Updated September 1 at 6:01pm

Steering a steady course through turbulent waters

By Rhonda J. Miller
PBN Staff Writer

Amid changing ownership, competition and technology propelling radio through dramatic transformation, Cumulus Broadcasting Market Manager Barbara Haynes has remained clearsighted.

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Steering a steady course through turbulent waters

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Amid changing ownership, competition and technology propelling radio through dramatic transformation, Cumulus Broadcasting Market Manager Barbara Haynes has remained clearsighted.

“Ownership changes can be hard, and in my career they happened early and often,” she said. “I got OK with that.”

That attitude is an important part of her resilience, since her position as market manager, equivalent to general manager, of Cumulus Broadcasting in the region has a broad range of responsibilities across a spectrum of genres. She oversees five radio stations – WPRO-FM 630/99.7, WPRV-AM 790, 92 PRO FM, WWLI-FM Lite Rock 105 and WWKX-FM Hot 106 – with formats that range from news talk to light rock.

“I think the way I manage stress is to understand that things don’t always go your way,” said Haynes, whose career has spanned five ownership changes and multiple staff changes at three different facilities in the metro Providence radio market. “I was always able to bear down and find the energy to move forward,” said Haynes.

An essential element of success, said the Rhode Island native, is finding the right path, which she did soon after she got a bachelor’s degree in psychology in 1980 from the University of Rhode Island.

“At that time, radio stations had to have a position … finding out what the community needed and executing it on the air,” she said. After starting her career in radio with that community work, she moved into sales.

“Very soon after I got into sales, I wanted to be sales manager,” said Haynes. “Then I wanted more, I wanted to be general manager,” said Haynes.

With Citadel Broadcasting’s five stations, and its acquisition by Cumulus in 2011, Haynes has continued to “bring a high level of enthusiasm, leadership, guidance and mentoring to so many people in and around the organization,” said Lembo.

From her perspective, the complexities of broad responsibilities are managed by hiring talented people who are able to meet the challenges and maximize the potential of change, she said.

The other element that’s driven Haynes is her dedication to community service. Among her many community activities is her work over the past 10 years spearheading media relations for the Hasbro Children’s Hospital Radio-Thon, which has raised $6.5 million.

That long-term project has roots deep in her own childhood.

“I had a brother who died of brain cancer when he was 13,” said Haynes, who was a teenager at the time. “That’s one reason I want to make a difference.”

Then there’s the essential element of her continuing achievements.

“I believe to have real success you have to really enjoy the day-to-day process of what you do,” said Haynes. “I’ve been in the same field my whole career and I love it. It’s fascinating work.”

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