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Congratulations Kirk Kersten!

KUMD group photo

After 40 years, Ralph "Kirk" Kersten is retiring from KUMD. 

Although blessed with a rich voice that would be the envy of any professional announcer, Kirk preferred to mostly work behind the scenes as the station's Chief Engineer, keeping us on the air and up to date with changing technology. He oversaw multiple studio upgrades, most recently, installing a digital board in Studio A to replace. His policy of always keeping a "spare" saved KUMD many times, including in 2007 when our antenna died and Kirk just happened to have another one stashed away to replace it. 

Kirk hiring announcement

Not only does Kirk possess a wealth of knowledge on all things technical and mechanical, he also has always been ready to step up and help any time it was needed.If something were to go "FUBAR," as Kirk would say, in the middle of the night, he was on it. His fashion sense was unparalleled, a combination of fun suspenders and shoes with springs in the heels, with two or three pairs of cheaters around his neck (all different strengths) for good measure.

Kirk did get to use those potent vocal pipes on the air as one of the hosts of the groundbreaking program This Way Out Northland. The weekly half-hour segment aired throughout the '90s and showcased local LBGTQ topics and information. (We hope to have these programs digitized and shared online soon.)

We will miss Kirk's warmth and kindness, and his sleepy voice on the phone when we call to wake him up to fix a problem. KUMD would not be what it is without his long service and dedication. Honestly, we're not quite sure what we'll do without him, but we hope at least now he'll finally be able to get plenty of sleep.



KUMD staff