Michelle Keenan

Membership Director

Michelle Keenan is the Director of Membership at Blue Ridge Public Radio. She began volunteering for the station in 1996 and has been a full-time staff member since 1998.

The daughter of a pilot, Michelle grew up in many places but chose Western North Carolina as her home more than 20 years ago. Michelle has a BA in History from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Shortly after college Michelle realized what she really wanted to be when she grew up was a philanthropist. Sans silver spoon, she channeled that energy into raising money and a fundraiser was born. Michelle believes deeply in public broadcasting and is proud to be a member of the Blue Ridge Public Radio family.

Michelle enjoys many creative outlets, traveling and spending time with two and four legged family members and good friends.

Ways to Connect

WCQS, in conjunction with Innovation Arts Entertainment, is presenting two shows next spring that will be near and dear to the hearts of public radio fans - “A Very Special Evening with Garrison Keillor” March 10 and “An Evening with David Sedaris” April 19. 

Maybe you did it for the tote bag. Maybe you did it for great radio. But you did it!

Our thanks to the 1,600 contributing listeners who supported our fall membership drive, raising more than $200,000 for WCQS, to pay for the programming you rely on every day.

We also welcome more than 260 new members into the WCQS family. 

We want to thank all of our contributing listeners across Western North Carolina.

We are committed to honoring your trust and support. You will hear our thanks every day. 

Update! - 9:45 a.m 10/15/14. Listeners met the goal for the Brother Wolf Challenge! Brother Wolf will now receive $10,000 in life-saving veterinary services from Western Carolina Veterinary Surgery for animals in need! Thank you!

The Board of Directors of WCQS, the region’s public radio station, has sold its ownership in the office condominium building it occupies at 73 Broadway to Tuckers Town LLC. The announcement was made today by President and CEO Jody Evans.

Fall is here, and all across the country, college students are returning to campus - and so is BackStory. Last year, President Obama proposed sweeping changes to the way government helps to finance students’ higher education, and an unprecedented system of collegiate rankings – all in the name of greater access and better value for the “consumer.” But others object to a consumerist mentality in the realm of higher education, and the application of “business” models to its institutions.

A special note to our listeners in Franklin, Macon County and North Georgia – listening to WCQS at 91.3 FM:

On Tuesday, October 7th, Duke Power will replace a power line that feeds our transmitter site. We hope to remain on the air throughout the process – but we can’t be sure.  So you may find yourself without the programming you count on for a while.

We’re working with Duke – and working hard to remain on the air - uninterrupted. We’ll do our best – but we wanted to let you know about a potential outage for Tuesday  October 7th.

For more information call 210-4800.

For many Americans, the storyline that played out on August 9th in Ferguson, Mo. — when an unarmed black teenager was fatally shot by a white police officer — is not a new one. But the sustained protests that followed, in which Ferguson police used military equipment to suppress peaceful protests, have generated a new round of questioning about local police’s role in their communities.

We’re looking inside the Islamic State: as a phenomenon and as America’s latest enemy in the endless war on terror. Do we know who they are, or how we plan to defeat them? President Obama says they aren’t Islamic and aren’t a state. It’s clear they’re a dangerous mad storm of Arab anger armed, in part, with hand-me-down American weapons. Could this be the coming Caliphate that Dick Cheney warned us against? What if it’s blowback that his Iraq War fired up?

That's Inside The Islamic State - a documentary special on WCQS tonight at 6.

Evan Vucci/AP

Tonight at 9 WCQS will carry NPR News special coverage. In a national address, President Obama will outline his latest strategy for dealing with the militant group, ISIS. Join WCQS for live coverage of the president's speech and in-depth analysis from NPR. 

Related coverage from NPR:

Obama To Push Military Campaign Against Islamic State Militants

Congratulations to Kathleen Baluha of Hendersonville. Kathleen is the lucky winner among 999 entrants to the Ticket to Ride Summer Raffle. Now Kathleen gets to decide whether she wants the Audi A3 Sedan, the VW TDI JettaSportWagen or a VW Beetle Convertible from Harmony Motors. Decisions, Decisions!

Thanks to everyone who entered the WCQS Ticket to Ride Summer Raffle. With your help it was a great success and sell-out!

Thanks to everyone who entered the WCQS Ticket to Ride Summer Raffle. With your help it was a great success and sell-out! We'll announce the winner Wednesday, August 27th, during All Things Considered.

WCQS afternoon host Trent Henley is leaving the airwaves to attend nursing school at Blue Ridge Community College. Trent joined WCQS in June 2006 and has been your reliable and charming afternoon voice during Fresh Air, All Things Considered, and Marketplace.  In addition to hosting on WCQS,  Trent has been providing music at wedding receptions and special events around Western North Carolina.    

