As KACU-FM finished the bi-annual Pledge Drive last week, the radio station is preparing to say farewell to John Best, better known as “The Voice of God.”
Best started at KACU in 1999 as the radio station’s program director. In 2000, he became general manager. Best will retire at the end of July.
“I’m ready to slow down a little bit,” Best said. “We have four grandkids in Michigan and one brand new granddaughter in Austin. We’d like to see her more often.”
Best graduated from Hardin-Simmons University with a degree in classical music. He worked as a photojournalist for 16 years, and then worked as a professional photographer and television producer for 15 years before coming to work at KACU.
“Working here at ACU as the GM of the radio station and teaching as an adjunct professor has been the most fun I’ve ever had,” Best said.
Best has many responsibilities as the General Manager of KACU. Best maintains the Corporation of Public Broadcasting grant, approves underwriting radio spots and directs the ACU television and radio operations.
Best also works with students to produce “The News at Noon,” a local radio show that airs Monday through Friday.
“It’s an award-winning program recognized by the Texas Intercollegiate Press Association as one of the best in the state,” Best said. “We’re very proud of that program.”
Best has impacted many. Cade White, instructor of photojournalism, met Best when he was a student.
“I first met John Best when I took a Maymester class taught by David Leeson,” White said. “I was a junior photojournalism student. David brought in this really mean guy who ripped our photos to shreds. And that was my first encounter with John Best.”
Though Best is a tough critic when it comes to photography, he has improved the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication.
“John is going to be sorely missed,” White said. “He has been an integral part of our student-media operation. He’s been an integral part of KACU and its development.”
Dr. Cheryl Bacon, chair of the JMC department, is a long-time friend of Best’s.
“John is such a delightful character,” Bacon said. “He is very, very talented. He’s versatile, he’s a great photographer and he loves the digital technology that has changed the field. He’s a good teacher. He fills a lot of different roles for us in radio, in television and in the classroom. We will miss him in all of those areas.”