KVPR family stunned by Mariam Stepanian’s death

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Mariam Stepanian. Photo / Valley Public Radio

There’s sad news today for employees and supporters of Valley Public Radio: General manager Mariam Stepanian, whose name became synonymous with KVPR, died Thursday, Jan. 18, following complications from an illness. It’s no exaggeration to say she was a pillar of the central San Joaquin Valley’s cultural scene.

The radio station’s staff was informed Friday morning.

Stepanian had worked at the station since 1980, first serving as development director. She soon became general manager. You can learn more about her storied career on the KVPR website:

Under Stepanian’s leadership, Valley Public Radio became one the region’s leading providers of news and cultural arts media. With NPR and classical music programming, Valley Public Radio’s audience grew and eventually encompassed two stations, serving both the Fresno and Bakersfield markets.

Most recently, Stepanian led the effort to raise funds for the construction of a new state-of-the-art broadcast center in Clovis. The 10,000 square foot facility opened in mid-2016, and is a lasting reminder of her vision for the station and the community.

I’m planning to write a follow-up appreciation of Stepanian. If anyone has memories or other details to share, please email me at donaldfresnoarts@gmail.com, or leave a comment below.


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Author: Donald Munro

Covering the arts in the central San Joaquin Valley and beyond.

2 thoughts on “KVPR family stunned by Mariam Stepanian’s death”

  1. Mariam WAS Valley Public Radio. Such a wonderful and caring person. Such a loss for the station, for the valley, for all of us.

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