Karen Pharis of Van Buren, currently serves as Secretary and co-owner of Pharis Broadcasting, Inc., an Arkansas corporation. A native of Chicago, Illinois, Karen is a graduate of Fort Smith Northside High School, and later earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Broadcast Journalism from the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. Karen has held the roles of reporter, assignments editor, news director, and anchor at Channel 5 (CBS) and Channel 24 (NBC) in Fort Smith before she and husband, Bill, launched AM radio station KAYR in Van Buren. The two later brought the FOX television network to the Fort Smith market with FOX 46 Television where she hosted “46 Good Day.” Currently, Karen serves as General Manager of the Fort Smith Radio Group which operates five local radio stations–KQBK-FM (kool 104), KFPW-FM (the Fort 94.5), KFPW-AM (the Marshal 1230), KHGG-FM/AM (the SportsHog 103.1/1580). She is the Producer/Host of “Arklahoma Today” which airs from 7:00 am to 8:00 am weekdays on KFPW-AM and KHGG-FM/AM and is simulcast on the internet at www.Arklahomavision.com.
An active member of her community, Karen serves as the Secretary of the Van Buren Civil Service Commission, and is Chair of The Degen Foundation. A graduate of Leadership Fort Smith, Karen has also served on the board of the Fort Smith Art Center, parish council secretary at St. Michael Church, the GFWC Women’s League of Van Buren, and as publicity chair for the Arkansas GFWC. Karen and Bill have three children; Billy, a Springdale attorney and former professional basketball player in Lebanon and Denmark; Laurie Blasingame, DPT of Fayetteville; and Michael Pharis, a Board Certified Clinical Specialist in Neurologic Physical Therapy in Fort Smith, and four grandchildren.