The Unexpected Broadcaster: Get to Know Radio One’s Deon Levingston

Deon Levingston never really thought broadcasting was in the cards for him. At Howard University, Levingston studied legal communications and planned to become a communications lawyer.

 So, how did he end up as the Regional Vice President for Radio One? “It’s a crazy, long story,” he said.

Deon’s best friend in college was a broadcast management major and invited him to come along for a job interview at WPGC.

“At that time in our lives, I didn’t realize that you didn’t just tag along with someone and interview for a job that you weren’t supposed to get,” Levingston said.

But, he went to the interview and was intrigued. Despite his self-proclaimed “most unorthodox way of ending up with a job,”  Deon has now been in the business for 28 years.

Levingston has been “exceedingly lucky” to work with some great owners, all of whom were different in their approach, but had fundamental similarities.

“To the letter, all of them allowed you to be you,” Levingston said. “I never felt like if I said something wrong with any of them that they were going to fire me the next day, and that empowers you.”

Levingston noted the importance of his role leading WTLC, that has been a voice of African Americans and the whole community for half a century.

“I’ve been lucky to do this for almost three decades now,” Levingston said, “And I feel blessed every single day that I have fun when I get up and come to work.”

IBA Involvement and Future of Broadcasting

Levingston, who worked with the IBA previously in his career before moving out of state, said he is excited to come back and work with the Association.

He said the IBA is a great organization for Indiana broadcasters because of its ongoing training and support. He added that the IBA does a great job of keeping broadcasters informed on what’s happening locally and nationally, as well as having trial inspections and an annual conference.

Broadcasting as a whole continues to develop, and Levingston noted the transition of people consuming broadcast media from portable radios to phones as a major change. Despite this, Levingston maintained the importance of broadcast media.

“The relevance of broadcast media continues to evolve but still is the lifeline of resources for our community,” he said. “It’s still where people get their information and it’s still where people turn in times of need emergencies.”

Outside of Work

Levingston, who has a son, Sampson, and a daughter, Ashley, said he needs to “rekindle [his] hobbies.”

He spent several of the past years watching his son, Sampson, play football at Indiana State as well as watching his daughter play travel soccer. However, Sampson has recently graduated and his daughter, Ashley, is about to start college at UT-Martin. Levingston said his new pastime will become driving to her games and “trying to be a good dad in the stands.”

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