DES MOINES, Iowa — Van Harden announced that he will retire from WHO Radio. He has worked for 50 years in radio, mostly in Iowa.
Harden began his career on a radio station in Perry. He worked briefly out of state and in public relations for a very brief time. He was on KRNT for a number of years before joining 1040 WHO as morning host and program director. A few years ago, he stepped down from administrative work, but he has maintained his on air show.
In March, longtime co-host Bonnie Lucas retired as well.
“I had a lot of time to think about it because obviously at the latter end of 50 years,” said Harden. “There’s nothing bad about this job with the possible exception of having to get up at 2:45 in the morning. That has gotten harder and harder and harder and so one of things I look forward to is after January 8 not getting up at 2:45.”
Harden is known for his folksy style to communicate with people on a wide range of topics.
“I really don’t try to make things sound spontaneous,” said Harden. “When I have a conversation with somebody at the grocery store or gas station, I like to ask questions, so it’s natural for me.”
The longtime radio morning man said he plans to do a variety of things when he is retired.
“I’m going to speak. I’ve done a lot of writing. I’ve got another couple of books banging around up there. I’ve done some inventions and so I look forward to doing all that,” said Harden. “My wife and I have never really had a chance to travel much, so we’re going to travel and we may even take some WHO listeners along with us.”
Harden’s last day will be Jan. 8.