It’s the ultimate full circle moment for Delilah. The station that first opened the door to radio’s biggest female personality signed back on at 10:30am on Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 6 after two years of silence. After an extensive effort to bring the physical plant for KDUN-AM Reedsport OR (1030) up to code, Delilah Rene and a handpicked team of broadcasters launched what is branded as “The Heart of the Oregon Coast” and “The Voice of the Oregon Dunes.”
The revived KDUN, which Rene’s Big Shoes Productions purchased from Post Rock Communications for $60,000, features the husband and wife team of Marshall Johnson and Alexis Johnson in mornings. Smokey Rivers is heard in afternoons, via Clear Media Networks’ “Big Oldies” service. Delilah’s self-titled syndicated program airs each night, 6pm – Midnight.
Delilah earlier worked at radio stations programmed by Rivers in Tucson and Seattle. “Delilah has a high level of trust in Smokey’s local market programming and he’s helped her create this radio station using his 24 hour music format,” said Sound Mind President Kraig Kitchin, who represents Rene and first worked with her as President of Premiere Networks, which syndicates her nightly show to 130 radio stations. “The music format [is] reflective of Delilah’s first days on the air, playing a combination of gold and classic hits, from the Bee Gees to the Eagles, from Aretha Franklin to the Rolling Stones.”
Delilah’s on-air involvement will go beyond airing her syndicated show. She currently broadcasts from her home in Port Orchard, WA, which is about a six-hour drive from Reedsport.
In addition, local areas hosts Bob Larson and Frank Armendariz will appear regularly highlighting the active outdoor activities of the Oregon coastal region: fishing on the region’s three rivers, 17 freshwater lakes and in the Pacific Ocean; dune exploration, hiking and other activities that come with being located in the heart of the Oregon Dunes National Recreational Area. Voiceover and imaging artist Chris Duffy is imaging the radio station.
The station also includes the involvement of Reedsport Mayor Linda McCollum.
Extensive Engineering Efforts
Getting the station back on the air required an extensive retooling of the physical plant, where the transmitter and tower are located. The tower has been re-painted, and re-lit, to comply with FAA guidelines, and the transmitter has undergone extensive maintenance. Located close to the Pacific Ocean and its sea air, let alone the rain and wind Oregon is famous for, required extra work to be performed on the transmitter and electrical connections.
Craig Ruark, the broker facilitating the purchase, provided the engineering and re-building oversight.
New studios are being built in a restored building to be shared with the Oregon Coast School of Art. “The KDUN AM studios will be in rooms that are modified, save the chalk boards that Delilah asked to be kept on the walls,” Kitchen says.
Rene, 61, is a native of Reedsport and while still in junior high school she got her first radio job at KDUN – then at 1470 AM – after winning a speech contest in 1974 that was judged by the station’s former owners. They enlisted her to report on school news and sports, and she hosted “Delilah On the Warpath” commentaries. Rene also produced commercials which led to her doing on-air work. After graduating high school, Rene went on to work at several stations in Oregon before landing at KLSY Seattle in 1984 where the style of show that most radio listeners know the Broadcasting Hall of Fame winner for today was developed.
“This the ultimate full circle moment for Delilah, and she’s continually reinforced by members of her hometown community of Reedsport with thanks that they will have a local media outlet again to share the voices of the community, of all ages, and a way to distribute news of the community,” said Kitchin.