Campbell, Janet

Sommer Campbell
Year Inducted: 
Janet Sommer Campbell
  • Director of Kansas Audio-Reader
  • General Manager of Kansas Public Radio
  • Appointee to the Governor’s Cultural Affairs Council

Janet Campbell has been inspiring staff and volunteers to lend their voices to public radio for over 30 years. Janet began her career as a secretary 34 years ago; she now directs two of the most prominent public radio programs in the state.

Janet graduated from the University of Kansas in 1979 with a B.S. in Education with an emphasis on Special Education. That year she put her education, skills, and passion to practice by joining Kansas Audio-Reader, a 24-hour a day, volunteer-driven service that reaches more than 6,000 visually impaired listeners across Kansas and western Missouri. Nine years later Janet became the Director of Kansas Audio-Reader and retains that position today. Under her guidance, Audio-Reader grew to be the second largest service of its kind in the country and was one of the first to pioneer the use of cable television and the internet for program distribution. Over the years her dedication and charisma has garnered Audio-Reader crucial grants, political and public support, and a large group of committed volunteers.

In addition to her role as Director of Audio-Reader, Janet serves as the General Manager of Kansas Public Radio (KPR). KPR is an award-winning service of the University of Kansas that provides continuous broadcasts of news and cultural programs to more than 100,000 listeners through a network that covers northeast and east-central Kansas, the Kansas City metro area, and portions of southeast Kansas. Janet became the interim director of KPR in 1997 and two years later she was named General Manager. Her positions at KPR and Audio-Reader were combined and she has successfully managed and grown both organizations ever since. Janet also volunteers her talents to many community organizations. She has been a member of the Kansas Association of Broadcasters Board of Directors since 2009, was appointed to the Governor’s Cultural Affairs Council in 2005 and is an active in her church.

One of Janet’s nominators wrote that everyone who uses the services of Audio-Reader or tunes into KPR should thank her “for her vision of public broadcasting, her accomplishment of that vision, and her nearly 35 years of commitment to her alma mater’s mission of outreach and service.”

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