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Off the air

Longtime KTOK newsman Jerry Bohnen let go after more than 30 years.

Phil Bacharach March 29th, 2012

In Oklahoma City radio news, KTOK-AM 1000's Jerry Bohnen has been nothing short of an institution, having worked in the station's newsroom for more than 30 years — much of that period as its news director.

That storied career abruptly ended today when Clear Channel Communications let the veteran newsman go, in what appears to be continued downsizing.

Jerry Bohnen
Credits: Mike McCarville

Bohnen is an inductee into the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame. His honors have included the Investigative Reporter and Editors Award and The Edward R. Murrow Award.

His dismissal first was reported on The McCarville Report Online, a state political news blog. Its author, longtime journalist and political consultant Mike McCarville, called the 63-year-old Bohnen “one of a breed we don't see much of anymore,” adding that the layoff reflects the decline of radio journalism.

“Jerry has been the KTOK news department,” said McCarville, who worked with Bohnen at the station for 15 years. “You say ‘KTOK news,’ you instantly think of Jerry Bohnen. He’s the hardest worker I’ve ever been around. If he smelled a story, it didn't make any difference to him what time it was.”

In his time as news director for KTOK and the Oklahoma News Network, Bohnen hired an array of reporters and anchors who went on to long careers in Oklahoma media. 

Bohnen was unavailable for comment. As of this writing, KTOK management had not responded to a phone call from Oklahoma Gazette.

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