WHBY’s ‘Good Neighbor’ radio host Kathy Keene retires after 40 years
APPLETON, Wis. (WBAY) - After 40 years on the air, a Fox Valley radio icon steps away from the mic. Kathy Keene is retiring after 40 years hosting WHBY radio’s “Good Neighbor Show.” Kathy completed her final show Friday before settling into retirement.
”Didn’t realize all the lives I would affect, all the listeners that tuned in every day, allowed me to come into their house and share their family recipes, their stories, happy, sad. It was, it’s incredible,” said Kathy Keene.
Kathy joined Woodward Communications back in January 1981 as a receptionist. Later that year, she became the host of the Good Neighbor Show with no previous radio experience. For 30 years she worked as the receptionist and the show’s host. The show has aired from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. every weekday with Kathy sharing recipes and helpful hints, plus many guests sharing information on all different kinds of topics.
“40 years, it doesn’t seem like 40 years. It went by really fast. I think I’ve learned a lot, I’ve grown a lot. I think the listeners have, they have strengthened me, they have inspired me to be a better person,” Kathy explained.
Kathy said she’s enjoyed adapting to the technology changes over the years, even winning the “Best Personality” award for her social and digital media presence in 2016 and the Local Legend Award in 2018 from the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association.
Kathy said during her time, she never once considered leaving WHBY or the community that has always supported her show.
“I will miss the listeners. They are the catalyst that made the whole show successful. I was just the middle man -- the middle woman, if you want to say that to be politically correct -- connecting neighbors to neighbor, and whenever somebody had a question or problem or needed something, there was always a Good Neighbor listener out there who would call in and say, ‘Oh, I’ve got this, or I know where you can get this.’ That’s what I loved about the show is neighbors connecting neighbors, and that’s, that’s a memory that I’ll never forget,” said Kathy.
Kathy said she’s ready to take some time for herself and get around to doing the things she’s been wanting to for years now.
“I want to sit out on my patio with a drink in my hand and a good book, listen to the birds singing in the background and just relaxing,” Kathy explained.
Hayley Tenpas will be moving into the Good Neighbor Show’s time slot, and Kathy said she’s not completely done being on air. She will stop by Hayley’s show “Focus Fox Valley” every second Wednesday of the month.
“I’ll let listeners know what I’m doing, I’ll share some favorite recipes,” said Kathy.
Hayley’s show will air from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on WHBY starting next week.
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