On Its 30th Anniversary, WRDN Hosts Reunion Of Former On-Air Personalities

On November 28, NAFB President Brian Winnekins, owner of WRDN Radio (Durand, WI) hosted a reunion of past staff members. Fifteen staff members dating back as far as 1972 joined Brian and Martha Gingras on air to reminisce about their time working at WRDN. Just like now, agriculture was an important part of the broadcast day at WRDN and many of the staff members remember having to fill in to do the Farm Report. For many of the former staff members, working at WRDN was a stepping stone to larger radio markets or new careers in television.

Brian Winnekins, left, owner of WRDN-AM (Durand,WI) brought back former on-air personalities to celebrate the station and the community. Martha Gingras, right, worked at the station in the 1980s and returned last summer as an on-air personality. (Leader-Telegram Staff Photo by Pamela Powers)

The reunion was organized by Martha Gingras and was held during the Durand Improvement Group's Holidazzle Day that has events to encourage shopping in Downtown Durand during the holidays. “Because the WRDN studio is located in Downtown Durand, it was decided that the Holidazzle Day would be a perfect fit to help promote the station and the downtown businesses,” Brian said. Listeners were invited to stop by the station to meet with former staff and then shop. “Listeners and business owners commented on how much they enjoyed listening to the stories of the past staff members on air and having the chance to catch up with them,” he added.  It was so successful, Brian and Martha are planning another reunion next June during the Durand Fun Fest celebration. Brian said, “The reunion was another example of the support that the Durand community continues to show to the station. Since putting the station back on the air in 2012, I have been so humbled by the continued support that listeners and business owners show each and every day for the station.” Many from the Durand area have written the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in support of changes to the AM Broadcast Band. Also, he said listeners have encouraged businesses to advertise with WRDN and have supported those businesses. “Owning the station has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my radio career.” Brian credits the support of the Durand community to the station’s support of the area. “From farm news and markets throughout the day, to local news and high school sports, WRDN is an example of how a standalone AM station in a small town can succeed.”