by Tony E. Rutherford, News Editor
Community Radio Prevails at Kindred; iHeart Moves Toward Nationwide Programming Standards

As part of a nationwide restructuring, iHeart radio has layed off hundreds of personalities at their over 850 broadcast outlets nationwide. One statement from the corporation indicated "artificial intelligence" may be added to their technical capacity.

Mark Wood and Jon Brannon, B97's morning team on the Woody and Professor Show in Huntington, were let go. Also laid off was WTCR-FM’s Nick Kuhn, who was a program director and on-air personality.

iHeart stations in the Huntington market are WKEE FM, WTCR FM, BEE 97, Brew 106.3, WVHU, 1230 abd 1420 a.m. 

Community minded and locally owned, Kindred Communications operates  The Dawg, Big Buck Country, The Planet, The River, 930 am, 94.1, 1340 am and 93.3.

Mike Kirtner formed Kindred after starting his career at WMUL-FM. The company has been active in community events and maintaining local personalities on the air. 

Kirtner has not spoken on the iHeart decision. However, in a posting, for which he granted HNN permission to publish, he reflects on "the competition's" decision. 

KIRTNER:

I’ve avoided comments as a professional courtesy.

I’ve been asked several times of my opinion.

As much as I understand the financial pressure on I Heart to curtail costs, I disagree with their long term strategy.

Radio deserted National Network Broadcasting beginning in late 40’s to mid 50’s. Television was in its infancy and assumed the role as a national medium. Not surprisingly, with streaming, tv will need to find its way into becoming more local..have you noticed the increase of news and local public affairs? A 4am news cast wouldn’t have been considered a decade ago.

Content remains king! Regardless of the media.

It’s Kindred’s philosophy to be committed to community. Financially speaking, we may have taken this approach too far. However, as a corporate neighbor in the Tristate we want to give back.

Our involvement with Dawg Dazzle, Pullman Square, Octoberfest, Marshall..etc, doesn’t come to us for free. However, we feel it’s an important role for us. We’ll continue to be be promotional active as long as the business community partners with us and the community responds.

Local air personalities are the cornerstone of our company. I hope you know who they are and support them as you do us.

I believe the long term viability of radio..like all media, will be a commitment to being local. The risk involves the financial health of the area..

We’ll do our part to help it grow.

I hope you’ll support us by listening.. attending and enjoying our work..

Thanks for reading this ..we’re moving forward..time will tell if who is right..
As an insider..I’ve never lost by betting on myself," said Kirtner. 

 

iHeartMedia and its predecessor companies have always envisioned themselves as being more than just a broadcasting company with its continuous investment in tech and data platforms. Every move the company made this week comes as the company tries to figure out how to better utilize all of that techn...  

Kindred Communications is still doing radio as it was meant to be... AS is Community Broadcasters, Inc. that carries The PressBox in SC!! Local announcers, Local Clients, Locally produced commercials with no PSAs just to fill the spotset! Listeners, please don't give up on YOUR community, like iHeart Media did last week by Firing over 1000 employees nationwide in local markets to make way for mindless, dare I say, Heartless "corporate" programming that forsakes the communities that they took an oath with the FCC to serve! Thank You Jim LevenBruce J. Mittman and Mike Kirtner for keeping the soul in the industry I love... It's all I've ever wanted to do!

iHeartMedia and its predecessor companies have always envisioned themselves as being more than just a broadcasting company with its continuous investment in tech and data platforms. Every move the company made this week comes as the company tries to figure out how to better utilize all of that techn...