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Introducing KAXE/KBXE's New CEO/Executive Director David Baes

david whipped cream.jpg
The Passing of the Whipped Cream Baton

91.7 KAXE/90.5 KBXE Hires New Executive Director: David Baes
Press Release: Tuesday August 3rd, 2021

KAXE/KBXE – Northern Community Radio - is a 150,000 watt National Public Radio affiliate serving northern Minnesota with news, music, events and online/podcast content since 1976. Longtime General Manager Maggie Montgomery has retired and after a nationwide search, David Baes was hired.

David comes to this position with a 35 year career in radio and public media most recently at KPFT-Houston, KHKU-Hawaii and WBAA- Purdue University. Baes brings a vast wealth of information from engineering to operations to management and radio broadcasting and public television. His work in media has always had at the core a desire to empower individuals to achieve their potential and strengthen the health of media organizations.

Maggie and David had time to work together to cement the institutional knowledge and history and upcoming grants and happenings. The passing of the “baton” (or *can of whipped cream that is a requirement if you work at KAXE/KBXE) Maggie had this to say:

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“David is a friendly, confident person with new ideas for Northern Community Radio.
He comes into an organization with huge assets that will help him be successful: KAXE and KBXE have talented, competent staffs. The on-air volunteers are highly skilled at what they do.

We’re also very fortunate to have so many loyal listeners and members that have supported us over many years with their donations and participation…Under any new leader there will be change. It’ll be fun to hear what new ways he’ll find to engage and serve people in our communities.

He and the staff will attract new listeners. They’ll figure out new, useful ways Northern Community Radio can distribute content to people in the future. There’s a lot to do. I’ll definitely be listening.”

The staff at KAXE/KBXE are struck by David’s friendliness and positive attitude. Rural public media that gives voice to the people of the region, supports the arts and connects listeners to the forests and waters and land of northern Minnesota is poised for growth and continued support under new leadership.

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Heidi Holtan has worked at KAXE/KBXE for over 20 years. She currently helms the Morning Show as News and Public Affairs Director. Heidi is a regional correspondent for WDSE/WRPT's Duluth Public Television’s Almanac North. In 2018 Heidi received the “Building Bridges in Media” award from the Islamic Resource Group for her work on KAXE/KBXE hosting conversations about anti-Muslim movements in rural Minnesota.