Tickets On Sale Now: Public Radio Welcomes Legendary Sportswriter Frank Deford

Aug 1, 2013

Frank Deford


The Friends of KLRE/KUAR will host a fundraiser featuring an evening with legendary sportswriter and public radio commentator Frank Deford on Thursday, September 19, at 7 p.m.

Admission to the event at Embassy Suites in Little Rock is $100, and tickets can be purchased online or by calling us at 501-569-8485.

$50 of the ticket amount is a tax-deductible donation to your non-profit public radio stations. We hope you'll come to hear Deford and to support KUAR FM 89.1 and KLRE Classical 90.5 as we raise money this year to replace old broadcasting equipment to keep the stations sounding as good as possible.   

“Sports: The Hype and The Hypocrisy” will be the theme, and the event will include a dinner, talk and book signing with Deford. 

Arkadelphia native and Southern Fried blogger Rex Nelson will be the master of ceremonies. A cash bar will precede the dinner in the foyer of the Embassy Suites ballroom.

“We are very excited to welcome Frank Deford to Little Rock,” says Katherine Lu, board president of the Friends of KLRE/KUAR. “He’s more than just an NPR personality. He’s a writer of great fiction and a national sports icon,” she says of the Baltimore native whose work appears regularly in Sports Illustrated, on HBO's Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel and on National Public Radio.

Deford is the author of 18 books, nine of them novels, and was awarded a National Humanities Medal by President Obama on July 10. His Wednesday morning sports commentaries are broadcast on KUAR FM 89 at 7:50.

Rex Nelson will be introducing Deford and conducting a question-and-answer session at the end of Deford’s presentation. Nelson is a regular political commentator on KUAR news, head of Arkansas’ Independent Colleges & Universities association, and a columnist for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. His career started as broadcaster and sportswriter covering the Ouachita Baptist Tigers. 

“Nelson is going to be a great host because he’s an expert on Arkansas culture with a background in politics, sports, and writing,” says Lu. “We hope that this event will help public radio reach a new segment of our listeners and get to know some of our more occasional listeners better.”

Importance of the Fundraiser

The top priority is replacing the stations' aging audio control boards used to broadcast programming and record local content.

“The equipment is more than 15 years old and starting to fail,” says General Manager Ben Fry, “and some of the parts for these control boards are getting hard to replace because they are no longer available.”

“Reporters, producers, and board operators are having technical problems. It’s time to update,” says Fry.

About The Friends of KLRE/KUAR

The Friends of KLRE/KUAR is a non-profit organization that financially supports the two stations of UALR Public Radio.

With public radio, “members” of the Friends of KLRE/KUAR make financial contributions to support the stations’ annual operating budgets.

“Hundreds of listeners participate in our semi-annual fund drives and become members of UALR Public Radio,” says Development Director Mary Waldo. “But it’s been several years since we’ve hosted a major fundraiser,” she says. “This year our focus is to improve the equipment for KUAR FM 89 and KLRE Classical 90.5. We do rely on the support of our listeners and members to serve central Arkansas.”

About KUAR FM 89.1 and KLRE Classical 90.5

KLRE FM 90.5, Little Rock’s first public radio station, went live in 1973 and became a member of National Public Radio in 1984. KUAR FM 89.1 went on the air in 1986. Today, the two stations serve a third of the state’s population and even more people through live streaming on the internet. KUAR broadcasts news and information programming, including daily newsmagazines from NPR and local news. KLRE broadcasts classical music 24 hours a day.