Multiple sources have confirmed that longtime KFQD radio host Dave Stieren has accepted a communications role with the Dunleavy administration. His last day on KFQD will be October 18. Sources also confirmed that current Communications Director Mary Ann Pruitt is on her way out. Pruitt was earning $185,000 a year on a contract basis. It is unclear whether Stieren will be a State employee or a contractor, or what his salary will be.
Stieren and Pruitt have an interesting history. They co-owned the ad agency PS Strategies for several years (P as in Pruitt, S as in Stieren). But in February 2017 Pruitt filed a lawsuit against Stieren, alleging he used company assets for personal use. The lawsuit was settled out of court just under a year later. This was included in the January 21, 2018 Sunday Minefield:
Speaking of PR and ad agencies, Mary Ann Pruitt and Dave Stieren seemed to have settled their dispute over their company PS Strategies. I went down to the Court House to read the case. It’s pretty wild. Pruitt had Stieren served at the Anchorage airport and then posted a security guard at the office door preventing him access. A lawyer friend and fan of the Landmine provided the following analysis:
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My basic take on the lawsuit is that Pruitt sought judicial removal of Dave Stieren from the PS Strategies board of directors, alleging that he used company assets for his personal use. Stieren responded that Pruitt was unlawfully keeping him out of the PS Strategies premises, and that he wanted to review the books and records of the company. Judge Lamoreoux sided with Stieren as far as granting him access to the company’s office. The parties settled before anything else happened.
Stieren has been the host of the Dave Stieren Show on KFQD for the last 10 years. His absence will leave a serious void in the afternoon talk radio market in Anchorage. Stieren is not the first radio host to take a job in the Dunleavy administration. Rick Green, known as Rick Rydell on his longtime KENI radio show, accepted a job in the Dunleavy administration not long after Dunleavy was elected. Green has been working as a special assistant to the Commissioner of Fish and Game since last December. Green was eventually replaced by former KFQD radio host and Louisiana resident Dan Fagan.