Laura Knoll | KGOU

Laura Knoll

KGOU Membership Director / Digital Operations

Laura came back to KGOU in November 2005 after a career in radio news at several commercial stations in Oklahoma City. As a Journalism student at OU, she received her early radio experience at KGOU. After graduating, she began her career at KNOR in Norman as a news reporter and anchor. Laura served as morning co-anchor at WKY in the mid-1980's, then worked at KTOK as morning news producer and general assignment reporter. In 2003 she joined the news department at KOMA.

Laura has won several awards for news writing from the Associated Press, Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters, the Society of Professional Journalists, and the Oklahoma Education Association. She has previously served on the board of the Society of Professional Journalists, Oklahoma Pro Chapter.

Laura is a member of the Public Radio Association of Development Officers (PRADO) and has served on station advisory groups for NPR Digital Services.

Ways to Connect

Oklahoma Engaged Live: Voice of the Voter webcast on election night featuring discussion by (clockwise from upper left) Logan Layden, Rachel Hubbard, Dick Pryor and Catherine Sweeney

Producing election coverage during a pandemic calls for adjustments and experimentation for the times, and KGOU's newsroom rose to the challenge on election night. The team produced Oklahoma Engaged Live: Voice of the Voter as a live four-hour webcast available for "second screen" viewing online at our election reporting hub,

an assortment of plaques and trophies

KGOU and its StateImpact Oklahoma reporting project combined to win 14 awards from the Society of Professional Journalists' Oklahoma Pro Chapter in a virtual awards ceremony Saturday.

Seven were First Place honors in radio and podcasting categories: general news, feature, investigative or enterprise reporting, criminal justice and government reporting, election reporting, diversity reporting, and multimedia or podcasting.

Tens of thousands of people listen regularly to KGOU, but still, it can feel like a solitary existence sometimes.

In radio, the listening experience becomes real through the voices we hear -- voices of the reporters and hosts who illuminate the events of the day, the voices of those interviewed who are living the story that we're hearing about, or voices raised in song. To borrow from the philosopher Descartes, we hear them, therefore, they are.

Doug Simpson and Jolly Brown

Having KGOU as part of his daily news consumption is important to listener Doug Simpson who visited our Norman studios recently.

Q: Please tell us about yourself.

Doug Simpson: I'm originally from Dayton, Ohio, but I grew up in Illinois as well. I've been here in Oklahoma for about a total of 13 years -- almost 10 years this time. I live in Moore. I'm retired from the Air Force and now work for the Oklahoma Blood Institute.

Claire Donnelly with listener John Sumida
Jolly Brown / KGOU

An Oklahoma transplant from Hawaii, KGOU listener John Sumida likes the different viewpoints and perspectives he gets from public radio.

Q: Please tell us about yourself.

John Sumida: My name is John Sumida and I live in Norman. I grew up in Hawaii. I've lived in Honolulu, Seattle, San Diego and now Norman, and every time I move to a new location that's one of the first things that I do is find the local public radio stations and program them into my radio.

Listener Miranda Conway with Richard Bassett in the KGOU Control Room.
Jolly Brown / KGOU

KGOU listener Miranda Conway was in our Norman studios recently, talking about when and where she listens.

Q: Please tell us about yourself.

Miranda Conway: I’m from Northern California. Growing up in California gave me a love of nature, diversity of culture, and an appreciation for various cuisines. I work at Tinker AFB as a military officer.

Dashboard display of alert
Patrick Roberts / KGOU

KGOU has begun including severe weather and other messaging capabilities on mobile devices and other digital platforms. KGOU is one of 27 public radio stations participating in a nationwide project designed to increase locally relevant emergency information to “tornado alley.” KGOU now has the capability to issue text and graphic alerts on mobile phones, HD radios, “connected car” devices, Radio Data System (RDS) displays, and in online applications.

Since we began KGOU's fall fundraising campaign we've heard from many listeners who love this new approach we're taking, and others who aren't so crazy about it.

Most listeners get it–that this is the way public radio is funded: listeners donate to the local station and the local station pays for its operations and sends some to the networks, NPR and the others, for the rights to carry network shows.

How do we get that message to listeners in a way that won't make them want to (gasp) listen to another station, or turn off the radio altogether?

I apologize for that clickbait-y headline–as a public media connoisseur, you expect and deserve better. But I need your attention for an important announcement:

If you've been listening or reading this website for awhile, then you know that KGOU is actively raising money right now to fund our work into the future. You've heard or seen our pleas for you, the consumer, to invest in more of KGOU's service. Many of you have already answered, and if so, thank you.

But, being the curious type, you have questions. You might ask, "What are they going to spend my money on – beer and pizza? Office chairs with built-in massage? Solid gold paper clips? Limousines driving reporters to news stories?"

 UPDATED Sept. 15, 2016: KGOU has discontinued use of the streaming player described in this article. The current player in use is a product of Triton Digital.  For problems, please contact us.

UPDATED July 7, 2016: Anti-virus software installed on your computer can interfere with the new player. In particular, Sophos, the software used on University of Oklahoma computers, is known to interfere.

Original post:

KGOU's website is in transition today to a more mobile-friendly design, so that all the features available on can go with you wherever you go! This new "responsive" design optimizes the layout of each webpage according to the size of the viewer's screen.

The layout on a desktop or laptop computer has just a few changes -- the live audio stream is still accessible from the top of the screen, although now it's on the right side. The navigation bar underneath has just had a little facelift, and the news content flows underneath.

Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum

It's a day that we wish held no particular significance, but April 19, 1995 is etched in many Oklahomans' memory banks as the most horrific day in state history.

It started out as an ordinary day, or maybe some of us had plans to make it not so ordinary -- maybe a birthday or anniversary, a day off work or some other anticipated happening that would signify a break from routine.

KGOU staff
Jolly Brown / KGOU

KGOU and a journalism cooperative it leads, StateImpact Oklahoma, combined to sweep several categories of awards presented by the Society of Professional Journalists' Oklahoma Pro Chapter. The journalists' organization also honored KGOU General Manager Karen Holp as its Teacher of the Year for her work as adjunct faculty for the University of Oklahoma's Gaylord College of Journalism, teaching students who produce a program broadcast on KGOU.

The aftermath of the May 2013 tornado in Moore, Okla.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

On Wednesday, the Society of Professional Journalists honored KGOU, KOSU, and StateImpact Oklahoma with a national Sigma Delta Chi award for collaborative coverage during the immediate aftermath of the May 20, 2013 tornado that devastated Moore.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

If you documented any part of the tornadoes that devastated parts of Oklahoma in May of 2013 through still photography, KGOU is asking you to share your photos for possible inclusion in an exhibit marking the one-year anniversary.

numerals collage
Flickr Creative Commons

Like most non-profits, KGOU relies on volunteers during the busiest times of the year -- specifically, during our membership drives. We have great volunteers, and we'd like to add to their numbers -- the more, the merrier! We have a good time, even though it does get really busy sometimes.

Here's your chance to help out KGOU and the greater listening community. And so, without further ado and with my tongue firmly planted in my cheek, here are our top ten reasons to sign up now:

On-air and online coverage of education, global health and economic development, and racial issues will get a boost from $17 million in donations to NPR.

Manish Rai Jain / Flickr Creative Commons

Yes, I'm really going to compare public radio to a suspension bridge. They're very similar, don't you think?

And not just in the obvious ways.

It's easy to see that like a suspension bridge, public radio is a connector between communities, a way to get from Here to There, a conduit for the free exchange between points -- geographic or intellectual -- that seemed forever destined to be separated.