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Moberly residents mourn layoffs at local radio stations


Moberly residents are mourning the loss of a staple in their community, after layoffs reportedly occurred at local radio stations KWIX, KRES, KIRK and KTCM.

Some former employees bid farewell to the stations on Tuesday on their social media accounts. The stations, which are owned by Alpha Media Group reportedly laid off all on-air talent on Tuesday and intends to use artificial intelligence instead, according to sources close to the station who wished to remain anonymous, in fear of retaliation.

ABC 17 News reached out to Alpha Media for comment, but did not hear back on Wednesday.

Wednesday evening, several community members gathered outside of the stations' office, located at 300 W Reed Street in Moberly, to show their support for employees who lost their jobs. Howard Miedler was one of those supporters.

Miedler began working at the station in 1973. Miedler, who has since retired, said he was saddened to learn of the news about the "powerhouse" of North Central Missouri.

"I just I look at that building, and I just think of all the years I spent in that building...49 years, it's all gone," Miedler said. "It really saddens me because I had a lot of years here, I've built a lot of relationships in this area and it's all over."

Christy Bates, 42, who is a lifelong Moberly resident, said her father worked for those stations when she was a child, which created a bond between her family and those who worked there. She said it was more than just a building, adding that friendships with employees there soon turned into family.

Bates said the loss of the stations is huge for Moberly, because of its small size and how much people in the community relied on the station to stay safe, especially during severe weather.

Bates said the night before employees learned about the layoffs, Moberly experienced severe weather. She said the first thing she and her family did was go to a safe room to listen to the radio station, leaving her concerned over the possibility of not being able to do that anymore.

"We're worried to say the least," Bates said. "You go to those go to your safe space for a reason. And you want to be sure that it's safe to come out before you do so. I don't know how that will play out, but we're worried."

Bates and Miedler also said the station provided good coverage and support for local sports, including outside of Moberly. Bates said the coverage would bring excitement to youth and was convenient to be able to listen to the game, when she wasn't able to make it.

Miedler said he'll also miss the 'KRES all-star banquet' and the way the sports coverage helped bring the community together.

Interim Athletic Director for Moberly Public Schools Tim Barnett said he learned of the news Tuesday night and was shocked.

"I was sad and angry, just utter shock," he said. "They were on all of our Friday night football games, most of our basketball games, home or away. You know, it's cool when your name is mentioned on a radio in the morning."

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Nia Hinson


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