KRUI general manager trades big city life for Iowa City


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KRUI general manager AJ Honoré has replaced an hourlong drive on traffic jam-packed highways in and out of Manhattan for a brief bike ride across the Iowa River.

Along with the commute, he's moved from a desk in a Midtown tower for a westward facing shared office on the third floor of the IMU. It offers great view of the river he bikes over daily.

Honoré used to be a senior analyst at the CW, a television channel half-owned by Time Warner Cable. There he was a "jack of all trades," but he spent most of his time projecting ratings for television programs so the station could sell advertisement space.

Honoré is happy with his position at KRUI.

"I've grown to love Iowa City," the 30-year-old said. "There are fantastic things about both New York City and Iowa City. I went to the Museum of Modern Art during my lunch break — it was right down the street. But here there are no traffic jams. The transition has been swell."

Before working in New York, Honoré earned degrees in political science and history from the University of Wisconsin and a master's in public communication from Fordham University. At both universities, he was an active member of the college radio programs.

Honoré moved to Iowa City to earn an M.B.A., and it didn't take long for him to seek out KRUI, the campus radio station that has been around in some form since 1952.

"Within a couple days of moving to Iowa City, he was involved with the station," said Dolan Murphy, KRUI's previous general manager. "I encouraged him to apply to the position because his enthusiasm for KRUI really impressed me. And because of his work at WSUM, Madison, is a station that we look to as an example at KRUI."

Current employees also believe his past experience will help him lead the KRUI, which is one of the largest and longest-running student organizations on campus.

"He is a great mentor to directors and staffers, because he knows what kinds of opportunities are out there in the business," said Kendall McCabe, the KRUI music director and former Daily Iowan staffer. "He can offer KRUI staff members advice, and it's backed up by real-world experience. He knows what staffers can expect to encounter in the broadcasting industry after graduating."

Despite his tenure in the business of broadcasting, Honoré was never expected to enter the radio industry until he went to college.

He said his interest in radio began when he was at the University of Wisconsin. As a freshman, he was shy. But this changed after his voice hit the airwaves. He cites his time on the radio for helping him build confidence in himself, and for improving his public speaking.

"I found that college radio was also good for meeting like-minded folks if you are interested in music, sports, or politics," he said. "Or if you just like to hear yourself talk."

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