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WRVO’s John Krauss Announces Retirement

OSWEGO — He was the very first voice heard on the air when WRVO signed on more than four decades ago.  Along the way, he served in just about every capacity possible at the station — and this morning, General Manager John Krauss announced he plans to retire at the end of the month.
Updated 3/10 with WRVO press release issued today.

Krauss made the announcement on the air, in the midst of WRVO’s Spring Fundraiser.  The station also reported on Krauss’ announcement on its Twitter feed — but your editor, who didn’t have much time to check Twitter today, thanks PD Fred Vigeant for contacting CNYRadio.com via email with the news.  Vigeant tells CNYRadio.com Krauss’ last day will be March 31st.

According to the WRVO Staff Bio page, Krauss was instrumental in expanding the reach of WRVO across Central and Northern New York — since WRVO signed on in 1969, the station has added a number of full-power repeaters and a number of translators in places like Syracuse, Utica, Watertown, Cortland and Hamilton.  WRVO also offers a full slate of programming on “WRVO Extra,” its HD2 channel, which is also streamed online for listeners who either don’t have HD Radio, or listen outside of HD signal range.

Full Press Release Issued 3/10/10 by WRVO

WRVO’s General Manager to Retire April 1
For Immediate Release

(Oswego)-  WRVO announces that long time General Manager John Krauss will retire on April 1st after 44 years in the radio business, 41 at WRVO.

Krauss started at WRVO on January 6, 1969 – the day the station signed on the air at SUNY-Oswego.  From a small 10 watt educational radio station, Krauss worked with his mentor Bill Shigley, a few staff and some college administrators who saw a big future for the fledgling station.  In the last four decades, WRVO has grown significantly during his tenure, the last 14 years with Krauss as GM.

WRVO increased its power to 1000 watts and joined NPR in January 1973 with the beginning of all-year service. Krauss was WRVO’s first news director and eventually worked his way though all areas of the operation. He was the station’s first morning host and later the long time producer of its old-time radio program, The WRVO Playhouse.

In 1976, WRVO increased its transmitter size again to 24,000 watts and began to serve the Syracuse region from its SUNY-Oswego home. The concept of listener supported radio was growing nationally and WRVO was no exception. Growth was dependent on the partnership between the listener and the College.  During 1977, Krauss guided the WRVO staff of five in its first on-air fundraising event.

By the mid 80’s WRVO had expanded its coverage area with transmitters in Watertown and Utica and Krauss became WRVO’s Assistant Station Manager, focusing on business operations and development activities.  A decade later, Bill Shigley, WRVO’s first General Manager retired and Krauss was appointed to his current position.

Krauss has been active nationally with professional peer groups relating to public broadcasting development and management. He served on the board of Eastern Regional Public Media, an association of public radio stations throughout the eastern portion of the US stretching from the deep south to down east in New England.

During his tenure, WRVO’s audience doubled and that growth led to increased listener and business financial contributions. WRVO became a 50,000 watt HD station and began WRVO Extra, a second news service. Combined with continued strong College support and federal funds through the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, WRVO became a very significant player in the Central New York media market.

Consistently ranking in the top 8 radio stations in Syracuse, WRVO became the premiere NPR News station for the region. Now 17 strong, the WRVO staff continues to deliver a quality radio service under Krauss’ leadership. Nationally, WRVO places in the top 15 NPR most listened to stations, based on percentage of population.

Krauss has reported on many of the events that shaped our world. Man on the Moon, Viet Nam and Middle Eastern Wars, national, state and local politics, environmental issues, the end of the Berlin Wall have all happened within the past 41 years.

Looking back Krauss said, “It has been a great time to be involved in radio. I’ve had a chance to work with wonderful people who shared the vision that WRVO could be all that it is today. Most of today’s WRVO staff are younger than the station, so it’s time to pass the torch and let them make WRVO even better. I’ll miss the regular interaction with our audience but I’m looking forward to the encore portion of my life with more challenges on the horizon.”

WRVO will celebrate Krauss’ 41 years at a special event in June with NPR’s Carl Kassel, who recently retired from his morning news gig. Krauss will also join Mark Lavonier for a look back at the 40 years of Old Time Radio on the WRVO Playhouse in late April.

WRVO is a multi-station service of SUNY-Oswego. Serving Syracuse, Utica, and Watertown and most of Central and Northern New York with a full-time news service and NPR programming.

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