Montana Public Radio

Ray Ekness

Director of the Broadcast Media Center

Ray Ekness was named director of the Broadcast Media Center in August 2016. He’s a former UM School of Journalism professor and department chair of the Department of Radio-Television.

Ekness worked a few radio jobs in his native North Dakota and worked on-air at KUFM as a UM student in 1982. He then launched a career as a commercial producer and newscast director at television stations in Montana and Idaho.

He worked at the Broadcast Media Center as a producer/director starting in 1989 before joining the J-school full-time in 2000.

Ekness has helped produce many MontanaPBS programs, including the popular “Backroads of Montana,” “Remembering the Columbia Gardens,” “To Helena and Back: the First Special Service Force,” “Building Bridges: Back to Ireland” and “War of the Worlds.”


Ways to Connect

Here’s a look at our revenue and expense breakdown for the year:

As I look back on 2020 and forward to 2021, there is one word that continues to pop into my mind: resiliency. Just like all of you reading this, 2020 threw the MTPR staff curveball after curveball. The MTPR team persevered, bounced back and became even more resilient than they were before to provide you uninterrupted coverage when you needed it the most. If only you could see the behind the scenes shuffle and hustle to make this all work!

It’s an event that we’ve never seen in our lifetime. The coronavirus pandemic is not only dominating the news but our lives as well. Here’s an update on what this all means for Montana Public Radio.

First off, the big news is that MTPR will postpone the Spring Pledge Drive. We want to focus our time and energy on keeping you informed about the quickly changing coronavirus situation and providing moments of respite in stressful times. We’ll push back the pledge drive until after we’ve made it through this crisis and it’s again appropriate to celebrate on-air.

Corin Cates-Carney is Montana Public Radio's news director. He was formerly MTPR's Capitol reporter and a Flathead Valley reporter.
William Marcus

I’m proud to announce that Corin Cates-Carney has been hired as the new news director at Montana Public Radio. Corin has been the interim news director since Eric Whitney left this fall.

It’s the time of year when we look back and think of the people we’re grateful for. I want to say thank you to the best and most dedicated staff in public radio. I am constantly amazed at how much every single person cares about the listeners.

MTPR News Director Eric Whitney.
Mike Albans / Montana Public Radio

It’s a bittersweet moment at Montana Public Radio today. After five years, Eric Whitney has decided to step down as MTPR news director and move on to a great job with NPR. Eric will soon be the NPR bureau chief for 10 Rocky Mountain and Great Plains states including Montana. He says he will, "be an editor who works with reporters based at NPR member stations and helps them get their stories on network shows, including Morning Editing and All Things Considered." Eric is not going far for his job. He’ll be based in Missoula but will be travelling a bit more, he says.

During our summer brew tour we visited with more than 400 of you over 27 hours of listening. We met listeners of all ages from kids and 20-somethings to an 84-year-old couple from the Flathead Valley.
Ray Ekness / Montana Public Radio

It was quite a summer road trip for Montana Public Radio. What a terrific two weeks to be out and about in Montana!

We hosted our meet-and-greet sessions in nine Montana cities over 11 days. We drove nearly 1,900 miles. With the recent and unusual August rain, everything was so green and golden.

Starting September 2, you’ll hear an expanded lineup of engaging programs on Montana Public Radio. MTPR staff will be on the road to meet you on the MTPR Summer Brew Tour, August 12-22. Come chat and have a beer with us and listen to a preview reel introducing four new programs coming to the MTPR schedule.

Montana Public Radio requires many pieces of the puzzle to keep this great station on the air. From our program producers, news team members, and our technicians who keep our equipment running to our fundraising staff – the MTPR team works around the clock to ensure this station is everything you expect it be when you tune in. But most importantly YOU, our member-listeners, are the most important piece of the puzzle and our most valued member of the team.

Friends and Supporters:

MTPR is made for you by the talented, dedicated and trustworthy staff located in Montana and across the country. MTPR is also made by you, in that wonderful “of and by the people” way we all cherish. Some of us listen and donate, some gather and present news, some curate playlists and others connect us to lifelong discovery.