Community radio station seeks to break Guinness World Record

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COLUMBIA – Community radio station KOPN hopes to break the record for most radio interviews in 24 hours. The challenge will start Saturday at noon at the station. 

KOPN General Manager Sean Spence said the idea to aim for a new record came out of a conversation between volunteers in the station.

"We're just sitting around, talking about things that we could do to do something fun for the community and get people thinking about KOPN," he said.

The Radio Station

Columbia resident Richard King, who signed up for an interview slot, said, "KOPN has always played outside the box in many respects."

He also said the radio station plays a significant role in the community.

"I used to say KOPN is one of the best-kept secrets in Columbia," he said. "They bring the diversity, in my opinion, you will not find at any other radio station, anywhere in mid-Missouri."

Spence said KOPN is supported by volunteers from the community.

"We are here just to support the people and be the voice of ordinary folks," he said. "We just provide, really, what our programmers want to provide, the things they want to share, whether it's music or talk."

Breaking a World Record

King said he is confident KOPN will break the world record, but recognizes it is "quite a challenge."

Although KOPN only needs 348 interviews to break the record, its goal is to get 500 in order to make sure it holds the title for a couple of years.

Pavlina Osta from Port Orange, Florida, currently is the current Guinness World Record holder for the most radio interviews. She conducted 347 of them in 2014. Osta asked five unique questions to each person she interviewed.

Spence said, "We have to interview really as many people as come in. We are doing the same thing they did with the original, which is interviewing people for two to three minutes long."

He said the goal is for people to get to know the work of the community radio station.

"We're just trying to remind people about KOPN, to get them involved with KOPN, to get them up there to the station," he said. "It's another example of us being a little different, a little crazy and really trying to do things with the community."

Spence said there will be a team greeting each person that comes to be part of the challenge. He will be in charge of being on the air for 24 hours doing all the interviews.

"I found a list of questions on the web and I'm just going to run through the questions," he said. "In some cases, people are letting us know what they want us to ask, so maybe they want to talk about an organization, or a cause, or a business."

Spence said for people who do not have a topic in mind, he will ask them things like their favorite color and favorite animal to get the conversation going.

King encouraged people to participate in the challenge, even those who might be afraid of going on the air.

"It's two minutes, get up there and tell your story," he said. "I think that there is so many different stories that you can listen to here in Columbia, stories to be told."

King said he won't have any trouble filling up his time slot.

"There's a lot to talk about in terms of KOPN and this Columbia community," he said.

KOPN has created a website for the event for people who want to take part.