Mana`o Radio part-owner and founder Barry Shannon died Saturday,
Apr. 7 at the age of 67. Back in 2002 Shannon and his wife Kathy
Collins started the low power station (91.5 FM) to bring an eclectic
blend of non-corporate music to Maui. A few years ago I interviewed
Shannon, Collins and a few members of the Mana`o Radio staff for the
Jan. 15, 2004 story "Free Radio." Here's an excerpt of that story in
which Shannon and Collins talk about their hopes and expectations for
"Since we've been on the air I've had over 4,000 people call me up
asking for a slot," said Barry Shannon, Mana`o Radio's general manager
who also handles the weekday 2-5 p.m. timeslot. "It's frustrating that
I have to write so many emails and ruin their whole day. Having been
there, I understand. But when people are loyal to us, I want to return
it. We've lost only two people since we went on the air. But my hope is
to pay the full-time people $1,000 a month plus insurance."
In not quite two years, Mana`o Radio has gone from a shoestring
operation broadcast out of Shannon's back bedroom to a real,
professional operation… Shannon said Mana`o Radio was only the 13th low
power license granted in the country. Churches own most of the
stations. "An act of Congress disqualified over a thousand applicants,"
said Shannon, who's worked in radio for virtually all of the last 50
years. "I have a feeling we're one of the few professional operations."
Shannon's wife of 14 years is Kathy Collins… A former news radio
jock and Honolulu TV reporter who burned out on too many dead body
stories, Collins now hosts the weekday 5-8 p.m. show.
"When we first applied for our license there were just the two of
us," she said. "We had a computer, maybe a couple of friends. We had no
idea how well it would be received. It never occurred to me that radio
and music would mean so much to people. I'd thought radio was pretty
much obsolete. I thought the days of people listening to the radio in
their kitchens were over. Apparently they're not."