A Message from HPR President & GM

Aug 7, 2017

HPR President & GM José A. Fajardo

Aloha, Friend of HPR,

By any measure, Hawai‘i Public Radio is well-positioned to meet the challenges of the future. We count a record number of 13,900 station members; 45% of them (more than ever) are now monthly Sustainers. Local businesses and organizations continue to find value in HPR underwriting opportunities. With nearly 200,000* listeners across the Hawaiian islands and the globe, there is yet more potential for growth.

Our past and present success began with a singular person. You. Let me share with you some of the station’s recent accomplishments, all made possible by your generosity.

Two stations: more news, more music

The completion last fall of the East Hawai‘i transmitter allowed us to fulfill a 35-year-old promise of two discretely formatted stations for the entire state. Listeners can now opt to keep pace with the fast-moving news cycle on HPR-1 or take a break from it on HPR-2, your home for classical music. Coinciding with the launch of the station realignment, Governor David Ige declared it “Hawaiʻi Public Radio Week” and recognized the station’s “highest standards of independent broadcast journalism, music and entertainment.”

The realignment was an occasion to refresh the look of HPR’s brand, as well as our sound. On Valentine’s Day of this year, we introduced HPR listeners to several widely distributed talk and entertainment programs from National Public Radio, including Here and Now and Ask Me Another, plus a weeknight version of Bridging the Gap and HPR’s newest program, Classical Pacific, a celebration of the region in classical music.

One in three programs produced locally

HPR’s news and talk programs address what matters to you, from healthcare to heat waves, from Hōkūle‘a’s worldwide voyage to new business ventures. The Society of Professional Journalists Hawaii Chapter recognized the artfulness of our storytelling in its 2016 Excellence in Journalism Award for HPR’s series “End of Sugar in Hawaiʻi.”

We regularly collaborate with local news and arts organizations and are often the exclusive broadcaster of their work. Honolulu Civil Beat’s podcast series Off Shore will return with its second season in September and Hawai‘i Symphony Orchestra’s Masterworks concerts are currently airing.

Also unique to HPR are fascinating interviews with resident and visiting artists, conducted by our local hosts. You’ll find conversations with Frederica von Stade, Lady Smith Black Mambazo, Kuana Torres Kahele, and others (classical and non-classical) archived on our improved website and our new mobile app.

Fifteen facilities and counting

The East Hawaiʻi installation was not the last of the improvements to our statewide network. Current projects include the completion of a transmitter on the slopes of Haleakalā that will deliver substantially better service to our listeners on Maui, Molokaʻi, and in West Hawaiʻi. By combining both HPR-1 and HPR-2 signals through this facility, HPR will also see a welcome reduction in our electricity bill. A booster to bring our signal to the Pāhala area is also in development. Ongoing maintenance of our multiple sites – complicated by extreme weather, environmentally protected areas, and out-of-state manufacturers – give our engineer and operations staff plenty of mental and physical exercise!

Multiplying our reach

Last winter, we brought From the Top to the islands for its fifth visit. Audiences at the live recordings in Kea‘au (Hawai‘i Island) and Honolulu proudly witnessed the performances of homegrown talent from Kamehameha Schools-Hawaiʻi, the Hawaii Youth Symphony, an ʻukulele quartet, and two soloists. When the shows aired in January, these young artists and HPR became known to 400,000 more listeners across the country.

Our Atherton Studio continues to serve as a gateway for the public to discover their public radio station. In the last year, we presented in this performance space a diverse lineup of local musicians and humanities forums. Through another one of our locally produced programs, Applause in a Small Room, we share the best of these intimate live music events with a wider radio audience.  

We returned to the Neighbor Islands for a station sign-on party, live DJ sets, and gatherings before Hawaii Opera Theatre’s Three Decembers. On Oʻahu, we co-sponsored an East-West Center distinguished lecture by NPR Ombudsman Elizabeth Jensen, and held "town square” meetings and our first member appreciation receptions. These and other occasions allowed us to “listen (to) and see” hundreds of our supporters. We are grateful for their passion and candor.

Counting on you

Listener feedback led us to restore On Being and New Dimensions to their previous times on HPR-1, and replace them with even more classical music on HPR-2 (as of August 6th). Our newly convened Community Advisory Board is specifically charged with advising and providing feedback on programming and outreach.

You can count on HPR to deliver news and information you can trust, and cultural entertainment that enriches the quality of your life. Our fifth consecutive four-star rating from Charity Navigator assures you that you can likewise count on our fiscal responsibility. [UPDATE: On August 1st, we were informed that Charity Navigator has recognized HPR with another exceptional rating for the sixth year in a row.] Now, in the face of uncertainty surrounding the future of federal funding for public broadcasting, we are counting more than ever on those who know the value of an independent media, one that understands and reflects where you live. 

Our next pledge drive begins on September 27th. May we count again on your support? An early renewal, additional gift, or Sustainer upgrade would help speed us toward our goal.

With appreciation,

José A. Fajardo
President & General Manager

P.S. You'll find on our website and our mobile app an easy-to-use donation form.

* Arbitron Diary Data (produced by RRC, Inc.) Fall 2016 Persons 12+ CUME Honolulu DMA HPR-1 & HPR-2 Combined.