Blog : spotlight media

Bidding Farewell To The Bison Illustrated Editor

Bidding Farewell To The Bison Illustrated Editor

After more than five years of working with Spotlight Media, Bison Illustrated Editor Joe Kerlin is leaving Fargo to pursue different opportunities. While everyone at Spotlight Media will miss him, we wish him nothing but the best for his future endeavors.

“Joe has created a fantastic reputation during his time with Bison Illustrated,” said Andrew Jason, Spotlight Media’s Editorial Director. “Because of Joe’s tenacious approach to creating great content, the magazine has created some truly compelling storytelling. We will miss him greatly.”

We sat down with Joe for one final Q&A to reflect on his time here at Spotlight Media and Bison Illustrated.

When did you start at Spotlight Media?

I started in January 2013 as an intern. It was actually the day I came in for an interview. I wore a nice shirt and maybe even a tie. [Former General Manager] Brent Tehven sat me down in the office with Andrew hanging out beside him. The only question I remember him asking me was: ‘Do you like the Bison?’ I said, ‘yeah, I’ve been to all the football games over the past two seasons. He hired me on the spot. I talked to [Publisher] Mike [Dragosavich] briefly after that meeting, and they showed me around. They sat me next to the designers and told me to start writing game recaps about the football season for Spotlight’s first-ever Championship Issue.

What’s been your favorite part about working for Spotlight Media and Bison Illustrated?

Where do I start? My favorite part has been interacting with current and former student-athletes. They have been so good to us over at the magazine and have been generous with their time. They all preach the same thing about Bison Pride and how important the culture is to success. I could see how for readers or other people in media that message could get dragged out and boring, but student-athletes talk about culture and Bison Pride because it’s so instrumental in their success. Now that I’ve been here for more than five years, it’s been fun to see student-athletes grow into bigger roles for their programs and then move on to the real world and begin their life as adults in the working world.

Spotlight Media Team at Sidestreet

Spotlight Media team celebrated Joe’s hard work and wished him the best luck with his future adventure

What are some of the stories you’re most proud of covering/working on?

Proud is an interesting way to put it… Being here the same time as five football national championships, two “ESPN College GameDays,” Carson Wentz and the whole NFL Draft experience has been downright dumb luck. I feel way more fortunate than proud to have covered those events. Although, I am super grateful for Spotlight giving me the opportunity to cover these once-in-a-lifetime events.

I think I’m most proud of covering stories like Don Morton retiring from Microsoft. The “Where Are They Now?” stories always meant a little bit more to me because our subjects were an important part of the history at NDSU but have have gone unnoticed while they were student-athletes. So it was my responsibility to give them some recognition for all they had done for the university. Mike Favor, Snuffy Byers and Isreal Moses, that story, I can’t thank them enough for their time with that. The work they’re doing now in Minneapolis is incredible for the kids in the area. That was probably the most meaningful story I ever wrote.

What’s one thing you wish people knew about Spotlight Media and/or Bison Illustrated?

How much every person in this company cares about the work they’re doing. In the creative industry, you can get work done without caring as much about the topic, but it usually results in doing the bare minimum and the quality isn’t quite where it should/could be. But when you care about what you’re presenting to the community, you always go the extra mile to make sure the story is not only accurate, but impactful. People around here care about what they’re doing. I don’t know if it’s like that in every job.

What do you think you’ll miss the most about being here?

The Fargo-Moorhead community. Bison Nation. My colleagues. The people, the people, the people. It was a dream of mine to cover sports. I accomplished it, but that’s not what got me out of bed in the morning. What got me out of bed was the opportunity to seek, build and maintain relationships with the individuals I worked closely with. I had a responsibility, to them, to make Bison Illustrated the best it could possibly be, and I hope we accomplished that.

Summertime Is Here! Celebrate With Burgers, Brews & BBQ

Summertime Is Here! Celebrate With Burgers, Brews & BBQ

The Burgers, Brews & BBQ Festival is back Thursday, June 21 from 5-10 p.m.! This is our fifth year of entertaining and feeding Fargo-Moorhead, and it’s on track to be our best year yet. We’re transforming the Moorhead Center Mall Parking Ramp into a rocking venue with four levels of drinking, dining and dancing for the second year in a row. There will also be plenty of games, seating and photo ops throughout the whole unique venue.

“At Fargo Monthly, we believe in pushing boundaries and trying bold and exciting things,” said Andrew Jason, Spotlight Media’s editorial director and the event’s organizer. “That’s why we’re so excited for the Burgers, Brews & BBQ Festival to be back at the Moorhead Center Mall Parking Ramp again. It’s such a unique venue, and teaming up with Jade Presents will help this be our best year yet.”

Didn’t make it last year’s event and don’t know what to expect? Read about the 10 B’s of the Burgers, Brews & BBQ Festival.

burgers-brews-bbq-festival-poster

Tickets are available at BurgerFestFargo.com. With a general admission ticket, you get full access to all the event’s activities:

  • Unlimited burger sliders and BBQ samples from upwards of 20 restaurants
  • Beer samples from local and regional breweries
  • An evening filled with live music (Announcement coming soon!)

2017 Burger Festival

Design & Living Magazine To Be Delivered In Lakes Country

Design & Living Magazine To Be Delivered In Lakes Country

Design & Living Magazine will be mailed to the lakes area for June, July and August for special summer distribution like in previous years. Spotlight Media will use the USPS Every Door Direct Mail program to help deliver several thousand copies around Detroit Lakes, MN.

That’s not all; your favorite lakes country shops and boutiques will also carry Design & Living Magazine this summer.

