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Bruce Kropp

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WJBD General Manager/News Director

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I first joined WJBD radio in 1979 as News Director at the age of 23.  As I was growing up, I never was interested in doing anything except being in journalism and radio.  I pestered the editor of a weekly newspaper in suburban St. Louis where I grew up to hire me when I was a freshman in high school.  I wrote sports stories all through high school.  I finally got the opportunity to move to radio when I talked the owner of a St. Louis area Top 40 station to let me work the Sunday morning shift no one else wanted.  I eventually started doing the Sunday morning Public Affairs show and when the news director was in a serious wreck I talked my way into that job and managed to do it while still going to college. 

After stops in Bloomington and Centralia, IL I was introduced to the original owner of WJBD radio Bryan Davidson and eventually came to WJBD as News Director.  I had no plans at the time to stay in Salem long-term and was talked into leaving by aChicago radio executive who had bought his own station in Rockford.  It was there I quickly learned I liked the small town atmosphere much better and the role radio played in smaller communities.  About a year later, I returned to WJBD and have been here ever since.   Overtime, I broadened my skills to include sales, promotions, and engineering.  I became assistant General Manager in 1985 and General Manager in 1991. 

I'm proud of the role WJBD plays in Marion County and am pleased with the opportunities I've been given to first split the programming of WJBD AM and FM and then to begin WJBDradio.com that has become the premiere website for local news, sports, photos and weather information.  I've also been privileged to work with a very talented staff over the years that have made WJBD what it is today.  I'm especially proud of being able to help so many young people get their start in radio and grow to enjoy the profession as much as I do. 

34 years after first getting in front of a microphone for the first time, I still enjoy my daily routine that begins with gathering the morning news at four each morning.  After all, how many people have the opportunity to have a job that is different every day and can chronicle history as it happens.   I would never want to give up my involvement in all the activities in the area over the years.  It's amazing what can be done when everyone puts their talents together to better the entire community.  There's also special pleasure in working hand in hand with businesses to help them grow through the effective use of WJBD radio. 

If you have any news item to share, have a comment or suggestion about our programming, or have an interest in getting into the radio field, feel free to send me an e-mail at the above address.  I'd love to hear from you!!!

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