This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2008, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Posted: 6:12 AM- Park City radio icon Blair Feulner is now, apparently, something of an unemployed prince.
In 1980, with a bunch of surplus equipment and a gaggle of volunteers, he launched Park City's FM radio station, KPCW, in the projector booth of the War Memorial Building on Main Street.
Since then, Feulner, who is known for his deep voice and sometimes prickly hands-on management style, has been a fixture in Utah's most popular ski town and on the public-radio dial.
But on Tuesday, to the surprise of many, Feulner signed off his morning program, saying he was having a dispute with the station's board and taking a sabbatical. He said he may or may not be back.
He could not be reached for comment Wednesday or Thursday.
Joe Wrona, a trustee of KPCW's parent company, Community Wireless of Park City, said the board was caught off guard by the announcement. Feulner's status at the station is unclear, Wrona said.
Until March 25, Feulner had a contract that required full-time duties, including the position of president of the nonprofit Community Wireless. On that date, the board refused to ratify an employment proposal submitted by Feulner that included a sabbatical, Wrona said, so Feulner resigned as president but stayed on as an "at-will employee."
"The board of trustees will have to meet to determine whether we want to revisit Blair Feulner's employment status," Wrona said. "We have to deal with an employee who up and walked off the job."
Things have changed in the 28 years since Feulner, cigarette and coffee mug in hand, signed on for his daily roundup of news "in the Park." The War Memorial Building is now a nightclub, the hippie ski hamlet has morphed into a stopover for the glitterati, and Feulner was - until Tuesday - pulling down a six-figure salary.
His departure, if that's what it is, comes as KPCW's full-time staff takes up residence in a new, station-owned building.
At the same time, Community Wireless is in the process of shedding its sister station, Salt Lake City's KCPW, for financial reasons. Feulner launched that operation in 1990.
Feulner's $150,000 salary and the paring of his empire have made news. Beyond those headlines, Feulner and his wife, Susan Feulner, came under fire after snaring a one-time payment of $895,000 when Community Wireless sold a Coalville radio license for $3.6 million.
Despite those flaps, Feulner will have a lasting legacy, said Park City Mayor Dana Williams.
"He has built an organization that has been intricately woven into the fabric of Park City," he said. "No one could ever question his dedication."