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Dan Skinner to Retire as Director of KPR and Audio-Reader After 49 Years in Radio

2022 Dan at Live Day.jpg
Jake Jacobson
Tommie Photography
Director Dan Skinner commemorates KPR's 70th Anniversary at Live Day on September 15, 2022.

After nearly 50 years in radio, Dan Skinner will retire as director of Kansas Public Radio and the Audio-Reader Service, effective June 30.

The University of Kansas will open a nationwide search for a new director soon.

Skinner joined KPR and Audio-Reader in 2015.

“It has been an honor working with the staff of KPR and Audio-Reader and witnessing the generous support of donors to both organizations,” Skinner said. “The staff and volunteers have performed above and beyond to meet the challenges of budget cuts and a pandemic, while maintaining high quality services for our listeners. Every day they make me proud.”

Skinner, who grew up in Hutchinson, started working in radio during his senior year of high school in 1974. He commuted from Hutchinson to Newton for his first radio job at KJRG and KOEZ. As a student at KU, Skinner worked at KLWN and KLZR.

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Dan Skinner in a KJRG studio in Newton, Kan., 1975

He made the transition from commercial radio to public radio in 1980 when he joined the staff of KHCC-FM, now Radio Kansas, as its operations director and later became the station’s first program director. Skinner originated and co-hosted KHCC’s former “Mid-Day” news/music show and started the “Nightcrossings” music show, which still airs on Radio Kansas.

In 1987, Skinner became the program director of WBST-FM at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. After earning a master’s degree at Ball State, Skinner took on leadership roles at public radio stations in Indiana, Texas, and Ohio before returning to Kansas to lead KPR.

As a native Kansan, Skinner says he appreciates the symmetry of beginning and concluding his radio career in his home state.

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Dan poses with an old radio at KHCC, now known as Radio Kansas, 1985.

“I’ve been fortunate to work all my adult life in the career of my choice,” Skinner said. “Along the way I’ve met and worked with some wonderful and talented people. I’ve enjoyed hosting classical music, jazz, folk and contemporary music shows and learned much by interviewing thousands of fascinating authors and experts for various radio talk shows, programs, and podcasts.

“Plus, I’ve had the privilege of interacting with many appreciative listeners and supporters. It’s been a great journey, and I’m grateful for it.”

Skinner also served as the president of Public Radio in Mid-America, a regional organization representing stations in 22 Midwest states.

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Dan chats with NPR's Scott Horsely, 2017.

While Skinner is stepping down from directing KPR and Audio-Reader, he will continue to produce the “Conversations” broadcast for KPR1 and KPR2, as well as the series of “Conversations” podcasts. Listeners may also hear his familiar voice during upcoming KPR on-air fund drives. Skinner also plans to continue making recordings as needed for the Audio-Reader Service.

Photos courtesy of Dan Skinner.