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Harris takes over as WCYN general manager, Winkle named president of KBA

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Lee Kendall,
News Writer
lkendall@cynthianademocrat.com

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President and controlling partner of WCYN-1400, Chris Winkle has accepted a position as president and CEO of the Kentucky Broadcasters Association, based in Frankfort.
“It’s my dream job,” Winkle said in a Tuesday interview. “There are 310 television and radio affiliates from around the state that are members and it is a big part of this new job to make sure they are aware and informed of any new developments passed down from the FCC.”
Winkle said the position with the KBA is a full-time position and will last as long as the KBA’s board of directors wants to keep him.
“It’s my job to keep, for as long as I don’t mess something up,” he laughed.
Marti Hazel, the current chair of the KBA’s board of directors said in a press release, “Although he is our ‘new’ president and CEO, Chris is anything but new to the KBA. He has served as interim KBA president not once, but twice, and has served on its board as both a director and as its chairman.”
Winkle began his career in broadcasting at the age of 19, when he was hired on at WCYN as the business and traffic manager.
He’s been at WCYN for a total of nearly 28 years and is currently the controlling partner of the station, along with his mother Darlene Winkle. Together, they own 80 percent interest in the radio station.
Winkle said much of his new job will include lobbying members of the Kentucky General Assembly, as well as the US Congress to ensure that radio and television stations aren’t damaged by any new FCC regulations that might come in the future.
“Every state has a person just like me, so there are 50 of us around the nation that have the day-to-day responsibility of protecting our member affiliates,” he said.
After serving as an interim president of the KBA on two different occasions, Winkle sees his new role very clearly.
“My role is to clean up whatever mess might exist right now and keep the KBA train on the tracks,” he said. “I want to lead and unify the KBA with a vision to celebrate the past, embrace the future and engage the next generation of broadcasters.”
He said he will continue to live in Harrison County and commute to Frankfort on a daily basis.
Winkle is set to take a position on the Harrison County Fiscal Court in January of 2019. He was unopposed in the recent primary and will be unopposed in the November general election.
“I don’t think there will be any conflict and I should be able to attend all the meetings,” he said.
He also continues to play a part in the operations of WCYN.
“Of course, we still own the station, so I will continue to do what I need to do, although I will turn over much of the day-to-day operation to Trent Harris,” he said.
To help in the transition, he has hired Harris as the new general manager of WCYN. Harris took over on Monday, June 18.
Harris was a sales representative, engineer and spent some time on-air from 2015-17, before he left for another position in Georgetown.
“That move was mostly about an opportunity to make more money,” Harris explained.
He graduated from HCHS in 1999 and then from Morehead State University with a degree in business administration in 2004.
“My primary focus will be in all the day-to-day operations of the station as well as trying to secure new forms of revenue and new ways for our clients to advertise,” he said.
Harris said he intends to hire one more full-time sales representative.
Winkle said it is his plan to gradually turn over more and more control to Harris.
“There just aren’t enough hours in the day for me to do everything I need to do with the job at KBA and the job at WCYN,” he said. “Trent is more than capable of taking care of the station and I expect him to do just about everything there is to do there.”
Winkle said he would still stop by the station in the evenings after his workday is finished in Frankfort and he will also attend the many downtown events, as they come along.
Harris said he is excited about his new job at WCYN.
“Chris and I talked about something possibly happening like this, back late last year, so this isn’t a total surprise,” he said. “I’m just thankful for the opportunity and can’t wait to get started.”
Harris, 36, is married to the former Jessica Anness and they have two children, Logan, 8, and Shelby, 4.