After 27 years, a sad farewell from Kevin O

Saying goodbye is never easy. Life after 50 has been full of more twists and detours than I imagined in my 20’s. Just when I thought I’d settled into the final chapters of my career in radio, an opportunity for change came my way recently. I have accepted a full time position as a classical announcer and producer at Minnesota Public Radio/American Public Media. My last day on the air will be January 4th 2022. I have held the music reins at KBEM for 27 years and hosted “The Afternoon Cruise” since 2000. This is an unprecedented run, certainly for me. I’d never worked anywhere longer than 3 years when I arrived at North High in 1995. Then employees Ed Jones and Terry Walker took pity on me and put me to work immediately.Listening to the history moments produced by Sam Keenan has been a bittersweet experience for me: Reliving the the joy and tribulations of this great station over the decades. Of course, I am saddened to leave what has become a family of listeners, musicians and colleagues. Mostly I’ll miss the comfort. The privilege of choosing and sharing jazz music with you is something I’ve never taken lightly.Highlights for me, beyond the show I’m known for and the music director gig: Hosting “Just Good Music” and “Celtic Nation.” Remember them? Also-knowing so many people I wouldn’t have otherwise come into contact with. The only one I will list, lest I forget somebody, is the late Ed Garrett. He was my predecessor in the afternoons and we had a kinship both professional and personal that I’ll never forget. Sadly we have little to no archives of him to share for our history on-air.I am so grateful for the support we have received over the years and am truly proud to play even a minor role in the growth and sound of KBEM.  I expect great things in the future and thank you for reading my little music tirades and sticking with me on the air. Peace in the New Year and goodbye.



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