After eight years at the helm of Newcastle's flagship community broadcasting station, 2NURFM's John McGahen will hang up his headphones and step down as General Manager next Monday.
With over 40 years experience in the radio industry, Mr McGahen is credited with turning around the fortunes of the University of Newcastle based broadcaster which was experiencing significant challenges in the late 90s.
"When I came on board in 1999, 2NURFM was an icon in the local community. I had been an occasional listener over the years and I felt that I had the knowledge and experience in the industry to give the station a new lease of life," Mr McGahen said.
Under Mr McGahen's stewardship, and after extensive research and analysis, 2NURFM recreated itself by introducing a niche 'easy listening and lifestyle' format.
Latest data shows 2NURFM has experienced prolific growth in both audience share and sponsorship over the past eight years with a cumulative audience estimated at more than 124,000 listeners each week and a 595 per cent increase in sponsorship.
"The 2NURFM model was created to target a specific music and information-driven demographic in the 45 years + audience without losing any of the station’s diversity of programming," Mr McGahen said.
"It caters for a broad cross-section of listeners through a variety of programs including gardening, finance, technology and lifestyle programming, plus our nationally broadcast health program Wellbeing.
"Importantly 2NURFM also maintains a strong link to the Hunter's ethnic communities with nine ethnic programs broadcast each week, including the recently introduced Sudanese program.
"I believe 2NURFM has a very bright future and it has a newfound respect in the local community and the broadcasting industry."
Mr McGahen said that while the time had come for him to hand over the reins, it would not be the last we would hear from him.
"Over the past 40 years the broadcasting industry has been very good to me and I can't walk away from something that has given me so much. I'll continue to volunteer at 2NURFM and help out when I can."
Mr McGahen steps down as General Manager on Monday 31 December. Current Sales Manager Wayne Stamm will take over the position in the New Year.