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The Radio Men

Local Personalities Making A Difference While Fulfilling Their Passions

John Carney

Tune in to John at, Monday-Friday, 12-3 p.m.

For more than 50 years, radio listeners found comfort listening to John Carney behind the mic. His radio career began shortly after his late father and Hall of Fame broadcaster, Jack Carney, advised him not to get into radio.

Young, defiant John’s first day on-air as the host of an afternoon country music show outside Denver coincided with his 21st birthday. “I know it sounds like a cliche, but that 'class clown' moniker was stamped on just about every report card I brought home, so not paying attention and being a smart ass was actually great job training,” laughs John.

John’s first major market radio break came in1986 when he was teamed up with two legendary broadcasters for an “all-talk format” at St. Louis’ KXOK. He also started a five-year writing stint for comedian Dick Cavett. 

He's just so funny. “I read yesterday that there's a shortage of chicken wings; I believe this could be the country’s biggest crisis,” says John with a straight face.  

John sees his greatest strength as his ability to make people smile, even during bad times. He’s continued to do it through his own difficult times.

“I’ve had five heart surgeries. I used to play in a band and play golf, and I want to get back to those things,” explains John.

One thing John hasn’t had to give up is his cooking. “I've wrote cookbooks and taught cooking classes, and I still cook a lot at home and for sick friends. If there’s not a mic in front of me, I’m happiest with a pot and a spatula,” he quips.

John is happily married with two biological sons, and two girls he and his first wife adopted from China. He also founded Carney’s Kids, which raises money and awareness to improve children’s lives.    

Larry Conners     

Tune in to Larry "live" on KXEN-AM 1010 Monday-Friday 1-3 p.m. and at

Larry Conners has been broadcasting for 50-plus years, covering every major story in the St. Louis region for 38 of those years. “Radio always interested me, and at age 15 my parents let me board a Greyhound bus from West Texas to Dallas to get licensed to work at a local station,” recalls Larry. 

He worked his way up to an on-air position before TV news stations were doing live broadcast.

“As a news anchor, I never tried to 'influence' or to push an agenda. I wanted to remain neutral and tell a good story,” explains Larry.

Not many can say they’ve interviewed five US presidents. Larry can. He’s also covered mass murders, state executions, hurricane and tornado scenes, been tasered, and busted a chicken ranch.

Larry says, “God has blessed me in many ways in a profession that I love.”

But he has other passions as well. A daredevil at heart, Larry rode bulls at age 14 on his granddad’s ranch, served in the Marines, became a commercial pilot, stood on top of the Arch, and flew with the Blue Angels.

It seems as though he’s done it all, but something he wishes he could fix is the lack of civility in today’s world. “I believe it’s due to lack of respect, lack of faith, hate... on all sides, and too much judging based on skin color, religion, gender, sexual preference,” explains Larry. “We need to all follow the Golden Rule and love one another as we love ourselves,” he added.

But for Larry, life is good. He has two beautiful daughters, adorable grandkids, and a job he loves. “I truly enjoy doing my radio show. I do miss not being “on air” when a major story breaks. I still have that basic fabric of fairness, but now I can also express my opinion...and I do,” Larry says, smiling.

Marc Cox

Tune in to Marc on "The Marc Cox Morning Show," Newstalk 97.1-FM, 5-9 a.m.

“I love to communicate ideas and stories in a unique way that people can relate to. They may not always agree, but they know I’m speaking from the heart, and have the facts to back it up,” says Marc.       

Marc’s career path almost took a totally different turn. “I seriously considered politics as a career. I was active with the Young Republicans at Miami University,” says Marc.

During his sophomore year, he was bitten by the journalism bug and the challenge of getting to the bottom of a story. “My first job was reading the news at WPFB-AM in Ohio but I was drawn into TV because of the supposed glamour of the job. I enjoyed every minute of it even though not much was glamorous,” Marc explains.

Marc’s successful career at KMOV-TV spanned 20 years; he's been with KFTK for 11 years.

“I was drawn back to radio because you can be yourself, cover what you want to cover, have fun, and give my opinion along the way,” explains Marc.

As a conservative, he's passionate about where he feels the country is headed. “It’s the belief of some the government is the answer to every problem, but our founders were specific about limiting the size and scope of government to a select few issues,” says Marc.  

For the last 28 years, Marc has been happily married to Michelle. They have three children. 

He does have a lighter side. Marc laughs, “I love to go to antique stores. My wife says I would be a hoarder if not for her efforts over the years because I have more antique radios than I have room to store them.”


Tune into Smash on WBGZ 107.1-FM streaming live at, Monday-Friday, 3-5 p.m.

He has one of the most recognizable voices in St. Louis. Asher “Smash” Benrubi has been entertaining the masses since he dropped his law studies at Indiana University.

“Somewhere along the line, I got bit by the rock ‘n’ roll bug, and that led to 55 years in the entertainment business,” marvels Smash.

From his early days at KSHE, through all of his endeavors, his success was built on two main principles:  "When you’re sincere and tell the truth, you’re believable and people know it. That results in an audience who will relate and stick with you.”

Throughout the years, Smash weathered many storms but always ends up back on top with the sun shining. “I’ve had many unfortunate things happen and through it all, the Lord never let me fall. I praise Him as my greatest strength,” says Smash.

He lost the love of his life, his second wife, Debbie, but is proud to have their two children and a son from his first marriage.

Somehow Smash never seems to lose that boyish grin, that sparkle in his eye, and a fantastic sense of humor that keeps his fans coming back for more.

“Something my listeners don’t realize about me is that I know I don’t look it, but, in truth, I’m a touch overweight,” he laughs.

Through it all, Smash remains a happy man. Smiling, he says, “I’ve been blessed to professionally be able to do what I do now and what I’ve done, and for that I am thankful.”