Brett Paradis made a big announcement Monday. After 31 years of owning three Alexandria radio stations – KXRA-AM (1490 and 100.3 FM), KXRA-FM (92.3) and KXRZ-FM (99.3) – he is selling his broadcasting company, Paradis Broadcasting of Alexandria, to Leighton Enterprises, Inc.
About a year ago, Paradis said he started the process, thinking long and hard about what he wanted to do.
When he made the decision to sell, Paradis said, “I carefully and strategically thought about which firm – which company – would be the best fit for this area, this community and my team.”
Leighton Enterprises, founded by Al and Jean Leighton in the 1950s, was that perfect fit, he said. Paradis said his parents were friends with the Leighton family and their history goes back many years. Over the years, he’s worked and trained alongside the Leighton family and truly feels they are the best fit for this area, as well as for his team of employees who are more like family to him.
“I respect them (the Leightons). They take good care of their employees and have a tremendous vision for the future,” said Paradis. “And the cream of the cake is they wanted me to stay on.”
Leighton Enterprises plans to keep the stations operating as usual with local programming and Paradis said they plan to maintain all employees, with Paradis as general manager.
KXRA-AM is a local news talk station that just marked its 70th anniversary on the air. KX92 is a classic rock station. Z99 was the latest addition to the Paradis mix in 2000, and has an adult contemporary format that plays hits from the ‘90s to today.
Paradis Broadcasting employs about 23 employees, including both full-time and part-time.
“My team and I have worked with Leighton for 10-plus years as colleagues, so we are very familiar with their operation and excited about the future. After 31 successful years here in Alexandria, I can tell you that I am so proud of my team, and now I am proud to bring them along and join the family at Leighton Enterprises,” Paradis said in a news release.
“We are both second-generation broadcast companies and share the same values. By joining forces, we will be able to provide new resources to our customers and provide better benefits to our employees.”
Leighton Enterprises is a family and employee-owned business with a number of companies, including Leighton Broadcasting, Leighton Interactive, Magnetic Spark, Leighton Events, Granite City Speedway and LB Video Productions. It has radio stations in St. Cloud, Fergus Falls, Perham and Detroit Lakes.
Bob Leighton, CEO of Leighton Enterprises, Inc., praised Paradis. “His knowledge, experience in the industry and commitment to serve the local community will be an asset to our company,” said Leighton.
Paradis expects the transaction to be finalized in early January and said it is subject to FCC review and approval, which can take anywhere from 90 to 120 days.
He started working full time in the industry at the age of 19, when he worked for his dad. His dream is to stick around for another five to six years until it’s his time to retire.
“I am on board with this,” said Paradis. “The Alexandria area is a great place and we have really fun people who get to help enhance the community.”