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Former MAB/MABF Chair Stephen Trivers Passes

April 14, 2023

Stephen C. Trivers

The MAB is sad to pass along that former MAB and MAB Foundation Chairman Stephen Trivers passed away April 10 at age 85.  Trivers, along with Bill Wertz founded Fairfield Broadcasting in Kalamazoo, which would eventually own WQLR-FM (now WVFM), WKZO-AM, WKLZ-AM and WQSN-AM (now WTOU).

Trivers was a Harvard graduate who spent more than sixty years in radio. He started in Atlanta with Bill Drake. He then moved to Susquehanna Broadcasting in Providence, RI, and was promoted to York, PA. Trivers led Susquehanna’s FM expansion into Toledo, Cincinnati, Canton, and Indianapolis.

In York, Trivers met and worked with Bill Wertz for 3 years before the two left to start Fairfield Broadcasting Company.  In addition to stations in Kalamazoo, Trivers and Wertz also owned and operated radio stations in Fort Wayne, IN and Lexington, KY.  The company also operated a syndicated beautiful music radio format division, KalaMusic.

Trivers was elected MAB Board Chairman in 1996.  Former MAB President/CEO Karole White recalls,"Steve was always positive and had a way of making people feel good about themselves and their work. When I first started with MAB he held a luncheon for broadcasters in the Southwest Michigan area so I could meet them. He never missed a board meeting or an MAB Conference often attending with his wife Irene, who I had the pleasure to get to know. They were fixtures at MAB Summer Conventions. I just loved them both."

In 2006 Fairfield sold WQLR, WKZO and WQSN to Midwest Communications.

In a 2011 interview with MLive, Trivers said the best two pieces of advice he’d ever received both came from his father: “The first is hard work solves every problem. The second is whenever you make a job change for family reasons, it will turn out to be a brilliant career decision.”

A memorial for Trivers is planned for May 10 at 4:00 p.m. at Betzler Funeral Homes in Kalamazoo.

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