Pat Mould sees his new job – interim general manager at KRVS public radio – as an extension of his old ones: chef and organizer/promoter for the annual Festival Acadiens et Créoles.
“I’ve spent all my career as a chef trying to get my message out there,” the Acadiana native said.
That’s the message that Acadiana offers unique and appealing lifestyle that includes culture, food, art and music. Mould, 66, who most recently served UL Lafayette as director of retail food and beverage operations, recently shifted his talents to KRVS at the behest of Duane Bailey, interim director of auxiliary services. Food and beverage services and the public radio station both fall under auxiliary services’ umbrella.
“They’ve had no general manager for close to eight years,” Bailey said of the 100,000-watt, 57-year-old station, which operates on a budget of about $1 million. He said there has been some staff attrition and the public station has lost some local supporter and listenership.
“From a structural standpoint, it’s solid,” Bailey said. “But we need someone entrenched in the community who could embrace its cultural aspect. In essence, we needed an ambassador to reintroduce KRVS to the community.”
“They understood enough that KRVS is a cultural landmark in the community,” Mould said. “We can elevate the radio station to the next level. We need to get our brand out into the community.”
Part of the mission rests in fundraising; to that end, KRVS is in the midst of a 10-day, on-the-air fundraising campaign. Unlike past years, and because of the health threat of COVID-19, the station is not bringing guests into the studio to help generate excitement about the campaign, Mould said.
He said additional funds could “elevate radio station to next level” by enhancing programming and platforms.
“You always have to be evolving, creating new content,” Mould said. “We’re advocating for audio content but also digital and video. We will do more things in the studios as well as get out in the community more. We will participate or create special, one-of-a-kind events. We have to not only introduce new content but also bring people back to it.
“Like a chef, you’re only as good as your last meal.”
Here’s what’s on the KRVS menu now: Two dozen programs that include Cajun and Zydeco music, bluegrass, blues and big band, current events; classical music, French language programs, swamp pop, New Orleans R&B and soul and a smattering of public radio staples.
In fact, Mould sees public radio as a staple in this community, but one that continues to evolve. He said the structure of the station, which includes superb studios, equipment and staff, as capable of retaining its audiences and adding to them.
“With 100,000 watts, we reach Alexandria, west of Lake Charles, south to the Gulf and east of the Mississippi River,” he said. “The signal is strong and reaches a lot of people. There is opportunity to grow the listenership, grow the audience.”
Mould said he grew up with KRVS and loves its history of presenting roots music, Americana, folk, opera and music that resonates with Acadiana’s population.
“My mission is to shout it from the rooftops,” he said. “It’s not like any other radio station I know.”
He’ll be shouting it through Nov. 1, when the KRVS fall fund drive closes, and beyond. In an issued statement, Mould said, “KRVS still relies on donations and membership as our main sources of revenue to bring you the quality programming you have come to expect. And it is as important now, more than ever, to provide these resources to our listenership. During these challenging times, we ask you to help us preserve our programming through our annual Fall membership campaign.
“Renew your membership and, if possible, please consider adding an extra one-time annual gift. Or, if you listen to KRVS but are not a member, take a moment and please become a member by donating whatever you can afford. Be an advocate for the radio station by passing the word throughout the community to those who have not heard about KRVS.”
Judith Meriwether, development director, said KRVS was unable to host a spring fundraiser and is counting on listener support — many people tune in every day — during this extended fall effort. She said she hopes “people will remember that and support us.”
Supporters can make gifts through the website at www.KRVS.org or call the offices at 337-482-5787. Meriwether said by donating online, supporters can view choices in gifts for donors.