Watertown’s ‘Live and Local’ radio station will remain locally owned
With the death of Bob Faehn, the founder of KXLG radio, will the radio station’s motto “Live and Local” remain true?
The prevalence of corporate radio prompted Faehn to create KXLG in 2009 to help bring local news to town.
The way people receive knowledge of the world has undergone major changes over the past decade. Two generations in the Internet age, how and where people get information continues to evolve. But what about the local reports and stories that Faehn enjoys?
He believed that the way to do this successfully was with care, thoughtfulness and local owners and staff.
“It’s just the way he treated people,” said his wife, Susie. “It was with respect and dignity. He tried to find solutions to the problems that were fair to both parties.”
When diagnosed with cancer, Faehn prepared to pass on his legacy. He wanted the live and local aspect to continue. For this to happen, he had to prepare those who would be responsible for it once he was gone.
“When Bob fell ill two years ago, Melissa (Herrboldt) was thrown into the fire, but he trained her to take her place one day,” said Susie Faehn. he was preparing her to be his successor. “
Herrboldt worked at KXLG for 12 years and is now the Managing Director and one of the local owners. She remembers her journey to her job and how Bob Faehn changed her life forever.
“I never thought I would meet a man who would have had such a big impact on my life,” Herrboldt said. “I went to school, I went to college and got a job. I always worked hard. Bob saw something in me and he said, ‘I have a work for you. I can’t tell you what it is, but I have a job for you, and I think you’ll be really good. ‘”
While under Faehn’s mentorship, he taught her how to run the business and conveyed his care and consideration to her community. This planning and preparation is the responsibility of Herrboldt and the rest of the radio team. Faehn wanted to make sure Herrboldt had the support she needed to be successful in the competitive broadcasting industry.
“He left me in good hands,” Herrboldt said. “I’ve had so many people reaching out to me and asking if I need anything. I know it’s because Bob was looking after me.”
Herrboldt said she plans to continue to take care of the local community and provide excellent customer service.
“Corporate radio is different from local media. The community needs local media,” she said. “If it ain’t broke, we don’t have to fix it. I’ll never be Bob, but I will do things in a way that my main goal continues, and that is to take care of the communities that we We have been successful. because of that. It’s about the community. It always has been. “
Herrboldt and Susie Faehn are investors in KXLG, as are Duane Butt, Dean Sorenson and Mindy and Tracy Huntington. All four are from the Watertown area and are good friends of the Faehn family. Steve and Marla Willow are KXLG’s other investors. The Willows are from Pierre, but have been friends of the Faehns for years and have worked with Bob Faehn through the South Dakota Broadcasters Association.
“Steve is the president of the Association of Broadcasters, so he knows the industry and the state well,” Herrboldt said.
There are a lot of responsibilities in the maintenance of a local radio station, but Faehn and Herrboldt organically developed new investors. Drawing on Faehn’s advice and dedication, Herrboldt said she would ensure Watertown keeps her radio “local and live” for years to come.