KBBI program director named station’s new GM

The KBBI AM 890 Public Radio board of directors has appointed program director Terry Rensel to succeed Dave Anderson as general manager, KBBI announced in a press release last month. 

Anderson retired April 8. Rensel started Monday as the new general manager.

“After a comprehensive search process, the board is pleased to have found who we consider to be the best individual to assume leadership of KBBI,” said Dave Eckwert, president of KBBI’s board of directors. “Terry steps into the general manager position with nine years’ experience as the station’s program director, and he has a strong working knowledge not only of KBBI and our community but also the greater Alaska and national public broadcasting systems.”

Rensel’s prior public radio experience includes program director for WFPL in Louisville, Ky., and WUCF in Orlando, Fla. 

“We are fortunate to be able to advance someone with this much experience as well as a passionate belief in public broadcasting,” Eckwert said.

The board selected Rensel after a national search and interviews by the hiring committee, which included representatives of the board of directors, staff and station members.  

“I’m honored, and I’m grateful to the board for the opportunity to lead this exceptional organization of dedicated, talented professionals and volunteers,” Rensel said. “KBBI is a vital part of the Homer community, and I look forward to the opportunity to continue to strengthen the service that we provide.”

Rensel holds bachelor’s degrees in broadcast communications, and in history and political science, from the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, in Pennsylvania. He received a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Alaska Southeast, Juneau — a degree he earned while working full time at KBBI. 

He joined KBBI in 2007, coming from Erie, Pa. He began his professional career in broadcasting at stations in his hometown of Erie. Since coming to Homer, Rensel has served on the news advisory board of the Alaska Public Radio Network and on the city of Homer’s hazardous mitigation plan review committee. 

In the press release, Anderson expressed confidence in his successor.

“Terry brings years of experience to this position in the program and technical areas of KBBI’s broadcast operations, as well as in building relationships with local community members and organization,” Anderson said. “His skills will help the station as it deals with reduced state funding and consequent adjustments to operations. This is a position of great responsibility, and Terry has the experience to guide the station through these challenging times.”

A retirement party for Anderson is scheduled for Friday at Alice’s Champagne Palace. Doors open at 4 p.m. The celebration starts at 7:30 p.m., with music beginning at 8 p.m.

Anderson announced his retirement plans in January. He served as KBBI’s general manager for 11 years. He began working as a volunteer DJ at the station in 1981, then served in nearly every staff position including director of music, operations, development, and volunteers.