Time to brag about where I work and the people I work with.
I joined the advertising sales staff of WOWO at the end of 2013 and am now in my 2nd year.
30 years ago I worked for Federated Media on the air with WMEE 97.3. During the interim, I worked for other radio stations and media companies including a couple here in Fort Wayne.
In 2003, I returned to radio in Fort Wayne working for a group of stations known as Summit City Radio. These stations were not the most popular, in terms of total number of listeners, but a couple of them had their niche audiences. The other stations changed formats regularly making it difficult to establish any momentum. I also spent nearly a year working for Sarkes-Tarzian in their sales department. I had friends in the programming and on-air side who worked there, and I once did a stint on the air with them several years ago.
I also have friends who work in the TV and Print industry in Fort Wayne and from my own experiences and observations, I know that where I am now in life is good. Very Good.
Last week we had a gathering of Fort Wayne Federated Media employees for the Fort Wayne Feddy awards. It was a serious and casual event. Beer and Pizza at a local County Club with jeans being the recommended attire. We took an hour to eat and another hour for the fun award recognition. Some of us were given awards for our performance in 2014 which was a nice surprise.
But what really has captured my attention is the mutual respect that is present. Besides WOWO and WMEE, we also have ESPN Radio, K-105, and The Bear radio stations. This is show business and there has to be a bit of ego. But this is also a very tough business. If you are in the programming side, you have very little control over your job. Being a radio personality is an extremely insecure profession. On the advertising side, as was pointed out last week, our job is to be told no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, maybe, no, no, no, yes. You have to have a certain toughness to be in sales .
Then there’s all the support people who rarely get anytime in the spotlight but they make it all possible for everyone else.
No place is perfect. But for me and a good number of my coworkers, Federated Media in Fort Wayne is a very good place to work.
When I was presented with an award at the Fort Wayne Feddy’s, I declined to speak publicly except to say thank you. Most everyone else did the same.
But I want to publicly thank and salute some of those that I work with beginning with:
- Ben Saurer. I’ve known Ben since he began in radio when we both were at Summit City Radio. When I was training a new salesperson, I would have them pick Ben’s brain because he was one of the few who rose to the top. After a few years he was hired away by Federated Media to manage the WOWO and ESPN Radio sales teams. It was because of Ben being at WOWO, that I decided to join his team.
- Jim Allgeier. Jim is the Federated Media Fort Wayne Market Manager. Simply put, he is Ben’s boss along with all the other managers in Fort Wayne. He sets the tone and atmosphere via his leadership. Jim allows Ben to do his job who in turn allows me to do mine.
- Sharon and Denise. They run the business end and are my go to persons. Sharon is one of the 2 people who worked for the company when I worked for Federated Media back in the 80’s. And what I find amazing is her attitude is so positive. Oh sure she gets upset about stuff but she doesn’t take it out on her co-workers. That is rare for a person in her position.
- Kelley and Kristin. These 2 ladies also are support people. Kelley is our Sales Support person and Kristin is our Promotions Director. When I have a question, they are quick to help. Not just me but all the other 20+ sales people.
- Cliff. Here’s a guy with an incredible voice who manages all of the commercial production for all of our Fort Wayne stations. I cringe when he is on vacation simply because he makes everything flow so smoothly that no one else can match.
- Ryan. The program director for WOWO and now also ESPN Radio who oversees and manages what you hear when you listen and the people who present it.
- Charly, Pat, Jim, Kayla, Krista, Dean, April, Rob, Mac and Clay. These folks handle the bulk of the day to day live stuff you hear on WOWO. Charly and Pat host mornings and afternoons with their producers Mac and Clay and the others are reporting the news and sports 7 days a week.
- My fellow WOWO Sales Staff including Art, Rick, Tracy and Lendon. In a very tough world of advertising sales, these folks are both good and successful. We met weekly and I have learned from each of them as I have adapted my way of doing things to the WOWO and Federated Media ways.
- Then there are the other unnamed people who work for our sister stations that I get to work with and around.
One last item as to why I have stuck with WOWO and am building a foundation of success. While I am competitive and want to win, I know that the only way to do this is to create success for my clients. That is what winning truly is for me. And now I am working with a team of people that allow me to do just that.
Thanks Ben and everyone else.