By Jim Palmer
K-Lakes Country (KLKX-FM) is a traditional country music station based in Alexandria that features artists like Toby Keith, Kenny Chesney, Brooks & Dunn, Garth Brooks, George Jones, Reba McEntire, Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash, The Judds and Hank Williams, among others.
“Our music genre features everything from about the year 2017 and back,” said K-Lakes Country owner, Connie Lee. “My library is over 7,000 songs which is one of the largest in the country and I oversee the programming, so there are no repeats.”
The station has been on the air for a few years and continues to evolve and grow each year. Most recently, that evolution has included the addition of streaming capabilities of the station.
“All that you have to do to stream the station is to go to the K-Lakes Country Facebook page (or Google) and click the ‘Listen Live’ tab”, said Connie Lee.
Since adding the streaming option, the station has been getting so much positive feedback from people, not just in the Alexandria lakes area, but throughout the state and around the country, including from Connie Lee’s friends in Nashville. Now, anyone in the world can literally catch the station.
Connie Lee, who grew up in the area, recorded her first record in Nashville at age 12 and began touring with the Grand Ole Opry at age 14. A few years ago, she was inducted into the “Traditional Country Music Hall of Fame.” Connie Lee continues to perform and tour and she has maintained her many connections in the music industry.
“I am proud of where I am from, both here and of the work that I have done in Nashville,” she said.
Connie Lee said that the listeners are “loving the programming” and they are having fun with the station. That “fun” includes exclusive interviews and special features from some of her country music friends from Nashville and other parts of the country. It also includes performances by “Connie Lee and Friends” on Sunday evenings recorded “live” from the Eagle’s Healing Nest in Sauk Centre that supports our veterans.
The idea of owning a radio station started a few years back when a friend called Connie Lee and her husband, Kevin Cunningham.
“Our friend said that he had a great opportunity to apply for a license for a radio station in this area,” said Connie Lee. “The FCC was switching from an analog to a digital format and there was a little area that became available right in and around the lakes area of Alexandria. So, we decided to purchase it.”
The station is considered a Low Power FM Station (or LPFM), and it has restrictions from the FCC because of that designation. The station is run much like a public radio or TV station in which businesses are not allowed to advertise a “call to action,” but are able to sponsor a short partnership mention that gives contact info on their business or organization.
Without streaming, the size of the station’s reach is much smaller than a typical radio station.
“Locally, the footprint of K-Lakes Country is from the north rim of Glenwood to Parkers Prairie, to Osakis to about Brandon. It covers all of Alexandria,” said Kevin.
“While the reach isn’t as far as some,” Kevin said, “there is an advantage for the businesses who want to be a sponsor because the limited transmission range means that the sponsorship opportunities are more affordable. This reach captures an audience that is approximately 90% of the customers for most businesses within the Alexandria area. So, the results have been very positive.”
Connie Lee also added, “that due to the pandemic many businesses locally were hurt and still are hurting, so I wanted to help businesses be able to be heard on the radio and I have made it be within their budget to do so! At K-Lakes Country, Family Helps Family!!!”
Now with the streaming option, the transmission has remained the same, but, people outside of that transmission area are also able to tune in... and a broad range of people are tuning in!
“The format is so good and the demographic is running all the way from 18 to 65,” said Kevin. “We are very proud of that and the fact that we are Alexandria’s only family owned radio station.”
“A lot of the younger people are going back to what their folks listened to,” said Connie Lee. “They aren’t as into the new country today because it is getting more influenced by hip-hop/rap.”
K-Lakes Country also has an inspirational message that is weaved in with the music that ties in with the station’s tagline, “For God. Family. Country.”
“We have an inspirational message every hour from Pastor Tracy Weaver,” said Connie Lee. “And on Sunday mornings from 9-11 a.m. we have a Southern Gospel Show hosted by Pastor Ed Brady.”
K-Lakes Country has regular weather updates and community announcements every day.
“The station is very clean and straight to the point,” said Kevin. “If you or your non-profit has an announcement for a fundraiser that you want aired on K-Lakes Country please send us the information to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will review it and if it qualifies, we will it put on the air free of charge.”
So to listen to K-Lakes Country, tune in to 98.5 FM in the Alexandria lakes area or stream on their Facebook page (or Google). Again, listeners can also find that if they have a community event that they would like announced on K-Lakes Country, or if one would like more information about sponsorship opportunities, contact Connie Lee at 320-766-5573 or email@example.com.
This is a paid business profile. If you would like to learn more about promoting your business in the Sr. Perspective with a business profile, call Jim at 320-334-3344.