BEMIDJI -- Lou Buron, the longtime owner and manager of Paul Bunyan Broadcasting, died Monday at the age of 73.
In his many years in the world of radio broadcasting, Buron had influence in the industry across the state of Minnesota and many places across the country as well. According to the Pavek Museum of Broadcasting, Buron, a graduate of St. Cloud State University and the University of Minnesota, began working at KDWB Radio in 1971 in the Twin Cities.
Over the years, he worked his way up until he became the vice president of the station’s parent company, Doubleday Broadcasting of New York in 1977. In that position, he was responsible for operations in Chicago, Detroit, Denver and St. Louis along with the Twin Cities.
About a decade later, Buron made his way up north and bought Omni Broadcasting in 1988, which grew to have 16 stations serving Bemidji and other cities in the region. Kev Jackson, who started working at the radio station a year prior to Buron making the purchase, said the change was noticeable right from the start.
“He was an incredible guy. There was a jolt of energy when he walked into the building. He came in and was full of ideas and it was infectious,” Jackson said. “No one could outwork Lou, he loved radio and strove for greatness in it.”
In addition to operating the numerous radio stations, Buron also made an effort to improve the community. To do so, Buron’s company raised more than $4 million by way of the annual Radiothon to End Child Abuse.
For his many years in the industry, Buron was inducted into the Minnesota Broadcasting Hall of Fame in 2007. Eight years later, Buron sold his company to Hubbard Broadcasting and retired.
“He was a guy that people trusted,” Jackson said. “Not just as a radio personality, but as a person who would give sound advice because he cared about them.”