KTUF-FM‘s Helen Adams is retiring after 45 years of service. She began her stint at the Kirksville, Missouri FM country music radio station in 1967.
“When I started here I was fresh out of high school: secretary, receptionist, traffic controller who schedules the commercials on the programs,” Adams recalled. “I did that for eighteen years.”
Then in 1986, noticing the fine quality of her voice, the station manager approached her about becoming an on-air host. “What happens if it doesn’t work out?” Adams asked. “Too bad. It’s sink or swim Helen,” came the reply. “So I didn’t want to sink, so I swam and I loved it!”
Congratulations to Adams on a great career. But I’m wondering if receptionists still get hired as on-air commercial radio hosts any more. Does that kind of inspiring from-the-bottom-up trajectory still happen?
My tentative answer is that, thanks to media consolidation, it doesn’t. But you never know. It would be great to hear what Radio Survivor readers in the field have to say.