From the ground floor up

Published 8:48 am Thursday, July 12, 2012

Todd Meija is station manager for KAUS in Austin and has been at the position for six months now. -- Eric Johnson/

KAUS manager started small before advancing at station

Todd Mejia knows what it takes to work your way up the career ladder. As the general manager of KAUS Radio, he’s proof of what hard work can accomplish.

“I literally worked my way from the ground floor up,” he said.

Mejia has successfully helmed the business side of KAUS since January, the next step in a successful radio career thus far. He first broke into the radio business in Worthington, where he grew up. He wanted to find a new career after working as a car salesman and a sales job opened at KWOA Radio about six years ago. With a brother already working in radio, Mejia felt it was a good time to try something new.

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“I was just looking for a new career,” he said.

In about a year, he rose to become KWOA general manager, eventually turning the Worthington station into such a success that a rival company bought it from Three Eagles Communications.

Mejia faced a choice: He could go wherever he wanted in the company or run another radio station’s business and promotions. Out of the radio stations from South Dakota to Ohio, Mejia figured he and his fiancee, Jody, would want to remain closer to home.

“[KAUS] just seemed like the best opportunity,” he said. “We took a gamble and chose this place.”

Yet the new market was a little different than what Mejia was used to. For one thing, Mejia knew very few people in town, whereas he was on friendly terms with everyone from Worthington’s mayor to family friends and acquaintances who knew his family. Mejia, his fiancee and their three children have adjusted well to Austin, however.

Mejia’s job is a little easier here, as KAUS already has a solid reach in the community.

“The community really seems to love this station,” he said. “They really seem to have a very strong base in the community and the surrounding areas.”

Mejia hopes to grow KAUS’s audience and increase the station’s presence in the community, as he plans on putting together more promotions and opportunities for listeners. He once gave away $95,000 on the radio in Worthington, and he has plenty of experience giving away luxury items from $20,000 ice homes to new cars. He has a few deals in the works for the next several months, but he’s waiting to reveal what they are until everything is finalized.

“I’d like to bring some more fun things to the radio station,” he said. “I’d like to bring a bigger presence out into the community, let the community know we’re here and we’re local.”