After 26 years in radio, Randy Raley decided he wanted the challenge of a new career. In October, he met that challenge when he moved to the newspaper business and joined the Daily Journal as its new advertising sales manager.
Raley, 53, has settled into his new role as sales staff manager for the Daily Journal, Farmington Press, Democrat News and Parkland AdVantage. He supervises a staff of five, with a sixth employee to be added by the end of the month.
“We’re so excited to have a person with the breadth of his experience and professionalism joining the Daily Journal team,” said Publisher Gary Berblinger. “We are confident that business leaders of the greater St. Francois County area will welcome him with open arms.”
A native of Ava, Mo, Raley and his family moved to the Quad City area in Illinois during his mid teens. In high school, he was “the journalism guy” and started his high school’s first in-house radio station.
Raley’s love of music and the radio began in his youth, when he would listen to the radio in his bedroom when he did homework or felt lonely.
“The guys on the radio were my heroes,” he recalled. “I wanted to be that guy on the radio who made other people feel good.”
Raley followed his dream and became a successful deejay in Quad Cities, Kansas City, Denver and St. Louis.
“I was the rock deejay,” Raley said with a grin. “I was the guy who played all those classic rock songs when they were new.”
During his on-air career, Raley met some of his favorite musicians, including Jackson Browne and Bob Seeger. A painting by Jerry Garcia and a framed poster from the Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band Tour grace the walls of his office in the Daily Journal’s advertising department.
Much as he loved his work, Raley decided to leave on-air in 2003. Radio was changing, and the importance of on-air “talent” paled in the face of the financial bottom line. He was successful, and his popularity earned him large salaries. That made him an early target in budget cuts.
“I got tired of being fired because I made too much money,” he explained. “I decided to go into the side of radio where they like it if you make too much money.”
Raley studied marketing and sales and became successful in the advertising side of the radio business. Before he came to the Daily Journal, Raley was managing three stations in Illinois.
Like many other Baby Boomers, however, Raley saw his 50s as a time for change.
“I wanted to step outside of my comfort zone,” he said. “I wanted to challenge myself.”
Since joining the Daily Journal, Raley has made some small changes in the advertising department, but does not foresee major changes at this time. Among those changes is a philosophy adjustment.
“Instead of selling ads, let’s sell campaigns,” Raley said. “One ad might not work, but one campaign does. The prize is to help businesses grow.”
Raley said his goal is to help advertisers get their names into the public in the most effective manner possible.
“My role is to help advertisers solve problems, whether it be name recognition or traffic through their door,” he said.
Raley and his wife, Ann, have three grown children: Jessica, Paul and Emily. The couple lives in St. Louis, and Raley enjoys the commute to and from the Parkland. Although radio will always be close to his heart, Raley hopes to stay at the Daily Journal until he retires. He has attended the area chambers of commerce and looks forward to getting to know the business leaders in the Parkland.
“The people here seem friendly and open,” he said. “I’m happy to be here, and I hope to meet everybody.”
Raley can be reached at 573-431-2010 ext. 118, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Paula Barr is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-431-2010, ext. 172 or at email@example.com.