This article brought tears to my eyes.
Jay Austin K99-FM

This article brought tears to my eyes.

I always dreamed of working in radio. When no one would give me a job, I found a partner, Bob Lochte. Then we found a lot of debt and a station so crummy in Pulaski Tennessee that we could afford to buy it. I was thrilled to be in radio. Bob did such a great job with the music and programming that It quickly became successful. In a few years the competition bought us out to get rid of us.

After a disappointing experience in television, my next radio job was working at K99Fm in Biloxi Mississippi with Bob Lima with Rick Mize, two of the most talented radio guys I ever met. It was incredibly fun and remarkably successful.

Along came the heavy hand of Triathlon (later Clear Channel) gobbling up stations and putting the accountants in charge. One year was all I could stand, so I bought a struggling station in McCook, Nebraska, beginning an amazing ten year local radio adventure that included building a second station there. In tiny McCook, we were named station of the year by new Music Weekly Magazine, the award for Nebraska’s best newscast by AP, and we won the hearts and minds of regular people in southwest Nebraska and Northwest Kansas. Radio was fun again because we did it all locally. We did it for the listeners. The advertisers sure liked it too.

Ten years later we got an offer so good, we sold out, but not to our competitor who wanted to own everything in town. He kept the local people and didn’t kill the magic.

Cherry Creek Radio hired me and said they wanted me to run their radio stations in Montrose Colorado the way I had run mine. Six years later when slammed by the great recession, I knew that, if what they had said was ever true, it certainly no was longer so.

I subsequently worked a few months for Cumulus. It was one of the worst places I have ever been. Having worked for the two so-called giants of the business I can tell you that radio is dying of self inflicted wounds. Voices in the wilderness like WWCD are its last best hope.

Thanks Bob Lochte, Bob Lima, Rick Mize, Pulaski Tennessee and McCook Nebraska for a great ride. Local radio can truly be mag

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