Wayne Mashburn

Published Friday, May 16, 2003

Wayne Mashburn, radio pioneer, dies

Worked for Jones College station

Wayne Mashburn, a broadcaster credited with making radio station WKTZ the No. 1 “beautiful music” station in Jacksonville, died May 8 at Memorial Hospital. He was 71 and had been hospitalized for intestinal problems for more than two months.

Funeral arrangements are incomplete, said Paul Naugle of Greenlawn Cemetery.

Mr. Mashburn spent more than 50 years in the radio business, 47 of them in the Jacksonville market. He had worked at other area stations but was back at WKTZ working as general manager when he became ill, said Ken Jones, station consultant whose family founded the station as Jones College Radio.

“Wayne’s voice remains on the air electronically,” Jones said. He recorded a number of announcements and things called liners that remain on the air, Jones added.

Frank Kennedy, another radio veteran now retired from the business, first met Mr. Mashburn 40 years ago when both worked at Jones College Radio. They later worked together at other Jacksonville stations.

“Wayne absolutely lived and breathed radio, and he loved the Jones College Radio format,” Kennedy said. “Wayne is the person who put together the hundreds and hundreds of hours of music you hear on the station. He handpicked the music from thousands of albums and formatted it so that what you heard at home was Wayne Mashburn.”

Kennedy said Mr. Mashburn was an innovator in being the first to have helicopter-assisted traffic reports on radio here. He also was a pioneer in doing remote broadcasts.

“Wayne also started the 72 straight hours of Christmas music the station played,” Kennedy said. “He refused to overplay Christmas music too early in the season because he wanted to save it for the 72-hour play.”

Mr. Mashburn closely guarded his personal life and was an extremely private individual, Kennedy said. Mr. Mashburn worked in radio in the Carolinas and Georgia before coming to Jacksonville.

Staff writer Jessie-Lynne Kerr can be reached at (904) 359-4374 or via e-mail at jkerr@jacksonville.com.