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Mon, Oct. 21

Pair of Prescott businesses celebrate 25th anniversary

Matt Hinshaw/The Daily Courier <br>Tonya Mock, director of advertising, Rich Bates, director of operations, and Michael Joyal, general manager of Murphy’s Restaurant, stand behind the bar in Prescott Tuesday afternoon.

Matt Hinshaw/The Daily Courier <br>Tonya Mock, director of advertising, Rich Bates, director of operations, and Michael Joyal, general manager of Murphy’s Restaurant, stand behind the bar in Prescott Tuesday afternoon.

One is the flagship restaurant of a popular restaurant chain, and the other is one of the community's long-standing radio stations.

But it's the people behind Murphy's Restaurant and radio station KPPV that are the driving forces behind both businesses' silver anniversary celebrations.

Sanford Cohen, president/general manager of radio station KPPV, hit the airwaves with his wife, Terry, in late summer of 1985.

It was September of that year when Sanford and Terry were in their late 20s and the station's call letters were KIHX.

"Thank goodness we were young when we started," he joked. "On the one hand it seems like it's gone by in the blink of an eye, and then on the other hand, it's been a very long and windy road."

In the early days, Cohen said it was a two-person operation with Terry. Back then, Cohen said he went to turn on the station at 6 a.m., do the news, then leave to sell advertising after noon before coming back around 6 p.m. to write and produce commercials and shut the station off at midnight.

"Terry and I figure we put in about 100 hours a week, and we probably did that for the first two years," he said. "It was definitely humble beginnings. "

Riding the airwaves, Cohen remembers when the station's antenna sat on a telephone poll right outside the old studio off Robert Road in Prescott Valley.

From there, Cohen said he moved the studio to Glassford Hill Road in 1986 and began the first solar-powered FM radio station in the nation and increased the station's power to 50,000 watts in January 1992.

Today, Cohen works out of a roughly 4,500-square-foot building and since those early days, he added three more stations, five frequencies and has a workforce of 17 people.

Cohen said staying up with technology, rolling with the changing radio market and his senior management team of Allison Flannery, Ken Byers and Janet Martin are other keys driving his business longevity.

Over at Murphy's at 201 N. Cortez, Mike Joyal, general manager, said the restaurant's success has strong ties to the historic building the restaurant operates in.

"It's really built on what Prescott's built on - history," he said. "It's just timeless. A concept like that has longevity."

Rich Bates, whose career with the Fork In The Road restaurant chain began more than 20 years ago, credits the relationship between staff and customers.

"We've learned how we treat our community is just as important as how we prepare our food," he said. "We learned a long time ago you make a friend, not a customer."

And that translates into some of the most priceless advertising the restaurant can get.

"We simply can't thank them enough and in my opinion, that's truly the best recipe for success, along with really great employees," he said.

The restaurant is finalizing plans to celebrate the anniversary with the community late next week.

Tonya Mock, media consultant for the chain, agreed with Bates.

"It's because of them that we are what we are," she said.

For information, visit www.kppv.com or www.murphysrestaurants.com.

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