Tom Barnard to leave KQRS after 36 years as host

1 July 2022

MINNEAPOLIS — One of the longest-running radio hosts in the Twin Cities metro area will be leaving his post at the end of the year.

KQRS, a classic rock station based in Golden Valley, announced that Tom Barnard would be retiring from the station, with his final show being scheduled for Dec. 23.

He’s been with the station for 36 years, since 1986.

“You’re the best in the business, Tom,” the station tweeted Thursday. “We wish you all the best in your next chapter!”

While Barnard has largely shied away from interviews, WCCO’s Frank Vascellaro did manage to talk with Barnard on a few occasions, when he launched a podcast and, when he signed a fresh five-year contract in 2015, spoke frankly about his family history and upbringing in Minnesota.

Barnard’s tenure on KQRS was not without controversy. He has been accused of insensitivity to minorities with some of his off-the-cuff comments made on the highly-rated morning show, particularly toward the newly-naturalized Somali and Hmong communities.

Barnard was inducted into Minnesota Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2018.

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