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Dedicated in memory
Cavaleri was Sales Manager
under Bill Prettyman &
Charles Giddens during
the late '70s & early '80's. He left the station in 1983 to
pursue station ownership with Steve
Kingston. Sadly, he passed away in October, 2011.
Kingston remembers Don Cavaleri
Cavaleri passed away October 16, 2011 after a brief but fierce
battle with stage 4 esophageal cancer. Don and I had been friends
since meeting at WPGC in the early 80’s. At the time, he
was the General Sales Manager,
and I was the Program
Director. As at most radio stations, the battle lines were
drawn; sales versus programming. But as I learned over the years,
Don not only excelled professionally as a sales person, sales
manager and overall broadcast executive, but had the sensibilities
to invest in opportunities and people. He expressed his frustration
with corporate life long before it became trendy, and decided
to buy stations. I was fortunate enough to join him and his entrepreneurial
adventure into radio station ownership.
1983, he left WPGC, and we formed a partnership to purchase our
first radio station; KZKX, a 100KW FM serving Seward, Nebraska.
Making the transition “up market” to Lincoln was truly
a worst to first scenario. But he succeeded, and at last check,
KZKX still dominates the market. Don possessed the skills and
real passion for radio, and my 100 percent trust in his character
and talent allowed me to pursue my own career while Don minded
the store. We went on to purchase stations in Charleston, Annapolis
and eventually St Augustine, Florida, which was close enough to
home and he intended to manage, during the launch and for the
first few months of the start up.
was a true outdoorsman, and of all the properties we owned, Don
truly loved Annapolis because of the bay, its close association
with nature and the environment, and his love of wooden ducks.
When the company was divested and sold off in the early 2000’s
for multiples that in today’s world are astronomical, I
was committed to Annapolis and Don was committed to a life of
golf and retirement. I told him I would prefer not to cash out
of WRNR, and persuaded him to stay on. Though he was 1000 miles
away, he did.
the end, he was in my life as a mentor, advisor, consultant and
most importantly, a friend. I spoke to Don almost every day over
the many years we were friends and colleagues. I will miss my
friend, but I know he left us on his own terms; proud, sure, unflappable
and with little fuss. He is survived by his loving wife and high
school sweetheart Ann, sons Kyle and Chad, and several grandchildren.
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