Leighton Broadcasting is a family owned, employee owned company composed of 190 employees, 64 rf/streaming audio sources, 26 format brands, six markets and one engineer. Recently, we awarded that one engineer: Tony Abfalter, the MVP Award for 2020.
When the government called for a shutdown to protect against the coronavirus, we, like many others, had to quickly rethink how we worked at Leighton Broadcasting. Our account executives were going remote but still needed access to company resources and new ways to connect with their clients. Our on-air announcers needed a safe environment to broadcast in and when they were self-quarantined due to potential exposure, they too, needed to be able to work from home. With the clock ticking, we called the department all station managers call when things aren’t working: engineering.
Even before we called him, Leighton Broadcasting’s Director of Engineering, Tony Abfalter was already formulating a plan. Through the implementation of Microsoft Teams, a secured VPN and, where needed, engineered home studios, onward, as a company we went. Tony accomplished all of this seamlessly and swiftly which we considered exceptional and instrumental to our success, as an organization – a real MVP.
I presented Tony Abfalter his award at the offices, in the original KFAM building, located off Roosevelt road in St. Cloud, MN. The building was refurbished in 2019, in the retro style as it was in the 1950s. The remodel not only looks cool, but it allows our Director of Engineering to monitor and maintain all of our company signals from one location.
In broadcast, it is often the on-air talents or members of the sales team you see in the spotlight. It was my pleasure to bring attention to broadcast engineering in this blog through highlighting the achievements and skills of the Leighton Broadcasting's 2020 MVP, Director of Engineering, Tony Abfalter.