Mike Renick, General Manager of River Radio, first became interested in radio because of his love of sports. He thought play-by-play would be the “best of both worlds”: attending games and talking about them. This desire led Renick to major in mass communications with a major in radio at Southeast Missouri State University.
Once Renick graduated and entered his career, he never played play-by-play sports. Instead, he attended ribbon cuttings, fundraisers, county fairs, homecoming parades, and every community event in between. He produced news, spoke on air and gave voice to local organizations.
After 22 years working at River Radio in Cape Girardeau, Renick learned that the community and the radio industry are closely linked.
“From my perspective, I think being in this building, in this industry, is unique in this region. I don’t know if I would go anywhere else to work in radio, because I think radio … is a true reflection of what’s going on in the community,” Renick said. “The community and what we do [at River Radio] are so related.
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Renick began his role as River Radio’s general manager in April 2020. He said his job as manager is to follow up on administrative duties, help with engineering and commercial work, and fill in wherever needed. Renick still does afternoon work as a disc jockey for River Radio’s country station K103, but his duties change from day to day.
“The common goal is to serve our customers who are our customers and the community,” Renick said. “Our work [as local media]is to be the voice of local business [and] local organizations and have fun doing it. It’s kind of the kicker, it’s fun work. It is a job that is not one. »
Renick is also a famous local musician. He founded the Mike Renick Band in 2004 with a few other local musicians and began playing venues throughout Missouri and the Midwest. Renick said the band played anywhere within a six-hour drive of Cape Girardeau, including Columbia, Missouri and Chicago, Illinois.
Recently, Renick said he focused on solo acoustic work because he wanted to spend more time with his family. He is looking forward to performing September 23 at the Shipyard Music Festival in Cape Girardeau, although he is hosting a wiffle ball tournament the same weekend.
The annual wiffle ball tournament was started by former River Radio employee Jeff Augustine as part of a fundraiser for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Renick said River Radio country station K103 raises funds for St. Jude throughout the year. When Augustine started the tournament as an additional fundraising tool, Renick jumped on board to help. He said it will be the 26th year they have hosted the tournament.
Renick gives back to the community through his other commitments with the Cape Girardeau Lions Club and the Redhawks Club. The local Cape Girardeau Noon Lions Club hosts the annual Pancake Day fundraiser at the AC Brase Arena building to raise money for community causes. Renick said he helps with Pancake Day and raises awareness for Southeast Missouri State University athletics through the Redhawks Club.
Renick is both a voice for the community through his work and part of the community through his involvement.
“As I watched, [this job] suits me, because it’s in my own backyard, and it has to do with trying to help support the things that are happening in the community,” Renick said. “I think [thats] our role as local media: telling the stories and being there for certain events.