Monday, Nov. 25, 2013

Program Director Mark Keefe is Out at Radio Milwaukee

By Evan Rytlewski
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Radio Milwaukee's program manager Mark Keefe has parted ways with the station after three and a half years there, the station announced last week.

The Louisville, Ky., native brought big changes to the station, fine-tuning its programming and drastically trimming its once-sprawling playlist. Before his arrival, the station had something like 40 Rolling Stones songs in its playlist, he noted in a 2011 interview with the Shepherd. "There were a lot of them that were getting played, but once every two years, so you have to filter through that pile and say, 'Let's concentrate on a few of these so people will hear them,'" he said. "There's sort of a theory in commercial radio that the tighter, the better."

Those moves alienated some listeners who preferred the variety, but that more disciplined, commercial mindset helped the station grow its brand and its listenership—as well as its digs. This year the station moved from a modest basement base in an MPS office building to a large, sheik studio complex in the Third Ward.

"After helping get the station into a new, state-of-the-art studio complex and instituting a number of successful programming changes, I look forward to bringing my experiences here to new challenges," Keefe said in a statement.

"Mark was responsible for significantly improving our programming and format, bringing more energetic, professional and appealing elements to the station's sound," executive director Mary Louise Mussoline added. "We greatly appreciate Mark's work to make RadioMilwaukee a stronger station and wish him the best."

Casual 88Nine listeners probably won't feel Keefe's departure, at least not immediately. Station DJs Stephen Kallao and Jordan Lee are filling in on interim programming duties while the station scouts a permanent replacement, and Mussoline has indicated the station is committed to its current format.
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