A local radio station is marking a special anniversary next month.
KMAQ in Maquoketa will turn 60 years old on August 26th.
One man has been there since day one.
Local 4’s Tahera Rahman sat down with Dennis Voy about how he got to the station and why he keeps it running decades later.
“Was here one week before the station went on the air,” says Voy, who is now KMAQ owner and manager.
Dennis was 19 years old when he came to the station.
“I read where there was a new radio station being built in Maquoketa. I sent a letter of application and another letter, made a little visit to the owner and finally got the job.”
He told his mom he was opting out of the University of Wisconsin.
“[I] told her, ‘I’m going down to mah-koh-keeta’ and I’m going to see how I like it and after I get some experience I’ll come back up here to Wisconsin.'”
But one year turned into seven.
“There was an opportunity in 1965 to buy the station and with the help of my parents I was able to scratch up some down payment.”
And that turned into a few more.
“60 years later I’m still here,” Voys says.
Although there have been some hitches in the frequency of time…
“Radios, newspapers are finding it quite different today to keep up with new technology, so that’s an extra challenge that we’re meeting here at KMAQ.”
The core of his job keeps Voy coming back.
“There’s always something new everyday and when we come to work every day in the morning you just never know what’s going to happen,” he says.
In a world that’s constantly changing, Voy says people can always find comfort in small town radio.
“Even though they can get some of these things through other media, it’s still pretty easy to turn that radio on,” explains Voy.
“It costs you nothing to have that service. I think as long as radio service is free and gives them information on a regular daily basis I think radio is going to survive.”
And whether it be Dennis’ daily report online or daily interview program on the air, he hopes to be part of that community comfort for a few more years, yet.
“I may be here five years from now or maybe longer but as long as I’m able to do it, I think I will,” says Voy.