By Joe Buttweiler
MASON CITY — Bruce Wasenius’ resume is filled with more twists and turns than a Pink Floyd album, including a stint at a station where one of the conditions was that if the farmer-landowner’s son lost his day job, he would get Wasenius’ job at the station.
Guess what happened?
That was in New Prague, Minn., in the mid-1970s, at Wasenius’ third job after learning the radio business at Brown Institute in Minneapolis. He started there in 1969 when he got out of the Navy, then took a sales job at a station in Hardin, Mont., selling ads 70 miles away in Billings, Mont., even though the station’s signal didn’t carry that far.
He managed to finagle some on-air time in Billings and soon got a call from a Brown friend about a job in Yankton, S.D. The station needed someone to do the midnight shift. On the strength of his two weeks of part-time on-air work in Billings, Wasenius got the job and was there for a couple years until going to New Prague.
After getting bumped there he took a news director job for KFMX-FM/KRSI-AM in St. Louis Park, Minn., where he worked until 1977 when a new company bought the station and let everyone go.
It was while doing his afternoon newscasts that Darryl Hensley, aka The Mad Hatter, heard him and asked if he’d be interested in going to a new station in a resort town about two hours from the Twin Cities. “He said he liked my voice.”
Wasenius started at KZEV-FM 103.1 in Clear Lake in February of 1978. Thus began the first rumblings of The Night Train in North Iowa with Wasenius at the controls.
In 1981 he went to KLSS in the former Lutheran Social Services (note the LSS) building just down the block from where he’s at now.
He met his wife, Dawn, in 1986. They married in 1994.
Wasenius worked for the U.S. Postal Service from 1988 until retiring in 2004, and started at KLKK in November of 2008. He’s been on the air for all but eight of the past 40 or so years, spanning three generations of listeners.|