Veteran radio programmer Sean Demery passed away this weekend due to complications from a brain stem stroke he suffered in January. Demery, 60, most recently programmed Alpha Media adult alternative KINK Portland, OR (101.9), having joined the station in March 2017.
“We are sad to report that 101.9 KINK’s former Program Director and Afternoon Host Sean Demery has died,” the station posted on its website. “Sean suffered a brain stem stroke on Jan. 20, leaving him in what’s called ‘Locked In Syndrome.’ Sean passed away in Salt Lake City on Sept. 15.”
Alpha Media CEO Bob Proffitt commented, “Sean was such a pro, fighter and determined man. He always did it his way. KINK will always have part of Sean’s DNA pulsing through it, and I’ll never forget the first day I walked into his office with his feet up on his desk and talking on the phone. He came into my office later and apologized, and we laughed. God Bless Sean Demery.”
Demery’s well-rounded resume includes modern rock programming positions at KITS San Francisco, KXRK Salt Lake City and two stints at WNNX Atlanta, where he was MD/APD and was heard in mornings and afternoons. Demery, Rick Stacy and Leslie Fram were at the station as it dumped top 40 for modern rock in the early ‘90s.
“Here's a collective toast to the one person who changed my life for the better, changed radio, a true risk-taker, creative soul and loving friend, husband and believer in always doing the right thing. I love you my friend,” Fram posted on Facebook.
Speaking to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, former WNNX “Morning X” member Jimmy Barnes said, “Sean was an icon in the modern rock radio business and the industry is devastated. But even more devastated are the individuals with whom he closely worked over his long career, because we know that the world has not just lost a radio legend, but a loving, caring, beautiful friend who put a smile on the face of every person he ever touched with a corny joke told through that big dumb megaphone.”
Demery also held positions at KMTT Seattle, KLRZ Salt Lake City, WYMS Milwaukee, KGGI Riverside-San Bernardino, KIOY and KYNO Fresno, WYMS Milwaukee and KTFM San Antonio.