Two local dudes, each with more than 20 years of radio industry experience, have partnered to lasso local country radio station WWNQ 94.3 The Dude.
Midlands Media Group, LLC, led by Columbia residents Kirk Litton and Keith Stover, has purchased station WWNQ 94.3 The Dude (www.943thedude.com) and its companion on-line newspaper ColaDaily (www.coladaily.com). Midlands Media said The Dude will maintain its “Undivided Country” music format, making it the only locally owned and operated country music station in the Columbia market, while ColaDaily will remain the area’s only free, online daily newspaper focused on local news.
Litton, who is a former minority owner of the station and will serve as executive managing partner of Midlands Media, said: “We’re proud to be locally owned and operated, and we’re committed to providing our listeners, readers and advertisers with a stronger hometown connection than ever before.”
Stover, who began his radio career in his hometown of Columbia and will also serve as a managing partner of Midlands Media, said: “It’s a dream come true for two local guys who have worked in broadcast radio their entire careers. We’re eager to partner with the local community in new and exciting ways.”
Litton has more than 20 years of radio sales and management experience. He spent the first 18 years of his career at CBS Radio and Radio One in the Washington, D.C. market, where he was responsible for sales and was eventually promoted to regional sales director. Litton was named Sales Executive of the Year in 2006 for CBS Radio DC, and for Radio One DC in
2008-09. In 2012 he moved to Columbia to become a minority owner and president of Hometown Columbia, which purchased stations WWNQ and WWNU. He served on the Board of Directors of the South Carolina Broadcasters Association from 2012-2015, and is a graduate of the National Association of Broadcasters Broadcast Leadership Training program, Class of 2012. He also serves as VP/Sales for MARC Radio of Florida. Litton has a B.A. from the University of Maryland. He and his wife of 16 years, Katie, have three children.
Stover has more than 20 years of programming and operations management experience under the professional name of Keith Clark. He was born and raised in the Columbia suburb of Blythewood and began his career at WQXL in Columbia. He attended the University of South Carolina and has been voted one of the top 50 radio programmers in America by Radio Ink. He served for 17 years as vice president of programming and operations for the CBS Radio group in Pittsburgh, where he was responsible for WDSY, the top-rated country station in the market, and KDKA, the first commercial radio station in the U.S. He also serves as VP for MARC Radio of Florida, consults stations for Vallie-Richards-Donovan Consulting, and produces RedCup Country, a syndicated radio show that airs on more than 40 stations in the U.S. and Canada, and can be heard on Saturday night 7p-12m on 94.3 The Dude. Stover and his wife, Marie, have three children. Marie, a radio marketing professional, will serve as Midlands Media’s vice president of marketing and client services. Marie has spent most of her tenure at CBS Radio Pittsburgh specializing in live event production and sponsorship.
With headquarters in the downtown Vista district of Columbia, S.C., Midlands Media Group, LLC owns and operates WWNQ 94.3 The Dude, its companion online newspaper Cola Daily and the e-commerce site ColaDailyDeals (www.coladailydeals.com). The company is focused on helping to build a stronger local community by providing entertainment and news in compelling formats.
Pictured: Keith Stover (left) and Kirk Litton (photos provided)