CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Renowned programmer in the Charlotte-area radio community, 52-year-old Darrin Arriens, died from coronavirus-related complications Tuesday, according to WBT Radio.
“Our director of operations for these three stations at Entercom Charlotte, Darrin Arriens, passed away yesterday due to complications stemming from the COVID-19 infection,” WBT radio host Bo Thompson said during Wednesday morning’s show.
Arriens, who spent more than three decades in radio, was director of operations for three stations at Entercom Charlotte, including WBT Radio, 107.9 the Link and WFNZ.
Brett Jensen joined Thompson Wednesday as the two looked back on the life and career of Arriens.
“I never quite know how to go into a segment like this,” Thompson said. “It is surreal.”
“It has hit home for us …You walk out of this room – this studio I’m broadcasting from right now - you take a left and the next room, next to this studio, was Darrin’s office,” Thompson said.
Arriens was not in the building for a while, Thompson said, for obvious reasons.
Ramona Holloway, co-host of The Link’s Matt & Ramona show, went live on Facebook to share what her boss, Arriens, meant to her.
“The reason why you haven’t heard from the Matt and Ramona show was because of Darrin Arriens,” Ramona said. “It was a decision that really shook me,” Ramona continued, as she put into context how Arriens was supportive of her decision to stay home amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“For the last six weeks, our show has been airing ‘best of’ bits and I’ve been doing social media in support of those best of bits. I was too afraid – I’m a caregiver- and my mom lives with me and she’s a COVID-19 triple-threat – chronic asthma, diabetes and this year she’ll be 80,” Ramona said. She didn’t feel comfortable going into work and putting her mother at risk.
“It was a decision that Darrin Arriens supported,” Ramona said, ”…we got a call this morning that that same guy died today.”
Ramona talked about how she was having a tough time with the decision to stay home.
“Nothing in my entire career touched me more a boss telling me to take care of me and mine,” Ramona said, referencing Arriens.
“Rest in peace Darrin Arriens,” said Thompson.