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Kaye keeps moving in Des Moines Radio


Marianne Kaye has lived in Iowa her entire life, but in her career she just keeps moving. Kaye, 24, grew up in Des Moines and attended Valley High School, where she participated in the school radio station, KWDM. Brian Christensen, who runs the station, discovered her passion for radio and helped her find an internship with WHO. She’s been on the air ever since.

Kaye now works for Saga Communications Inc’s Des Moines Radio Group, serving as promotions director, non-traditional revenues coordinator and an on-air personality for Star 102.5 and Lite 104.1.

Of her time with Clear Channel Communications Inc, who owns WHO, Kaye said, “I wasn’t moving up the ladder as fast as I wanted to.” Then Jim Schaffer, operations manager and program director at Star 102.5, heard her on the air and contacted her about joining the Des Moines Radio Group.

She went to work for the company in 1998 just before her first semester at Drake University. Kaye worked during the entire seven semesters she spent at the university before graduating in December 2001 with a bachelor’s degree in mass communications with an emphasis on television and radio.

While at Drake, Kaye said she considered going into broadcast news.  

“It just wasn’t my thing,” she said, and decided to continue working on the air in radio. “Being on air is fun. It’s one of my passions.”

Kaye has expanded her duties, however, getting more and more involved in events put on by the Des Moines Radio Group. She has helped put on Lazerfest, Fire in the Sky (which the city hires her company to help organize), Jolly Holiday Lights, Making Strides Against Breast Cancer and Combat Hunger, which she calls her baby.

“In 2002 we raised more than 210,000 pounds of food for hungry Iowans,” she said. “We raised it all in two days, and the food goes directly to the Food Bank of Iowa. It stays in Central Iowa.”

Kaye says this is an exciting time for event planners in Des Moines.

“The city is booming, growing,” she said. “In the future, there will be opportunities to plan and create events that will bring more people, young and old, to Des Moines and, hopefully, keep them here.”  

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