“My Career Highlights": Stories From the Leighton Media World

Stephanie Theisen
Last updated by Stephanie Theisen

Success looks different and is defined in many different ways. At Leighton Media, it’s first and foremost about the people. Our listeners, advertising partners, and the community. All of those individuals have specific goals and expectations of radio, and our team works to meet those needs and delight people in several ways. I asked our team about their career highlights and wanted to share their feedback because I think it will surprise a lot of people to hear that “radio people” care about what’s most important.

 A Good Sense of Humor

We meet our clients where they need to be met. Ask Rick Youngbauer, the Operations Manager in Detroit Lakes.

Rick Youngbouer in a Meeting

“I would like to start by saying I am for sure that I am the only sales rep in the company that has been bitten in the rear end by a horse. No kidding. I was visiting with Eric’s Machinery Sales which is between Bluffton and New York Mills and Eric was feeding his livestock as I was getting new copy, I dropped my pen and bent over and one of his horses reached through the fence and bit my butt. Hurt like a son of a gun. Anyway, it is always a highlight for me when I see the results our stations can deliver to clients. Showing clients how radio can be used to target customers. It is very satisfying when you see the light bulb go on when clients realize it doesn’t take a mountain of money to make an impact. Consistency and service sells. Not only for us but for our clients.”

Taking a Chance

Sometimes, radio is the last place our people thought they’d end up. That’s the case for St. Cloud’s KCLD host Mollie Wasche.

“Where do I begin? I never imagined myself in radio (because I thought I'd marry a rich man) but seriously I stumbled upon a sales rep from Leighton Media in a bar, I was working at, and he introduced me to a radio internship with the KCLD morning show. After four years of interning (and begging) I was offered a full-time position. I honestly cannot believe how far I've come in a company that took a chance on me. Leighton Media helped me grow, now I'm just trying to find my groove!”

It's About the Impact

Our radio clients take a chance on us just as much as we do on them. Here’s what that means for Account Executive Joel Koetke in Perham.


“I was working with a father and son who owned a bar and restaurant. They had never done any radio marketing ever, and we met with them and sold them a title sponsorship to a promotion where the station gave away an ice castle fish house. They were very scared having spent a large sum of money as they had never spent that kind of money before. On the big night, the place was packed. Standing room only. The fire marshall was on hand to regulate the crowd in the establishment. One of the best promotions I have ever been a part of. 

At the end of the night, they were out of food, out of beer, and we were sitting around in the back office when the father and his son came in. The owner looked at us with tears in his eyes, and said, this was the most incredible night I have ever seen, and he hugged me and said, I can’t believe what I just saw. We had the single biggest night of profits in the history of the Supper Club. You told us to trust you, and we did

That’s the first time in my career I saw a client cry tears of happiness, right in front of me. He went on to sponsor that event for several more years, even after I had left that market. We do make an impact on people’s lives, every single day.”

It's About the Community

One of the most important elements of radio advertising we stress to our clients is how the community is affected by sponsorships, events, and promotions. It’s not only about making sales or a profit – it’s about so much more like Detroit Lakes’ Account Executive Stacey Gravelle shares.

“For two years now, we have done a project with J&K Marine in DL called “Fill the Yetti” (a fish house we fill with non-perishable food items). This year's promotion brought in over 10,000 pounds of food for our local food shelves. (2,500 in DL alone). We have a Yetti Monster that accompanies this fish house to participating businesses and local schools. The kids LOVE the Yetti monster! He has been a part of our local winter parade as well as going to schools that collected the most items for a pizza party with the kids.”


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