Barb Abney Ends Run at 89.3 the Current

After nearly nine years at 89.3 the Current, Barb Abney has parted ways with the station.

On Tuesday, the midday host made an announcement via Twitter in the late afternoon saying, "I loved my job." Subsequently, Minnesota Public Radio confirmed that she had been let go, and that it was a programming decision made by the Current's management.

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-- Barb Abney (@BarbAbney) January 27, 2015
The surprise announcement makes for a sad postscript following last weekend's wrap of the Current's 10-day celebration of its 10th anniversary. Since 2006, Abney had been a fixture after the Morning Show and mixed humor ("Don't be a prize pig," she'd say when doing ticket giveaways), deep knowledge, and mirth-filled delivery during her shifts. 

Her weekday sets featured oddball covers via "Cover 2 Cover," a '90s flashback lunch during "Tonal Recall," and stories tied to mini-sets from listeners during "My Three Songs" segments. Her eclectic mixes echoed her love for deep Prince cuts, and showed her devotion to the recently reunited '90s alt-rockers the Afghan Whigs.

"Oh sure NOW [Afghan Whigs frontman] Greg Dulli follows me on Twitter!" she told Gimme Noise on Tuesday evening.

The chili-loving host from Ohio quickly acclimated upon moving here, and has championed a broad assortment of talents in the local music scene. She DJed at MPR's Wits tapings at the Fitzgerald, contributed to programming for children via Wonderground and Rock the Cradle, and knew how to whip up a crowd at the Current's events, as well as the Pizza Luce Block Party and City Pages' own 10 Thousand Sounds Festival.

"There's nothing to say," Abney said. "They want to go in a different direction and no longer have room for me."

Abney's replacement is Jade Tittle, who has worked for the station as an overnight host and produced the Morning Show.

"We are sad to see Barb go, and we sincerely thank her for her contributions to and passion for The Current," MPR said in a statement." At the same time, we're excited for what we know Jade will bring to her new role as midday host."


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