TEGNA is proud of our diverse and inclusive culture, where all employees are encouraged to be their authentic selves and where diversity of people and perspectives are highly valued. Today, we’re taking PRIDE in the good company of Todd Keel, Account Executive at WFAA.
Then: Talk about your career path, how you got to where you are today at TEGNA.
I received my bachelor’s degree in Marketing and after college, I knew I wanted to be involved in the world of advertising. I took a summer internship at GSD&M Advertising in Austin, TX which solidified my desire for this industry. I still have the book I received as a present when I was 13: “Ogilvy On Advertising.” Leaving college, I worked at GSD&M in account services. From there, I made my way to Dallas where I worked at the Richards Group and then ultimately began my career in media buying and selling. Stints at Katz Reps, MindShare, TeleRep (Now CoxReps), and then as NSM at a large competitor of ours, I FINALLY made it to my FAVORITE Dallas station – WFAA!
Now: What is your current role at TEGNA?
As an Account Executive at WFAA I have the honor of working with the best AEs in Dallas. Every AE, AM, LSM (basically everyone!) at WFAA is very experienced, confident, and brings their own strengths to the station. Our WFAA family is strong, and now I know why I am so lucky to be where I am today.
My Halo Moment: What was the most rewarding project you’ve worked on at TEGNA?
This is a hard question to answer, there have been so many rewarding moments. I am most rewarded in finding new ways to bring in new revenue for WFAA that did not exist before. It is easier to maintain an active client than to go find a replacement client. It is also easier to grow the client with multiple solutions than to go find multiple new clients to bill that same amount of revenue. I consider my rewarding moments as playing a part in the whole sales team’s success! We all row together for a common goal.
Good Company: What does being in good company mean to you?
We are actually a GREAT company built of GREAT people! Kidding aside, being in Good Company means our clients and our viewers can trust in us to provide excellent products and honest services. And on the flip side, want our clients to know we care about them and WE are in Good Company with them. A Good Company is a partner.
Note to Self: What advice would you give yourself looking back on earlier days in your career?
I might have told myself to experience more sides of this business than I did. Take more chances. Do not be afraid to try new things along your career path. I could have taken a few more stops at other companies to expand my knowledge of ad sales but the path I took landed me where I am today, and I am very grateful for the experiences and lessons learned.
Tangible & Emotional Intelligence: What advice would you give to someone looking to work in media/sales/marketing?
Tangible: As you begin your career – start somewhere. Anywhere. You will learn that that first job is like getting on a train that has many stops ahead. While you embark on this journey, be inquisitive. Meet many people. Work hard. Show up on time. Once you make it to your next stop you will have taken those lessons learned and grow your expertise in media. Oh, and don’t burn any bridges. The way you handle yourself early in your career will follow you and your reputation will be one of your key differentiators.
Emotional: Work on being a “whole person” outside of work. Enjoy life, have hobbies, go out with friends. The happier you are at home and in your family life, the more of that spirit will spill over into your work life, your success, and your happiness.
PRIDE: Why is Pride Month important to you?
In today’s world, being gay or coming out as gay is more normal than ever. Society has become more accepting since the days when I came out about 25 years ago. Pride is a month to tell kids and adults in the closet that they can be themselves and it also celebrates all those that have come out as gay/lesbian/trans in the past. It is important to remember that minority groups have historically been discriminated against and as we move forward in this world, we need to keep pushing for equal rights for all! At TEGNA- we consistently get awarded by the HRC (Human Rights Campaign) as a Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality. THANK YOU TEGNA for celebrating diversity and living by example.