Another of 89.3 the Current’s longtime on-air personalities, David Campbell, has signed off.
The host of “The Local Show” and “Radio Free Current” – probably the Current's most public face within the Twin Cities music scene -- resigned from the station effective immediately Friday. The decision was prompted by what he described as a mix of health issues and dissatisfaction with his duties. He has no current plans to work elsewhere, he said.
“It should’ve been a dream job, but it felt more like I was drowning there,” Campbell said Friday, shortly after his departure was announced on the Current’s website.
Jim McGuinn, 89.3’s program director, said in the posting, “We are grateful for his many contributions to the Current and wish him well in his next chapter.” McGuinn's note goes on to mention that music director David Safar will fill in on the Sunday night “Local Show” for the next two weeks. A Current representative said separately that both the all-local program and “Radio Free Current” will live on without Campbell.
Those two aforementioned shows were specifically the brunt of Campbell's workload, and the duties got harder and harder in recent years for reasons that would finally be pinpointed in a recent doctor’s diagnosis. Campbell learned he suffers from attention-deficit disorder and learning disabilities that are likely the result of several concussions he suffered as a kid while playing hockey. He thought such matters might get better after he went sober four years ago -- a victory he has proudly championed to others -- but he did not know the real cause.
“When it comes to just doing an on-air shift like most DJs do, I do great, but not when I have 100 e-mails to answer and release dates to keep track of and things like that,” he said, specifically homing in on the “Local Show” duties.
A veteran on the 89.3 frequency since 2007, Campbell came to the station after a half-decade of hosting a midnight all-local program on classic-rock station KQRS 92.5 FM. He would become one of the Current’s most colorful and familiar on-air personalities, plus he maintained the strongest links to the Twin Cities music scene among staffers there -- in part because he, too, is a musician known from E.L.nO., the Blackberry Brandy Boys and the annual Replacements tributes at First Avenue.
Having just marked his 40th birthday, Campbell said he asked for other DJ-ing duties at the station but a different arrangement could not be worked out. “There’s no ill will with the people there,” he clarified.
His departure caps off a tumultuous year of staffing issues among 89.3 the Current jockeys, which started with the January firing of mid-day host Barb Abney (now on air at Go 96.3 FM). In April, afternoon favorite Mary Lucia took leave from the station amid hellish personal upheaval caused by a stalker, matters that have still kept her from returning to the air. Morning show co-host Steve Seel also took a leave of absence in June and returned as more of a pick-up player between the Current and other Minnesota Public Radio stations.