“Senator” Tim Kennedy
Radio DJ at WMRN
May 20, 2010
WMRN has served Marion, Ohio for over 40 years now. It first went on the air in the 1970’s and has had several name changes over the years. WMRN is currently owned by Clear Channel Communications and it is responsible for three radio stations. These three stations are 1490 AM Radio WMRN, FM 95.9 WYNT, and FM 94.3 WDIF. I visited Tim on May 10, 2010 at his studio where we did the interview. He gave me a tour of the building and to my surprise gave me a small interview on the air, which was definitely a first for me.
Tim has been in the radio business for many years now. He started back in 1983 when he was still in high school working for free at the Christian radio station in Upper Sandusky. Since then he also spent some time working at WNCI in Columbus which was one of his biggest successes. Tim said about WNCI, “I was so nervous when I got on the air, 175,000 watts – it was truly incredible. Just knowing I had that many listeners was a huge accomplishment for me.” Tim has many responsibilities at the studio and at home, where he does much of his work. One of the major things that Tim was working on the day of our interview was the Red Cross Radiothon that occurred Thursday, May 13th. It was a huge event at the studio that everyone had put time into for weeks. Regularly, he is the music director at WMRN which means he is responsible for the daily playlists and sweepers, the advertisements and fillers in between songs, getting made up. Tim is also the Digital Content Director, or the webmaster for all three radio stations. He updates all the websites regularly and makes sure they are running smoothly. Lastly, he is the Director of Integrated Marketing which means that he sells banner ideas for all three stations. Tim also is one of three people who are called immediately if the station has a dysfunction and goes off the air. He must figure out the problem and log into the virtual private network to get it up and running again. Tim has many jobs which he must do that keep him busy each and every day. When something comes up that needs done he gladly takes on the task and gets it done as sufficiently as possible. To me, Tim is a great definition of a hard worker at WMRN.
Tim is very passionate about his job and I could tell that just from interviewing him. He took a 4 year break in 1991 and in 1995 when he was offered a job at WMRN he took them up on their offer. “I had to go back, choosing another career just didn’t seem like an option anymore. It just seems like it’s what I was meant to do and I enjoy every day of it” says Tim. Tim explained to me that it has been his dream ever since the sixth grade. He had become interested in it way back then and had just never changed his mind about the job. When he’s on the air, there’s no place he’d rather be. Tim says, “It’s great to be on the air, connecting with listeners and speaking to them one-on-one. We truly are friends on the air.” The job gets stressful every now and then and the days can be long and tiring but each and every minute is worth it.
Tim has a big connection to his family which is one of the reasons he didn’t thoroughly enjoy working at WNCI. The studio was an hour away from home and he rarely got to see his family. He wasn’t at all used to that and decided to return to Upper Sandusky, his hometown. Throughout his career, his family has always given him love and support. At first they wanted him to be a musician but they saw that he really loved being on the radio so they decided to support him in whatever choice he made. Tim’s biggest life influences were his parents so when his father passed away last year it was very hard on him. They have never been unsupportive of his decisions and have helped him get to where he is today. Tim said about his parents, “I think having that kind of support in my life really pushed me to strive to achieve my biggest goals.” In the future, Tim hopes to have his own business. He would like to create websites for others and also do some audio work on the side. There’s no place he would rather be and he knows that for a fact because he has experienced many different opportunities in his life. From taking a break from his job to being a part-time worker for WNCI, WMRN has always been his favorite place to work. While discussing co-workers with Tim, I realized he really thinks greatly of everyone he works with. “It’s like a second family,” Tim says, “They are so supportive of you and everyone gladly helps one another at the studio.” He introduced me to his boss and the secretaries that were working that day and everyone was glad to hear that OSUM was putting students out into the community to do their work. Everyone was very polite and I understood why Tim had said his radio crew was just like his second family.
Tim strongly believes that if you try your best, you will get rewarded for it. He explained to me that persevering is one of the most important themes in how he got where he is today. Tim had absolutely no experience in the radio business when he first began. It all started with a demo tape that he had made by himself at home. He sent it along with a resume to several radio stations and received no response from any of them. Although he could have just given up then and changed his mind, he didn’t. Finally after trying for several weeks, he was offered at position in Upper Sandusky. Although he didn’t receive pay for his work there it was still good to get some experience in the business. If he had given up then, he would have never made it to where he is today. I asked Tim if he had any advice for those pursuing a new career. He explained that you should learn to deal with rejection because you’re not always going to get the job the first time. Also motivation was a big part of his job search and he thought that it would be recommended for anyone. Finally I asked Tim his view of what the American Dream really was. It truly showed me how much he loved his job when he responded with, “I think for me, I’m living my dream!”