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Posted May 16, 2012 | comments 3 Comments

Back on the air

Gunning returns to Winchester radio station

By Sally Voth -- svoth@nvdaily.com

A familiar voice is back on the air at 92.5 WINC-FM.

Dave Gunning is back after a four-year hiatus.

The 31-year-old started as the midday host on Friday, according to programming director Brian Beddow. He said Gunning is working the 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. shift during the week, and will be on the radio 8 p.m. to midnight on Saturdays.

"Paula Kidwell had done that show 9 to 1 for about 10 years," Beddow said. "She has left to pursue a career at a winery in Purcellville. Dave had worked here previously, and had left to work in Frederick, Md., where he became a program director and also hosted a morning show. We just felt he was the perfect match for us.

"Friday was his first day on the air. It went very well. A lot of the listeners remembered him from when he was here before."

Gunning, a Baltimore native, said he first started working at WINC in 2004. He said he'd been good friends with Kidwell since he first started working for the station, and when she decided to go to work at Notaviva Vineyard, she suggested he apply for the position.

At the time, Gunning had been out of radio about six months, working as an Apple IT contractor, and feeling a little frustrated. He was ready to return to the airwaves.

"It's not until you get out of it you realize how much you were meant to do it," Gunning said. "When I was a kid, I always had the little Fisher Price boom box with the microphone. My two cousins on the one side are all in media and entertainment. We used to make little newscasts."

He'd been warned about choosing a broadcasting career by his parents who were concerned it would be a hard way to make a living. But, Sept. 11 saw him glued to the TV and radio.

"All I could think about was how important those people were" bringing the news of what was happening to the rest of the nation.

And, realizing how important certain songs were to everyday life, Gunning decided to pursue his radio dreams.

His daily show format is hot adult contemporary, which is a blend of Top 40 music along with some older songs. At noon, there is an "All Requests" hour, which replaces the "Retro Cafe."

Gunning, who owns a home in Maryland, doesn't mind his daily drive to work.

"I have the best commute in the world because my commute is mountains and rivers and fog and clouds, instead of sitting in car-to-car bumper-to-bumper traffic," he said. "This place is an anomaly in radio because it's still -- even though we're corporate-owned -- it's still a family atmosphere. I've kept in touch with all my co-workers here...so first day back here, it was like I never left. It just feels so comfortable."

3 Comments | Leave a comment

    I think it's interesting that some people still listen to the radio.

    Maybe free radio is indeed making a comeback but radio in the valley is still struggling. Mount Jackson's WSVG, Woodstock's WAMM and Winchester's "New" WXVA are all having severe money woes right now. Heck WXVA due to "budget cuts" had already canned their news woman MONTHS after sign-on. Q102/WFQX/98.3 KISS some years back had laid off Ben Gates ( Elwood King ) and Chuck Carroll ( funny the media didn't talk about that one ). Martinsburg's Prettyman Broadcasting ( WLTF Lite FM ) had their share of layoffs as well within the last five years. Even WINC themselves had cut positions since the sale to Centennial such as doing away with the overnight dj and some weekend positions.

    With so many local radio cutbacks and layoffs..Dave Gunning should consider himself very very lucky to even find a job in valley radio.

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