California State, Long Beach - Bachelor of Arts, Broadcast Journalism
Lesley Lotto has worked in the entertainment industry for more than 20 years with combined experience in the music, film, TV and radio broadcasting industries. She worked in Los Angeles as a talent agent for award-winning film and TV music composers, as well as for top-selling rock and pop bands for 10 years before deciding she wanted to return to radio.
Lesley's radio career began in Los Angeles at All News Radio, KFWB and Metro Traffic Control. Her most recent LA radio experience was at KFI, "The Most Listened to Talk Station in the Country." Lesley was a news editor, writer and producer at KFI and trained to be an anchor there. Lesley anchored for another major-market, Clear Channel station from the KFI studios, KGET Newsradio in Bakersfield.
Lesley is also known in the state of Montana as one of those responsible for adding a new voice to Newstalk Radio there. KKNS radio was the first Progressive Talk Station in the state, and she was the program and news director for KKNS in Missoula, Mont. Lesley also hosted a popular community affairs talk show called "Focal Point," where she regularly interviewed the highly popular Governor of Montana, the two U.S. Senators for the state and Montana's only member of the House of Representatives.
Lesley now is a radio news anchor for Remote News Service, a service that provides local and market specific news to its radio station clients.
Besides feeding news to stations around the country and the occasional deejay gig, Lesley spends her time with her husband and two kids in Missoula, practices hot yoga as often as possible and hikes with her two dogs in the beautiful Rocky Mountains.
Work your butt off. When they say 'no,' keep bugging them and get the 'yes.'
How did you discover your current job?
I had spent a couple of years as a news producer, editor, reporter and anchor in tiny markets. I starting working in the music industry and eventually became a music talent agent after way too many radio job moves to "pay my dues." When I moved to Montana, my dream job didn't last, so I started podcasting for fun and used the marketing skills I learned as an agent and my podcasting skills to start my business.
What is your typical day like? What types of things do you do in your job?
I wake up at the ung*dly hour of 3:30 a.m. and peruse websites, trolling for stories for the eight-plus radio markets I currently report for. I then write up all my news, record it and upload it to our website where our radio station clients download it and play it on the air. After about 8:30 a.m. I take a break and eat, maybe hike or practice some yoga, and then I'm back at it marketing for several hours to new stations who may be in need of quality local news.
What is the most rewarding part of your job? The most challenging?
I am passionate about what I do, and I love it. I'm not the "oh g*d, it's Sunday, I have to work tomorrow" type (except for the 3:30 a.m. bit). I look forward to working. At the same time, it's certainly tough to report on child abuse, neglect, mass murders by crazy people and the insanity in D. C.
What is the biggest personal sacrifice you have to make because of your job?
Spending quality time with family and friends in the evenings or on weekends suffers for sure.
What is one lesson you've learned in your job that sticks with you?
Always help anyone who asks. I was promised by everybody and their mother out of college that they would help me with this or that, and not a soul came through. When I was an agent, I took every call and email, and I try to do the same now. I also enjoy mentoring up-and-comers. The newbies out there need our help!
What do you feel is the biggest challenge for women today, particularly females in your industry?
I just don't find that an obstacle. I've not had my gender ever get in my way. I won't let it!
Who are your role models?
Christiane Amanpour, Lara Logan, Peter Jennings, Linda Ellerbee and so many more.
What are some of the rules you live by?
Never give up, believe in yourself and don't listen to the naysayers.
What advice do you have for girls who want to be in your industry?
Work your butt off. When they say, "No," keep bugging them and get the, "Yes."
Where do you see yourself five years from now?
I would love to be a radio news anchor for a big network or top five market station -- New York or San Francisco, maybe DC. I want to explore more places for sure.