Magenhofer: Moving on from 11-year run at WSVA

Story by Chris Graham
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It hit him driving to work early, early, early Friday morning.

“I was thinking, Gosh, is this the last time I’m here, the clock turning 4 o’clock in the morning, and I’m driving into the parking lot? This route that I’ve taken to the station for so many years, is this really the last time that I’ll drive this road? It’s very strange. It’s still surreal at this point,” said Karl Magenhofer, whose 11-year run as the news director at WSVA-550AM came to an end on Friday.

On Monday, Magenhofer takes over as news director at WNAV in Annapolis, Md. It’s a move back home for the Baltimore native, but then, Harrisonburg had become a sort of second hometown for him in his time in the Valley.

“At 11 years, I’ve almost spent a third of my life here. Which is funny. I said this to the folks at the station today, that when I came here, I thought I’d be here a year. And I’ve been very fortunate in the way things worked out, that my one year in Harrisonburg turned out to be 11,” Magenhofer said.
Magenhofer’s voice helped thousands of Valley residents get their days going every morning and sometimes helped them to bed at night with his work on the station’s far-ranging live sports programming – calling high-school and JMU sports for the station.

It was a labor of love for Magenhofer, who will miss the many friends that he made among WSVA fans, his news contacts and his coworkers at the station.

“Most of us in the business, you’re in it because you love it, and you’re passionate about it. Working with the same group of people over a period of time, you can’t help but become very close, because you share that passion for the business and for your job,” Magenhofer said.
“When you think about how much time you spend at work, and certainly during basketball season, and once you get to high-school playoffs, Jim would look at me and say, Well, we’re going to see more of each other the next couple of weeks than we will our families, that puts it in perspective.”

“You have to be friends. Otherwise it’s not going to work. You’re not going to have the dynamic that we had on SVA on the morning show. Basically three guys who are friends ripping on each other about how nuts we all are,” Magenhofer said.

One thing he won’t miss – that early alarm. His workday at WNAV starts at 12:15 p.m.

“I’m not going to know exactly what to do being able to sleep in,” Magenhofer said.


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