This summer, we’re taking listeners to a place where science and the humanities meet. The Really Big Questions – a series of five, hour-long programs from SoundVision Productions – brings together scientists, philosophers and regular folks for a scintillating exploration of human nature guided by five enduring questions.

Hosted by writer, broadcaster and composer Dean Olsher, this content pairs nicely with all your listeners' summertime musing.

Tune in Saturday at 3 or Sunday at 6 for a debate on fracking. Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, has changed the energy landscape across America by making natural gas abundant and cheap. To some it’s a blessing. To others it’s a curse. Supporters say natural gas is a clean alternative to coal and a bridge to a green energy future. Opponents say that it’s poisoning our water and methane leaks from the wells actually make it a bigger climate polluter than coal.

Tune in Wednesday, July 2nd at 7 p.m. for The Capitol Steps’ 4th of July special, “Politics Takes a Holiday.” The Capitol Steps will address timely issues set to show tunes! There’s John Kerry singing “How Do You Solve a Problem Like Crimea? And Hillary Clinton admonishing Joe Biden to “Let It Go” when it comes to running for president. It’s a show so clogged with jokes that Chris Christie threatened to shut it down!


The winner will be drawn at random and announced August 27th.

See a full raffle & prize description!

*See official rules!

See previous winners!

We may have fallen short during our spring membership drive earlier this spring, but listeners rallied for our 1-Day Drive! The drive was a tremendous success, raising $27,000 and helping WCQS meet its spring goal and keeping WCQS on track.

Listener support is WCQS's largest and most reliable source of funding. Listener support pays for the programs you rely on. Listener support keeps WCQS a strong and independent source for news, music and entertainment in Western North Carolina.

WCQS missed its goal during the Spring Membership Drive last month. It is essential that we meet our goals in order to continue to provide the programming you rely on every day. We are holding a one-day drive today to raise $10,000 to keep WCQS on track.

Make a contribution to WCQS today and you'll also be entered to win an iPad and you'll help help pay for the programming you rely on every day.


WCQS will soon air WUNC’s “The State of Things” on a regular basis, thanks to an ongoing partnership between WCQS and WUNC, headquartered in Chapel Hill. Starting June 2, the popular WUNC public affairs show hosted by Frank Stasio can be heard live on WCQS each weekday from noon to 1 p.m.

Real America: Guns in America will air Saturday at three and Sunday at six. This special explores America’s gun culture through snapshots of how different communities deal with violence by taking a look at three very different stories around gun control.


Our thanks to more than 2,600 people who contributed to WCQS this spring. Unfortunately we fell short of our $275,000 goal. Meeting the goal is essential in order to pay for the programming you appreciate and value. We're making progress, but we still have about $25,000 to raise to end the spring campaign successfully.

Reveal is a new investigative program from the Center for Investigative Reporting and PRX. On this Reveal pilot, WBEZ reporters show how heroin moves from Juarez to Chicago and into the Midwest; reports from inside "The Box" from teens in solitary confinement; and an update on the Center for Investigative Reporting's examination of prescription drug abuse in the VA.

Reveal is hosted by Al Letson from State of the Re:Union.

Western North Carolina Public Radio teams up with WUNC-FM in Chapel Hill to celebrate Moogfest and Western North Carolina April 24 and 25 with special broadcasts of The State of Things, live from the WCQS studios each day at noon.

Mind The Gap. It originated in the London Underground and has been adopted by transit systems around the world. We’re minding our own gap here at WCQS – a [now] $25,000 gap between the money it takes to bring you Morning Edition, All Things Considered, classical music, our local news, Car Talk and other programs – and the money raised during our spring membership drive.

Our thanks to everyone who pledged to help shorten the Spring Membership drive and to those of you who gave during the drive. Unfortunately the on-air drive fell far short of its goal.  We still have $40,000 left to raise to reach our $275,00. Meeting the goal is imperative to continue to provide the programming you rely on.

As you probably heard on NPR earlier this week, a very serious bug dubbed the "Heartbleed" bug has been discovered that can put data transmitted over some secure websites at risk. We wanted to let listeners know that our web site is safe.

The WCQS web site is hosted by NPR Digital. NPR reports that its station sites are safe from the Heartbleed virus. Rest assured, data transmitted via our support pages is also secure. The hardware used to encrypt data in our giving module does not make use of the OpenSSL libraries that are susceptible to the Heartbleed bug.

We need your help right now! More than 1,500 people worked together to shorten this drive. Now we're counting on many more of you to do your part and work with us to end this drive successfully. The deadline is tomorrow! We committed to a shorter drive, but we must meet our goal.

WCQS is only as vibrant and vital as the community we serve. That’s why we are partnering with Asheville Humane Society this morning, but we need your help!

Your contribution to WCQS right now will be matched dollar-for-dollar to benefit Asheville Humane Society's Safety Net Program.