Top Hannemann adviser leaving post
Jeff Coelho will be manager for seven isle radio stations
Jeff Coelho, one of Mayor Mufi Hannemann's most trusted aides, will resign from the city government but will help with the mayor's re-election campaign this year.
Coelho, Hannemann's executive adviser and director of the city Department of Customer Services, will take over as general manager of California-based Salem Communications' Hawaii radio stations beginning June 18.
"Jeff has been more than a trusted adviser and key member of the administration," Hannemann said in a release yesterday. "He's been a loyal and steadfast friend who has stood by me through thick and thin over the years."
Coelho was a radio executive before joining the Hannemann administration in 2005, initially as the city's No. 2 position of managing director. Coelho will manage seven radio stations in Hawaii, including KAIM, KGMZ, KGU, KHCM AM and FM, KHNR and KHUI.
"We are glad that we were able to coax Jeff out of Honolulu Hale and back to Hawaii's radio industry," said Joe D. Davis, president of Salem's Radio Division, in a release. "He is a thoroughly experienced broadcaster with a knowledge of the market and a depth of history in the industry that is exceptional."
Coelho started in the radio industry as a deejay with KPOI in the 1960s while he was still a student at Farrington High School. Coelho has more than 40 years of experience in radio and was general manager of Visionary Related Entertainment. During that time, Coelho created Brown Bags to Stardom, a talent competition for high school students.
Hannemann said yesterday that Coelho will help run his re-election campaign, which Coelho would not have done as a mayor-appointed city official.
"This change allows me to work with some great broadcast stations while taking an active role in my friend Mufi's campaign this year and in the years to come," Coelho said.
Hannemann and Coelho have been friends for about 20 years. Coelho asked the mayor for a job in 2005, saying he wanted to give back to the community.
Coelho stepped down as managing director in 2006 to become head of the Customer Services Department. Coelho was an integral part in the Hannemann administration, serving as a liaison to the community and City Council as well as giving advice on public policy issues.