Last Monday, the management at Central Kentucky Radio Eye, the Lexington-based reading service for those physically unable to access the printed word, was informed that the network which provides the satellite feed for the majority of CKRE's 7 p.m. to 8 a.m. broadcast was to cease all service Sept. 30.
Margarget Chase, executive director at CKRE, immediately sent out letters to her 80 area volunteers explaining how devastating this will be for the blind and disabled across the country who depend on the InTouch Network, a service funded by the Jewish Guild for the Blind for 32 years.
Determined not to have any dead air over CKRE's airways, Chase and her staff created a plan to continue 24-hour service to the 3,000 customers they serve in Kentucky.
"What we are going to do is step up our own programming," Chase said. In the beginning, some shows might have to be repeated, she said.
"I have lots of ideas for new programming," she said, some of which will be heard Oct. 1.
Listeners to the station should expect to hear new shows added to the overnight lineup throughout the fall and winter, she said. Listeners include only those who qualify and are given special radios provided by the service.
"I am not thinking of money right now," said Chase. "I am thinking about what we can do, and I worry about all those stations that will be losing so much with this loss of service. Down the line, we may need some computer or streaming equipment, but right now, we are lucky to be in pretty good shape."