Crusham keeps station on track

By: 
Gary Zupancic, Staff Reporter

Wimberley’s low power radio station has been on the air for a year. Wimberley had wanted one for decades. Finally it came into being. Although the first few months were somewhat hectic, the volunteers who make up the station have done an outstanding job of creating a station for, and made up of, Wimberley.

At the top is Station Manager Mike Crusham. He also is an also volunteer like the on-air hosts, and the radio’s board. When it comes to being lucky, the station is. Crusham is a veteran radioman, from serving as a part-time talent at a college station; to running major market media radio stations. He’s done it.

Crusham is a native of Newport, Kentucky, right across the Ohio River from Cincinnati. He graduated from Morehead State with a B.A. in Radio and TV. He came to the conclusion his sophomore year that playing baseball was not really a job prospect. Radio was the way. 

“You can bomb one day and then hit a homer the next,” Crusham said. He got a job at the college station broadcasting the campus games. 

“I liked it. But at 40 hours a week I was not going to be a well-paid professional. I got $37.95 a week,” Crusham said after he was there awhile. 

He worked in TV for 6 months along with his radio work and soon was the Sales Manager at WMOR for an all-talk radio on FM. This was something quite out of the ordinary for FM at the time.

Then came the alphabet soup of call letters and increasing responsibility. WKLO, WHAS, and then WAMZ, where he became Station and General Manager. Next were Tulsa, Nashville, and then Shamrock Broadcasting in Pittsburgh from 1989 through 1995, a place that his kids consider home. Boston was another station that needed to be fixed.

The Roy Disney estate, run by Roy Disney Jr., who was his boss, ran Shamrock.  A cool moment was when he got to see firsthand the animation department at the studio. 

“I played golf with Disney in Hawaii at a meeting. I was his golf team partner…I also golfed with Sandy Koufax,” Crusham said beaming. KLBJ in Austin and KODA in Houston were stops. 

Career wise he then moved on as Regional VP of Clear Channel/South Florida that would become IHeart Radio. Then he had the same position in Boston and then Market President of IHeart Media in Minneapolis. His Minneapolis station was the NFL Vikings flagship station with 88 affiliates. His favorite stops?

“I was so lucky in Louisville…with Disney Shamrock and Minneapolis…When I first started if you had told me I’d have that much fun and get paid so handsomely for what you do, I wouldn’t believe it.” And for any regrets? “I regret moving that many times.” 

He retired in January 2015 and moved to Wimberley. “I retired on my own terms. I then heard about an upstart radio station at a BBQ cook-off, and April 2016 became Station Manager.”

Wimberley’s 94.1 radio station takes up his time now. “I’m blown away from the talent here from the different walks of life. People move here because they want to be here.” He continued, “With the musical talent in the area, radio can be the hub. They (musicians) become part of the station and the station becomes a part of them.”

As for the Pledge Drive, “It was an unqualified success. Raising money after Cypress Creek Café burned down we were starting to realize that we were affecting people’s lives. We raised $8,200 with the hurricane delay. It is a benchmark and our goal is two a year. Facebook activity was up 569%.” The station is in good hands for the foreseeable future. The reason for all the hard work? 

“It’s the best place I’ve ever lived.”

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