In this March 1999 file photo, Dick Haugen with KVNI asks nine-year-old Heather Hendry if she snuck into her brothers’ rooms to collect loose change for Hayden Lake Elementary’s donation of $515 in loose change to the 1999 Child Abuse Prevention Campaign Thursday morning/Spokesman-Review photo.
The Huckleberries Online gang didn’t react well to yesterday’s news that KXLY/KVNI had fired long-time news director Dick Haugen. “Isn’t this the same KXLY that ruined Spokane’s 99.9 and its Classy Rock format?” wondered commenter John Austin. Not only did the KXLY brain trust give Dick the ax during the holidays but also while he was grieving a personal loss. After I posted the news online Wednesday morning, Dick, the erstwhile “Voice of North Idaho” for the 15 years, commented briefly on my blog: “Can’t say much now, except to say I was fired. A smoke screen for budget cuts. Need a job, any takers? BTW, I was torched two days after I buried my father. Merry Xmas to me from KXLY.” The postings soon attracted other comments. “I was always impressed with (Dick’s) knowledge of the issues, the players and the politics that made the community tick. Big loss for KVNI” – Keith Erickson, ex-CDA Press reporter. “Judging from the trends in radio, I would hazard a guess that they will turn KVNI into an automated satellite operation with nothing but an engineer on duty” – Herb Huseland/Bayviews blog. “Dick is “a standup guy! An authentic guy who can describe the 100th parade like it was his first” – Dr. Jim Winter. “I hope Dick moves on to something bigger and better. And – hey! – let’s all immediately hate his replacement just to make Dick feel good” – Dan Gookin. Dick is one of the media’s good guys. KVNI broadcasts of local sports won’t be the same without his color commentary. KXLY. Flat. Screwed. Up.
Originally posted at 4:57:24 p.m. Wednesday