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Phil Hobbs, VP/General Manager
Phil Hobbs has been the general manager of WNEG since 2001. Hobbs is a graduate of Needham Broughton High School in Raleigh, NC, and has degrees from the University of South Carolina and Lander University.
Hobbs began his radio career in 1984 at WBCU in Union, SC as a part-time announcer. Career turns included full-time announcing stints at WCRS in Greenwood, SC and WESC in Greenville, SC.
Hobbs returned to WBCU in 1989 as program director, morning announcer, and sports director. While in the last position Hobbs twice earned Sports Announcer of the Year awards from the South Carolina Broadcasting Association.
Hobbs became general manager of WBCU in 1997 and remained in that position until moving to Toccoa in 2001. While general manager of WBCU, Hobbs served as chairman of the Chamber of Commerce and vice president of the Union Rotary Club. Upon leaving Union, Hobbs was awarded a letter of recognition by the City of Union for service to the community.
Since joining WNEG in 2001, Hobbs has served as chairman of the Toccoa-Stephens County Chamber of Commerce, and President of the Toccoa Rotary Club. Under Hobbs’s management, WNEG was named Small Market Station of the Year by the Georgia Broadcasting Association in 2003.
Hobbs is married to the former Betsy Stalnaker of Union, SC and has two boys, Richard and Ben.
Ken Brady, Sales Manager
You might say Ken Brady grew up at WNEG. He started his radio career in 1977 right after graduating Stephens County High School working as an afternoon announcer. “I had only been on the air two weeks when I got to announce that Elvis Presley had died,” he remembered.
While earning college degrees at Young Harris and the University of Georgia, Ken honed his radio skills working part-time, mainly on weekends. After graduation from UGA in 1981, Ken was hired full-time as an account executive and announcer.
Now WNEG’s Sales Manager, Ken keeps a busy schedule of work and family. When not selling,
Ken’s voice can be heard as the play-by-play announcer for Stephens County Indians Football; he also produces and co-hosts “Crunch Time” radio show every Thursday during football season. Throughout the year, Ken can be seen representing WNEG at various community remote broadcasts.
Ken is married to his high school sweetheart, Karen. They have two sons and a daughter-in-law, Matthew, Josh and his wife, Kacie. They attend First Alliance Church in Toccoa, where he sings in the choir and men’s quartet, as well as serves on the church’s Governing Board.
Connie Gaines, Operations Manager & Air Personality
The Gaines name has been synonymous with broadcasting in Northeast Georgia since 1956. Connie’s father, Roy Gaines, and his brother, Chuck, started WNEG Radio in 1956, so Connie was raised in a radio family.
She was a member of the last graduating class of Toccoa High School and attended Auburn University, majoring in Mass Communication.
Connie started full time work at WNEG the day after graduation from college. Her father told her that her schooling was over and now her education would begin. That education has included not only over 25 years at WNEG Radio, but 17 years as program director at WNEG-TV as well.
During its Centennial Celebration of the Admission of Women, Auburn University named Connie one of 400 outstanding women graduates in special ceremonies at the school. Connie is an active member of St. Matthias Episcopal Church in Toccoa, where she participates as a lay reader, choir member and Eucharistic Visitor.
Listen to “The Connie Gaines Show” on 93.1 FM & AM 630-WNEG Monday-Friday from 6:00am to 12:00pm.
Ethan Jordan, News
Ethan Jordan joined WNEG in 2017.
Prior to coming to WNEG, Jordan worked as a staff writer at The Northeast Georgian.
He graduated from Habersham Central High School in Mt. Airy, Georgia, and has degrees from the University of North Georgia and Piedmont College.
In his spare time, Jordan researches the implications of gender through classic country music.
Jordan recently moved to Toccoa and looks forward to becoming part of the community.
MJ Kneiser, News
MJ Kneiser has been a part of Georgia-Carolina broadcasting since 2002. MJ served as News Director at WNEG from 2002 to 2007, then moved to sister station 92.1 WLHR/Lake Hartwell Radio in 2008 where she served as Senior News Director until her retirement in 2016. She continues to keep her hand in local news by working part-time at WNEG as Senior News Reporter, assisting News Director Ethan Jordan.
Prior to coming to Northeast Georgia in 2002, MJ had a long career in broadcast journalism, working at CNN, Moody Broadcasting, CBS46, and in corporate communications in the metro Atlanta area.
MJ is a 1984 graduate of Wheaton College in Wheaton, IL where she majored in Speech/Communications.
Lori Duke Jones, Traffic/Office Manager
Lori Duke Jones came to WNEG when she moved back home to Toccoa after spending the last 20 years in Habersham County, where she was very involved in the community.
She spent the last 6 years on the radio as Host of “The Morning Coffee with Lori Duke Jones.” In 2017, she won a Gabby Merit Award for her creation “John Wayne’s of the Day.”
She has been involved for years with politics, working hard for state and national campaigns as a Grassroots leader for GA. She currently serves on Family Resource Center board, formerly Prevent Child Abuse Habersham, as well as serves on The Georgia Commission on Women, an appointment made by Lt. Governor Casey Cagle in 2018.
Lori has 2 sons, Joshua and Jacob, who both reside in Habersham, but her greatest joy and title is that of MIMI to her grandson Raylan.