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Coby Mach's radio career in Lincoln is coming full circle.

Mach, 46, said Thursday he'll leave the Lincoln Independent Business Association and KLIN, where he is host of "Drive Time Lincoln," to return to Three Eagles Communications as operations manager and KFOR on-air personality.

Mach worked at Three Eagles for 10 years prior to taking his position as LIBA president and CEO in 2004. He began hosting his local talk show on KLIN (1400 AM) the following year.

"KFOR and Three Eagles approached me and presented me with a great opportunity," Mach said. "I decided to take it."

He'll co-host the KFOR (1240 AM) morning show with Cathy Blythe, beginning as early as Thursday. He replaces Mark Taylor, who permanently moves over to country station 96KX, where he's also been working middays.

"Mark is still with Three Eagles' family," General Manager Joy Patten said. "He's just shifting over to KZKX."

Mach will stay with LIBA until the end of April when his contract expires. He broadcast his final "Drive Time" show Wednesday.

Kevin Thomas, KLIN assistant program director and news director, replaces Mach on "Drive Time," according to Program Director John Bishop.

"Obviously, we're surprised," Bishop said of Mach's announcement. "Coby has been tremendous for us. I enjoyed working with him. Everyone here enjoyed working with him. He did a fantastic show."

LIBA will begin a search for Mach's replacement immediately, said Board Chairman Tim Cox. During his seven-year tenure, Mach helped increase LIBA membership from about 750 to 1,150.

"Coby has been a huge asset to our organization by expanding LIBA's influence into our community and building our membership to unprecedented levels," Cox said in a news release.

"He will be missed by all of LIBA's members; however, we are happy for Coby and pleased that he will stay in Lincoln and continue to be a part of LIBA and support our organization's goals."

Mach monitored local government and testified at hearings on behalf of LIBA, giving the group a strong voice in local decisions.

LIBA will continue to participate in the local political scene, Cox said. The group isn't likely to find a "Coby clone," he said, but they will be looking for someone with the "same kind of guts and gumption."

"The mission of LIBA will stay the same: to be politically involved, to educate our members on what is going on in the community, and to support political candidates who support free enterprise," Cox said.

​Reach Jeff Korbelik at 402-473-7213 or jkorbelik@journalstar.com, or follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/LJSjeffkorbelik. Reporter Nancy Hicks contributed to this story.

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