Golden signs off from JPR

Jeff Golden will no longer be heard on Jefferson Public Radio, the station announced Thursday afternoon.

After this newspaper first reported Wednesday that Golden is considering a run for the U.S. Senate, he and the member-supported station "reached a mutual agreement that it was not feasible" for him to continue hosting "The Jefferson Exchange," said JPR executive director Ron Kramer.

Kramer said until Tuesday, when Golden disclosed his plans to him in an e-mail, he was "entirely unaware" that Golden, a former Jackson County commissioner, had aspirations to re-enter political life by challenging U.S. Sen. Gordon Smith, R-Ore.

"As a result we had some very significant issues to (resolve) in a very compressed amount of time," Kramer said.

Golden, who was at Jefferson Public Radio for nearly 10 years, will be succeeded by a set interim hosts, including Geoffrey Riley, head of creative services at local ABC affiliate KDRV Channel 12, and Paul Steinle, a Southern Oregon University associate provost.

Steinle, who resigned as president of United Press International in 1990 to form broadcast production company, said today he is filling in for Golden at least today on "an emergency basis."

Golden was on $31,308 year-to-year contract, which coincidentally expires today, Kramer said. Golden, he added, "stepped down" and was not fired.

The station will name a permanent host for the popular morning talk-radio program soon, and warned that finding a suitable successor might be a challenge, Kramer said.

"Talk-show hosts don't grow on trees," he said.

In an interview this morning, Golden said he's had "a great run" at JPR, and understands the concerns over his potential candidacy.

"While JPR management and I have had some disagreements over the years, I have to acknowledge them for providing me a microphone without any pressure of what to do or say," Golden said. "It was free expression."

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