After 31 years on the job at KQRS, Terri Traen was let go last week.
On Monday, she sat down with us to talk about her time at the station, her departure and what’s next. The one thing she was adamant about was letting the fans know how much she appreciates their support.
“At night, if I can’t sleep, if I wake up, I just go on Facebook and read the comments,” says Traen. “You can’t even know the support they have given me.”
Thirty-one years is a long time to spend at any job, let alone in radio. There were plenty of good times in those three decades.
“Ah, just millions of great memories,” says Traen.
She talks about the people she’s met, both famous and not. The trips to Vegas with listeners. The time she shared a giant sub sandwich with John Mellencamp. Those were the good parts, the fun parts, of her job. Most of those years Terri spent on the number-one rated KQ Morning Show. A stint that ended just a year ago.
“I felt like when I was on the morning show I could take a joke. I could go with it. I completely got the humor and I didn’t mind having shots taken at me. It’s just when it started to get mean that it really started to hurt,” she says.
When I asked what changed with that dynamic all Terri said is, “I don’t know. I don’t know.”
Terri moved to afternoon drive with Brian Zepp. They just celebrated their one-year anniversary on the air. Then the call came. Yes, Terri says she was fired over the phone.
“I got a call last Monday and I was let go,” she says.
“Did you feel blindsided?” I ask.
“I felt shocked,” she says.
Terri says she tried to get a face-to-face meeting with someone at the station for an explanation but was told no. So now what? Terri says radio is just in her blood.
“I was thinking maybe a podcast, or maybe another radio station, or maybe even write a book,” she says.
If you’re waiting for Terri to badmouth KQ or Tom Bernard…don’t. Traen is taking the high road.
“This is not me to do this kind of interview, this is absolutely something I would never have done before," she says. "The whole reason I'm doing it is because of the listeners.”
And she has one thing she'd like to say to those listeners.
"So I just want to tell them thank you. That's the biggest message."