Goodbye to WNPR's "Community Builder"
Today is the final day for Kim Grehn at WNPR.
Kim served for more than 20 years as WNPR’s Program Director, and later as Vice President of Radio.
If you listen to Where We Live…or any of the news programming on WNPR, you have Kim to thank.
WNPR was founded as a classical music service more than 30 years ago – but as times, and listener expectations changed, Kim led an effort to make WNPR into the best radio news service in the state – and one of the leading public radio news operations in the country.
And it wasn't without taking personal hits. My favorite listener put-down shouted at Kim during a controversial change in programming? A guy called him a "Bird-brained Wisenheimer." He still laughs at that one.
It was through his efforts that Where We Live was born. He wanted this show to be a daily forum for intelligent, civil conversation and without him, it never would have happened.
Those of us who know him and his work know that Kim often communicates in charts and graphs. Showing audience trends, programming appeal and listener habits. But more than any programmer I’ve met in radio, Kim understood that those lines and dots represent real people who want to be informed, engaged and enlightened by their radio station. People who want to connect with others, and share stories.
Before Kim became one of the national leaders in radio programming and research, public radio stations were known for programming to “personal tastes” or for “educational purposes.” But Kim’s mantra was simple…if they’re not listening, you’re not serving anybody.
Kim Grehn taught WNPR to think about its audience as a community…striving for the common goal of living in a better city, a better state, and a better world.
He leaves a big hole in WNPR – but he leaves our world better for the work he did.
For everyone at WNPR, I wish Kim the best...and thanks.