Leighton Broadcasting History: Our Family Story

posted by Bob Leighton

Radio has a storied, rich legacy and at Leighton Broadcasting, we’re honored to have it be our story. My dad, Al Leighton founded our company in the 1950s because it was his dream. He went on to be regarded as a pioneer in Minnesota broadcasting and we went on to continue his legacy through Leighton Enterprises. Yes, radio is our story, but that’s just a part of it.

Family & Employee Owned

In an era of large corporate ownership we are pleased to maintain our family-owned media company and our family of employees. When you have a vested interest in what you’re doing, what you’re doing will be better because of it. That’s how we expanded our family business to include employees as company shareholders.Al_Leighton-262156-edited

My dad once told us, “if you love what you’re doing, you’ll never work a day in your life.” If that principle is instilled within people, by foundation or at the top, it has to have visibility across all lines of business. Practice what you preach, so to speak.

Early business emphasis was placed on results, not sales. For us, sales are a positive byproduct of results. Profit margins, operational goals, a bottom line … they are all mechanics of our company, of course. They just aren’t what are most important to our family.

In an industry of continuing advancement and change, we’re rooted to our values - placing people over productivity and loyalty over leads. It’s comforting to know that no matter how big we get, or how much adaptability and innovation we experience because our industry calls for it, we won’t forget what got us here in the first place. People.

More Than Just Radio

Radio has always been about reaching people, something Leighton Broadcasting expanded on over the years. As my father acquired more and more stations from Detroit Lakes to St. Cloud and into Iowa, North Dakota, and Texas, we saw opportunities to help our customers reach even more of their people.

In 2010 we added Magnetic Spark to our extended family, who works to better clients’ images with promotional materials. That same year saw the inception of Leighton Interactive, who demands results as an inbound marketing agency focused on challenging the status quo of agencies by proving their work works.

Results. People. Common themes within our family of companies. This enterprise structure was established with our clients in mind. Innovation naturally leads to people wanting more and more, and we knew we could meet those demands best if we matched that innovation ourselves.

Our Broadcasting clients with radio ads want digital marketing, branding, websites, event planning, and promotional materials. We have family members to handle each of those needs, and entire business units to support the efforts.

Our Brand for Your Brand

For us, branding is a 21/52 job. That means you get 21 ads per week, for 52 weeks. What branding really is, though, is 24/365. We help our clients establish an identity for promotion across any medium.

Creating a strong brand doesn’t happen overnight, and it won’t happen through marketing alone. As Stephanie mentioned in her blog, branding is just a piece of your marketing, as they’re two separate strategies. At Leighton Broadcasting, we understand the delicate interplay between the two.

Branding strategies are an essential part of success here. When we help you with your branding, it’s solidifying ours. It's incredibly rewarding to be part of the communities in which we work and play and to see our clients grow and thrive around us, too.

Leighton Broadcasting was established to fulfill a dream, and we can’t help but think what we’re doing daily isn’t sort of the same thing. We’re committed to you and won’t ask for your business unless we genuinely think we can improve it. We’re results-based, not sales-based, something we’re six-decades strong on, and that’s not going to change anytime soon. 

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