Tulsa, Okla. - KRMG’s Operations Manager, Drew Anderssen, is departing his longtime Tulsa home today, after accepting a similar job at a co-owned radio station in Florida.
Anderssen first joined KRMG in 1996 in the promotion staff. Drew quickly advanced through the management positions and became assistant program director (PD) and interim PD. In 2000, Anderssen became the program director of KRMG. A few years later, he became operations manager, the position he held until today.
Drew was very active in our Tulsa community, volunteering his time and energy to the Tulsa Jaycees, Tulsa’s Young Professionals, Make-A-Wish Foundation and Operation Aware. Coming from a family of police officers, Drew was also very active and supportive of the Tulsa Police Department and was recently accepted into the Tulsa Police Reserve Academy. Drew was also well known amongst the Grand Lake community.
“In my 30 years of radio, I’ve never had a greater boss/mentor/friend than Drew Anderssen,” said KRMG News Director and host of the KRMG Morning News Joe Kelley. “I’m very thankful for that fateful moment in which I bumped into Drew at a radio seminar in California. Drew said to me, ‘What do you know about Tulsa?’ I told him I didn’t know anything about Tulsa. He’s been schooling me ever since.”
Drew has accepted the program director position at News Talk WDBO in Orlando, Florida, which, like KRMG, is owned by Cox Media Group. KRMG has launched a nationwide search to find his successor at KRMG.
It was not difficult to find KRMG staffers that wanted to add to this story.
The thing I will miss most about working with Drew is the way he makes me feel when I know I've fallen short of his expectations - he would always inspire me to be better, not saddle me with frustration.
Drew is famous for saying the words "let's huddle." When he says those words, he's switching gears from 'friend' to 'boss.' We all know that. He doesn't know that we all know that, though.
And like a pop-up timer on a hot oven turkey, Drew's cheeks turn red when his passion builds. He doesn't know we all know that, too.
Yet, even with he says "let's huddle" or his cheeks turn red (or especially when he says “let’s huddle or his cheeks turn red), it's always an opportunity to learn from his vision, passion and energy.
More than losing a fantastic boss, I will most miss my friend Drew. There is no more fiercely loyal, compassionate and loving friend than Drew. He is that one rare person where you have no fear in dropping your guard. He’s not just pretending to care about you. He actually does care.
I’m very excited for the staff at WDBO in Orlando. They are getting an absolute dynamite programmer and soon-to-be friend.
His personal touch. There was never any doubt in my mind where I stood with him or that he cared about what happened to me and my family. I’ve never worked with a person who has cared or invested as much in me as Drew did. And, he’s a snappy dresser.
Drew is one of the hardest working managers I have ever had the pleasure of working with. When breaking news happens any time, day or night, he’s the first guy at the station to coordinate the many moving parts that are KRMG team coverage. He has taught me so much about being a leader. I’ll miss going to lunch with him. That’s when his personality and infectious smile really shine. There aren’t many managers that I’ve worked for that I can honestly say I have enjoyed just ‘hanging out’ with more than Drew.
Before I came to KRMG, I felt like a working Cinderella. Working for Drew, and his management team, I finally felt appreciated, not undervalued and overworked. Once I reached full-time status, Drew made sure to make me feel like I was part of a talented team. So, I tried to be happy for Drew when he announced his promotion. I must have failed because Shelby Travis called to check on me that night. He said I was the only one who actually gasped then said nothing as I looked straight forward in silence. It’s a small broadcasting world. Odds are I will be able to work with Drew in sort some of capacity one day. One can only hope.
At the risk of sounding like a moldy ‘70s disc-jockey, I’ve been in radio over 30 years.
I’ve had at least 10 program directors at stations from Fort Wayne to Dallas. I’ve had friendships, to one degree or another, with all of them. And, I’ve learned from all of them. No offense to any of them, I’ve never met someone like Drew Anderssen.
Professionally, his ability to sum-up a market and develop a strategy to conquer it ought to be studied by the Pentagon.
But, there are many PDs who are brilliant strategists. What truly set Drew apart is his cheerful willingness to do whatever job needs to be done, whenever and wherever it needs to be done, whether that’s helping set-up a gazebo for a remote, brushing snow off a satellite dish or reporting on a double-homicide at 3:30 in the morning.
Drew never asked us to do a single thing he hasn’t already done or is willing to do.
That has earned him a staff willing to walk into battle with him.
And, every step of the way, he’s made everyone around him feel like we’re not just his friend, but one of his best friends.
What more could you want from a boss?
Drew is that rare boss who could pull off the delicate balancing act of supervisor and colleague. He always managed to maintain the necessary level of authority, but always did it with a respect that I’m sure I didn’t always earn. And he usually did it with his unique Anderssen wit and good humor.
It was always apparent that Drew poured his heart and soul into this job, going through focus group research and ratings data with a fine-tooth comb, always looking for a way to make the station and the product better. He knew this station up, down, front, backward, and sideways. And there isn’t ANYBODY out there who loves the world of radio more than Drew.
During breaking news, he never hesitated to jump in a vehicle and go chasing a storm or jump on the mic and start anchoring coverage. Employees are always impressed when the boss walks the walk. So thanks Drew for the steady leadership (and the steady paycheck). Orlando is lucky to have you!
It has been an honor and a pleasure to work for Drew Anderssen these last three months. Drew is everything you would want in a boss. I’m sad that I was only able to work for him for three months but I wish him nothing but the best in Orlando. Our loss is their gain.
I don’t know much about Drew. What I do know is that he made me feel welcome at KRMG. For a boss to care about a part-timer and also encourage me to be great…He’s a special guy! I wish him the best of luck!
A year ago, at a bad time in my life, I came to KRMG looking for work with exactly zero days' experience in radio. Drew took a chance and hired me as a part-timer, and went out of his way to throw me production work and as many breaking news call-ins as he could to help me make some money and catch up on my finances. I owe him a debt of gratitude which I fear I'll never be able to repay. He sets an amazing example as a leader, as a boss, and as a human and he will be sorely missed.
Drew Anderssen's office is cleaned out but I am still in denial about his departure from Tulsa and KRMG. It just doesn't seem real to me! In my short 5 years at KRMG, Drew has been KRMG. I have learned from him about radio and what it takes for KRMG to be a leader in news, weather and information. Most of all, I have learned from him about myself and have been reminded about the kind of person I want to be. My fellow co-workers have written about his heart, compassion and leadership. He's the entire package, a great boss and mentor. When I first started, I called him my boss, now I call him my friend.