February 24th, 2013
Dan Wastler

Dan Wastler, who helped grow KFKF into the top radio spot in Kansas City, has passed away, sources have told Bottom Line.

He was 67 and is survived by his wife of 46 years, Beverly, four children and nine grandchildren.

“When I left WDAF in 2004 and signed on with KFKF Dan was exceptionally supportive,”radio icon Ted Cramer told Bottom Line. “I really appreciated that welcome to CBS at that time and he continued to be a good friend. I know the staff really misses him.”

Wastler joined KFK in July 1987 and was there for nearly 18 years until leaving for a sales and marketing position with American Energy Solutions, Inc. for nearly four years until 2010.

Wastler rose to the position of VP/General Manager/Market Manager at KFKF where he took the station from the number 10 ranking to the number one station in the marketing in less than four years.  Revenues also increased 310% during that time.

KBEQ was acquired in 1995 and in combination with KFKF became the dominate two stations in KC achieving 38% of market revenue in a 19 station market.   In 1997 they acquired KMXV and KYYS and Wastler became the Market Manager for all four stations.

In 1997 KFKF was nominated and won the prestigious Marconi Award for the top country music station in America.

Wastler, a Rockhurst University graduate,  had several severe health issues over the years, including having a heart transplant.

“Dan was a great competitor and scored some of the highest ratings ever for an FM station in Kansas City,” says radio veteran Bob Garrett. “As a fellow transplant recipient I always cheered him on…and I’m very saddened by his passing.”

He did a video (below) where he encouraged people to be organ donors.

Services will be held Thursday at St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church (LINK) in Overland Park.

8 Responses

  1. Scott Simon says:

    I first met Dan at a luncheon for an annual radio competition that benefitted a large national charity. I was immediately impressed with his poise and leadership. This news stuns me; the business needs more Dan Wastler’s.

  2. Solid Sid says:

    The radio station I ran was not a direct competitor of Dan’s, but I had much interaction with him and his team at KFKF. A true gentleman, tough competitor and he understood that radio wars were just what we did and were not your defining statement about yourself….

    He will be missed

  3. Kyle Helmer says:

    Words cannot describe what kind of man Dan was. As a father, husband, businessman, and all around human being he was un-surpassed. Dan was also my Uncle and I will miss him forever.

  4. Randy Miller says:

    Dan and I worked together for 10 years. We had weekly battles and daily celebrations. I respected Dan, and admired his passion for radio. My favorite times with Dan were away from the station, when we played golf or just discussed life. I am saddened for his wife, Bev, and his extraordinary family, which he loved so much.

  5. Karen Carson says:

    Dan once saved me from a possible lawsuit once. Yah it wasn’t just Randy Miller getting into trouble. He was a very nice man and experienced at what he did best. It’s funny how you come across people who in one way or another shape your life. You don’t see it at the time, but later you look back and you know why you took the path that you did. God has one more angel tonight. KC

  6. Randy Birch says:

    I was lucky enough to work with Dan on a team that carried KFKF from 10th place, behind a dumpster at Price Chopper to the Country Club Plaza, to of one of the dominant Country Radio Stations in the history of Broadcasting. When he came back to town, without employment, the late Mike Murphy I took him to lunch. I thought about all the people, including myself, he helped and yet here he is in a Town, where he had as much success as a G-M could have, and he’s not working.
    The fact that he was never offered another job as a G-M of a Station, when there were such openings, with the unsurpassed Track record he had and all the people in the business he helped along the way, is all anyone really needs to know about the current State of the Radio business.

    • Scott Simon says:

      Randy, one reason for the lack of success is lunches like the one you described can never happen anymore because it involves people who have real personality with great stories to tell! Media lunches now are dull boring time-wasters compiled with people who are so tight you couldn’t pull a pin out of their butt with a tractor. Nice to hear you Dan and Murphy had lunch together. Sometimes standing up afterward is a relief and privilege :).

  7. Mark Wastler says:

    The two year anniversary of Dan’s passing is just around the corner and I often look back at all the fond memories he was so generous to leave all of us with. I am the youngest of his five siblings and no one could ask for a better role model as a brother. He inspired me in so many ways in my personal life just as he did others in his professional life. My twin brother, Matt, and I have a great love for the outdoors and wildlife. I think it was those cold mornings hunting quail in Hannibal, Missouri back in the 1970′s that gave me this love. Matt and I were too young to hunt so we were Dan’s bird dogs. I should feel used, but I loved him for the great times and memories in the field. See you again someday in the field Dan, but until then, you will be missed.

Leave a Reply