After 17 years of dedicated service to our communities and our radio station group, Ken Byers is retiring. Life is not an autobiography and I’m sure this is not the time Ken had in mind to give up his lifelong dream career. However, due to health problems requiring ongoing treatment, Ken is no longer anchoring “The Morning Mix” on KPPV and he will be missed by his co-workers and his audience who have been encouraged to “buckle up” ever since September, 2001 right after 9/11 when Ken came to work for KPPV and KQNA. Little did any of us know at that time that we would experience a growth from just two stations in the Prescott area to now eight stations covering six Arizona markets all under Ken’s leadership.
Born in West Virginia, Ken began his Arizona radio career in 1990 at KCKY in Coolidge and quickly advanced to a position with KTAR in Phoenix the following year helping with technical and production for the Pat McMahon show. Ken was able to rub elbows with the likes of Walter Cronkite, Alice Cooper and Paul Harvey.
Ken wanted to be an on air personality so in 2000 he left KTAR to be the morning voice of KTHQ in Show Low. So when Ken made to move the following year to KPPV and KQNA he considered that an advancement. What followed was an award winning career that saw Ken grow in stature from morning announcer to production supervisor to Vice President of Broadcast Operations with what became Arizona’s Hometown Radio Group. He has garnered several Associated Press awards for Best Newscast and Best Live Reporting. Ken also earned a “Silver Microphone” for creation of the KPPV 20 year anniversary montages.
However, Ken Byers contributions to our local communities goes way beyond what he did on the air. Among the many charitable organizations Ken has actively supported and volunteered for over the past 17 years include Yavapai Big Bros, Boys and Girls Club, United Way, Trauma Intervention program and all local Chambers of Commerce. Ken has voluntarily emceed hundreds of events seeking to make each one both fun and successful for sponsoring organizations.
What will he miss most about being in radio? “The relationships I have been fortunate to create and to be able to work at my life’s ‘dream job’. The hardest thing for me is to leave a job and people that I love so dearly who have been supportive even while I have been going to Phoenix for daily treatments. This is what I have wanted to do even as a little kid so that makes it hard to leave.”
It’s hard for us, too.
To see photos, or send a message to Ken, go to KPPV’s website.