KILJ’s John Kuhens to Retire

Written by Theresa Rose on August 1, 2018

KILJ Radio and owners Paul and Joyce Dennison formally announce the retirement of long time broadcaster John Kuhens, effective August 31. Kuhens was one of the first people hired when the radio station was started in Mt. Pleasant in 1970. He graduated from Starmont High School in Strawberry Point, Iowa in 1970 and immediately began a 6 week course at the Professional Institute of Broadcast in Independence, Iowa. Following that, on August 29, 1970 he was hired at KILJ, one day before his 18th birthday. Paul Dennison says John was not only the first person he hired but also the best. John came to KILJ first as a deejay. He then became the morning man and sports director but can honestly claim he has done everything at the station including news coverage, sales, production, even a little engineering. According to Dennison, John will still be called on to help with production and some sports coverage. John has been recognized state-wide for his talent at play-by-play for football, basketball, volleyball, baseball, softball and soccer. He has broadcast wrestling and track meets. Locally, he is known as the voice of the Panthers. But John has also covered other area teams during the regular season and at tournament time. He has tried to calculate how many sporting events he has broadcast during his long career but can only say it must be in the thousands.  Over the years John has been asked to serve as Master of Ceremonies for many community events, too numerous to mention.  He has become known, not only for his professionalism as a broadcaster but also for his quick wit and sense of humor.

Koehler Wendt, who has been assisting with production, news and sports for the last four years at KILJ, will become the sports director and join the morning show. The Dennisons also announce the addition of Kadie Johannson to the radio station staff.  Kadie has recently been the Henry County RSVP director and prior to that handled marketing for the Sondheim Center in Fairfield.  Kadie will primarily work in sales but will also be learning all aspects of the business. She is expected to join the staff full-time mid August.