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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, September 6, 2006

Four quit radio company, join competitor

By Wayne Harada
Advertiser Entertainment Writer

A four-member team from Cox Radio has departed the company to join competitor Visionary Related Entertainment's O'ahu stations.

After a 20-year stint at Cox, John Aeto is new general manager of KUMU (1500 AM and 94.7 FM), KPOI (105.9 FM), KQMQ (93.1 FM) and KDDB (102.7 Da Bomb), five of 14 stations owned and operated by Visionary, a Maui-based company that runs 14 stations statewide, with additional holdings under construction in Hilo and in Moloka'i expected to start broadcasting by December.

"This has been one of the hardest decisions I've had to make," said Aeto. "Mike Kelly (who manages the Cox stations) is like a father to me to all of us at Cox." Kelly hired Aeto fresh out of college in 1987, to handle sales for KCCN.

"This move feeds an entrepreneurial passion that each member of this team has," said Aeto. "One of the reasons I wanted to go was that I would be an owner as well have some control; I could bring in good people."

Three fellow Cox employees are making the switch with Aeto: Stuart Chang, new director of advertising for KUMU-AM and KQMQ-FM; Mark Haworth, new director of sales for KPOI-FM and KDDB-FM; and Kuulei Park, new operations manager for Visionary O'ahu.

They all started yesterday morning at Visionary, which maintains an O'ahu headquarters in the Kapi'olani business district.

"There won't be immediate changes," Aeto said. "Our plan is to analyze what the group is doing for 30 days, and then (tweak) what's working well and what's not working well. We'll then create a strategic plan in 2007."

Reach Wayne Harada at wharada@honoluluadvertiser.com.