got a lot of fun stuff going on we think you’ll like, and to help you find a little escape from day-to-day stresses.
Even when we never have to hear the words ‘in these uncertain times’ again – HOPEFULLY SOON – we still won’t judge your hairdo, or even care whether you happen to be wearing real pants.
A sincere thanks to everyone who makes Alexandria a beautiful community to live in, and for listening to KIK-fm.
I’m so HAPPY to be here and spend the afternoons with you!