(By Ed Ryan) Thursday is the official 60th anniversary of Beasley Media, the company the late George Beasley founded with a 500-watt AM radio station in a small town in North Carolina. CEO Caroline Beasley called into The Stan & Haney Show on WRXK in Fort Myers Tuesday to talk about the success and longevity of the company.
Beasley told the story about growing up in radio and how the family would stop by and visit radio stations during their vacations. She shared memories about going to those early stations the family owned as well — and how she would wait and wait for George to finish up so they could head home. “He always had one more thing he had to do,” she said. “I was born in the business, I grew up in the business, as did my brothers. We are grateful he shared his vision with all of us.”
That first station — WPYB — was in Benson, NC, and the call letters stood for “We Promote Your Business.” Beasley now owns over 60 stations in medium and large markets across the country.
Kent Dunn has been with Beasley for 29 years. He’s now the GM for the Augusta and Fayetteville markets. “I can truly say it is a family company. All of us long-term employees are treated like a part of the family and feel lucky to be a part of this great company. Caroline, Bruce, Brian, and of course George developed this culture and it has served our communities well these last 60 years. Here’s to 60 more.”
Stan and Haney, hosts of the show Caroline called into Tuesday afternoon, have been with Beasley 30 and 29 years, respectively. Stan told Caroline they’ve both worked at a lot of stations that didn’t have the same dedication as the Beasley family does. “We wished we could have been here longer than 30 years. We wouldn’t have had to deal with the problems of the preceding radio stations we worked for.”
Haney said George came down to the studio personally to congratulate the duo on their 5,000th show back in 2013. “Getting a pat on the back from George was a big deal.” Stan added that George shared his vision with everyone. “He wanted to make sure we knew how important this business was, and the responsibility we have in this business. He instilled it into his employees.”
Caroline responded, “My brothers and I love the business. We love our listeners. We love serving the communities and we love the employees because without you, we wouldn’t be here. We’re rooting for another 60 years. There are many Beasleys in the family, and many non-Beasleys capable of running this company as well. Radio is transforming, we’re involved in digital and e-sports. It’s all very exciting.”
Mac Edwards is Beasley’s Detroit Market Manager tells Radio Ink he’s very fortunate to have joined Beasley over 30 years ago. “The company’s family atmosphere and commitment to community spoke loudly to me from Day 1. I have always appreciated the company’s willingness to invest in our brands and people, remain nimble, look to the future, and provide growth opportunities for employees. They’re involved. Caroline, Brian, Bruce, and Brad are always just a phone call or an e-mail away. And, they undoubtedly remain committed to growing Beasley Media and fortifying the tremendous legacy first started by their parents, George and Ann. Salute to 60 & many more.”
Radio Ink President & Publisher Deborah Parenti, who also worked for Beasley for two years during her broadcast career, said, ” The legacy of Beasley Media Group is not found in any number, whether in terms of longevity, station deals, or employee count. Rather, it stems from founder George Beasley’s commitment to loyalty, an insatiable quest for learning, and unwavering devotion to family. That’s what made George Beasley an inspiration to many and the founding principals that continue to guide the company that bears his name.
Haney concluded the interview with Caroline Beasley Tuesday afternoon by saying, “The level of respect for Caroline in this business is unparalleled. She’s a superstar.”
As part of the 60th celebration, Beasley stations will be airing specially produced on-air messages thanking listeners, advertisers, and local communities for their continued support over the past six decades.