Susan Mielke Takes Home Prestigious Broadcasting Award


For this edition of Movers and Shakers, the Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce Membership Director, Cassie Stoner, shares the exciting news of valued chamber member Susan Mielke of KKNX and KEED Radio Stations, and her recently won award, the 2023 Oregon Association of Broadcasters’ James Boyd Heritage Award. Making an indelible mark on the field of broadcasting, the story of Susan and John Mielke will inspire, engage, and move any community member ready to build a better community!

Susan Mielke, a dynamic force in Oregon’s broadcasting landscape, has been awarded the prestigious 2023 Oregon Association of Broadcasters’ James Boyd Heritage Award—a testament to her remarkable contributions to the industry. Mielk shares co-ownership of KKNX and KEED Radio stations with her husband, John Mielke. KKNX AM 840 & FM 105.1 rocks early classic rock from Top 40 radio formats of the 50’s, 60’s, & 70’s, while KEED AM 1450 & FM 104.3 spins the biggest country songs by the best artists of the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. The Mielke’s have been instrumental in shaping the local media scene and served their community through shared vision, unwavering dedication, and a deep-rooted commitment to service. 

Susan’s journey is a remarkable tale of resilience and dedication. Born amidst the chaos of World War II in London, she reflects, “I made my entrance during an air raid. My mother was an English War Bride and my father was with the 82nd Airborne. When I was 5 years old we traveled by ship, military transport, to New York City and it took 19 days to cross the Atlantic due to a three-day breakdown and heavy seas. One of my most vivid early memories was standing on the deck and watching the Queen Mary pass us in the distance, the Queen Mary passed us 3 times on that trip, coming, going, and coming again!” Susan’s life took her across continents before finding her home, here in Oregon. She is a Navy Vietnam Era Veteran as well as an Oregon and Alaska National Guard Veteran from 1980 to 1989.  Her diverse experiences also included multiple business ventures in antiques and collectibles. Susan’s broad depth of  experiences have enriched her perspective and fueled her passion for excellence.

John’s career in broadcasting began at the tender age of 13 in the bustling metropolis of Los Angeles. He served his country in the Vietnam War and upon returning, his passion for radio led him on a journey that included work with multiple major stations in LA, before settling in Medford, Oregon. Even in retirement, the allure of the airwaves drew him back into radio, laying the groundwork for the Mielke Broadcasting legacy. Their paths converged Susan and John’s stories converged in Medford in 1981, united by their shared love for broadcasting and a desire to serve their community.

In 1990, their shared vision took tangible form with the founding of Willamette Rapid Print & Graphics, laying the foundation for their business partnership. The acquisition of KKNX Radio in 1996 marked a pivotal moment in their journey, providing a platform to amplify their voices and connect with their community in profound ways. In partnership with her husband, Susan has been at the helm of KKNX and KEED Radio since 1996, expanding their reach and influence across the Eugene area. Their commitment to quality programming and community engagement has earned them the respect and admiration of listeners and peers alike.

Beyond her role as a broadcaster, Susan’s leadership extends into various civic and professional organizations, including the Eugene Area Radio Stations (EARS) and the Oregon Association of Broadcasters. Her active involvement underscores her dedication to fostering collaboration and driving positive change within the industry.

Susan’s recognition of the James Boyd Broadcast Heritage Award is a fitting tribute to her enduring impact on Oregon’s broadcast landscape. Her visionary leadership, coupled with a deep-rooted commitment to service, exemplifies the spirit of excellence that defines the local business community.

This leadership is exemplified in a benefit she and company make available to Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce members, providing a platform to local businesses with radio ads on KKNX for new members.

Her legacy will endure as a beacon of integrity and achievement in Oregon’s broadcasting industry. Join us in celebrating Susan Mielke and Mielke Broadcasting for this honor!

James Boyd Broadcast Heritage Award

The Oregon Association of Broadcasters, OAB James Boyd Broadcast Heritage Award is intended to honor an individual who is currently working in the Radio and/or Television industry in Oregon in a role other than general management or ownership, or although not currently in the broadcast business did work in any capacity in Oregon Broadcasting for a minimum of 15 years.  


Executive Director:  Bob Springer

The Oregon Association of Broadcasters, customarily known as the OAB, is a member supported trade association representing the management of radio and television stations in the state of Oregon. Membership consists of 28 of the 28 commercial TV stations, and over 150 commercial radio stations. In addition, there are more than 50 Associate members. Educational radio and television stations are well represented in the OAB, as are the state’s colleges and universities as well.

About John & Susan Mielke  KKNX & KEED RADIO

John and Susan have owned and operated KKNX RADIO AM 840 since July 1996. They added KKNX  FM 105.1 as a listening option. Then they purchased heritage station KEED AM 1450 and FM 104.3. The AMs broadcast from Mielke Broadcasting Tower Facility at Delta Ponds. FMs broadcast from Blanton Heights. They work with their grandson, Justin, who assists in managing both stations and SIL, Kurt Eickhorstj, who works in Promotions and Sales.

John has an extensive background in broadcasting, beginning at the age of 13 in the LA area. As an adult he worked for LA major market stations. He retired to Medford, Oregon in the late 70s, but couldn’t stay away from broadcasting and returned to radio almost as soon as he retired! 

John also has experience in TV broadcasting, starting up CATCH 22 TV in Anchorage, Alaska, and FOX KLSR TV and KEVU TV in Eugene.

John also is a Vietnam Vet.

Susan is a Navy Nam Era Veteran, and Oregon and Active Alaska National Guard Veteran from 1980 to 89. She also worked at the U of O AAA Department 1986 – 90. 

John and Susan also owned Willamette Rapid Print from 1990 until it was sold in 2011. She managed the printing company and also worked in broadcasting with John at KKNX during those years.

John was awarded the Oregon Association of Broadcasters Broadcaster of the Year Award in 2013. He also received the Heritage Award in 2009, for contributions to the radio and television Industry. John and Susan are Eugene Area Radio Stations (EARS) board members. Susan is currently EAR S Vice President. Susan was recently awarded the 2023 James Boyd Heritage Award for her work in broadcasting. 

Published On: April 17, 2024
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