Get ready for exclusive summer content, which includes:

    • Touring stunning lake homes
    • Visiting unique boutiques in lakes country
    • Meeting undiscovered lakes artists

design-and-living-magazine-july-2017-cover

July 2017 issue. Keep an eye out for this summer’s lake homes cover!

Here’s what Becca Opp, Editor for Design & Living Magazine, said about the special summer distribution:

“We here in the FM area love visiting Lakes Country, so it’s no surprise that Design & Living Magazine is expanding our distribution for the summer!”

Don’t miss this exciting content, and be sure to pick up the June, July and August issues of Design & Living Magazine in lakes country soon!

Meet Spotlight Media’s New Web Editor

Meet Spotlight Media’s New Web Editor

Photo by Hillary Ehlen

Spotlight Media is constantly growing and changing. As we’re sad to see team members leave, we’re always excited to announce our newest hires. Since all our employees come from a wide range of backgrounds, each member offers unique skills that help the Spotlight Media team become even stronger and more well-rounded.

Meet Spotlight Media’s new web editor Jessica Ballou, and learn what makes her a perfect fit for our company.

Jessica Ballou | Web Editor

Jessica-Ballou

“I’ve lived in the Fargo-Moorhead area my whole life, and I absolutely love it here. I’ve had a lot of friends and family members move away, but there’s so much to love here that I don’t want to leave. I graduated from Concordia College in 2012 with a Bachelor’s degree in Print Journalism. I fell in love with writing and reading at a young age, and I haven’t looked back yet. “

What originally drew you to Spotlight Media?
“I’ve known about Spotlight Media publications for years and have always been impressed with the quality and how much I’ve learned about Fargo-Moorhead even though I’ve lived here my whole life. When the web editor position opened up, I knew I had to apply, and I’m so glad I did.”

What kinds of hobbies and interests do you have outside of work?
“I really love reading. Memoirs are my favorite, but I enjoy books from nearly any genre. I write a self-love and body positivity blog for fun, and that’s been really rewarding as well.”

What’s your favorite book and/or movie?
“I know it’s cliche, but that’s such a hard question to answer!  I have so many favorites in both. My current favorite book is The Body Is Not An Apology: The Power of Radical Self-Love by Sonya Renee Taylor, and my all-time favorite movie is Rocky Horror Picture Show.”

Share something about yourself that would surprise us.
“I can play the drums on expert level for Helter Skelter on The Beatles Rock Band.”

What’s the most useless talent you have?
“I’m really good at remembering very useless information about TV shows, movies and actors. I have a penchant for remembering really minute details and quotes that aren’t important to the overall plot in any way but they stick out to me for some reason.”

Meet Spotlight Media’s New Distribution Manager

Meet Spotlight Media’s New Distribution Manager

Photo by Hillary Ehlen

Spotlight Media is constantly growing and changing. As we’re sad to see team members leave, we’re always excited to announce our newest hires. Since all our employees come from a wide range of backgrounds, each member offers unique skills that help the Spotlight Media team become even stronger and more well-rounded.

Meet our new distribution manager Darren Gibbins, and learn what makes him a perfect fit for our company.

Darren Gibbins | Distribution Manager

Darren-Gibbins-Spotlight-Media

“Two words describe my background, a Creative.

What originally drew you to Spotlight Media?
“The quality of the magazines.”

What kinds of hobbies and interests do you have outside of work?
“I’m passionate about audio and visual. Whether it’s Nico or Nikon, Dorothea Lange or Jonny Lang I’m generally up for tunes and tones.”

What’s your favorite book and/or movie?
“Favorite book, The Bible. Movie, The Princess Bride.”

What’s one ridiculous fact you know?
“If you stretched out the DNA of just one of your cells it would be about 2 meters long which means all your DNA would stretch out to the diameter of the Solar System.”

Get To Know Spotlight Media’s New Chief Operations Officer

Get To Know Spotlight Media’s New Chief Operations Officer

Photo by Hillary Ehlen

Spotlight Media is constantly growing and changing. As we’re sad to see team members leave, we’re always excited to announce our newest hires. Since all our employees come from a wide range of backgrounds, each member offers unique skills that help the Spotlight Media team become even stronger and more well-rounded.

Meet our new Chief Operations Officer Steve Kruse, and learn what makes him a perfect fit for our company.

Steve Kruse | Chief Operations Officer

steve-kruse-spotlight-media

“I grew up in a small town in Minnesota and moved to the big city (Fargo) to attend NDSU and have never left nor have I cared to leave. My wife Patty and I have been married for 25 yrs and have 3 daughters that have also kept their roots in the FM area.”

What originally drew you to Spotlight Media?
“I retired last October after spending my entire life working in retail management. Not just any opportunity was going to lure me out of retirement, but Spotlight Media fit the bill! It is giving me the opportunity to work with some of the brightest and talented young minds in Fargo and give back to them as much as they give me.”

What kinds of hobbies and interests do you have outside of work?
“I’m a total homebody that loves to spend time with family and supplement that with cooking, putzing in the yard, and finding as much time for golf as I can.”

What’s your favorite book and/or movie?
“My favorite movie is Pee Wee’s Big Adventure. Don’t ask…..”

Share something about yourself that would surprise us.
“I had the privilege of running the quarter mile leg of the Mile Sprint Medley Relay against Mark Lutz in the Minnesota state high school track and field championships. For those of you old enough to remember, Mark Lutz was a former US Olympian.”

Spotlight Media Focused On New Ideas And Fun At Annual Staff Retreat

Spotlight Media Focused On New Ideas And Fun At Annual Staff Retreat

Photos by Hillary Ehlen

Each year, Spotlight Media staff members attend a retreat focused on team-building, brainstorming, challenging ourselves, what we’ve learned from the past year and where we can all go from here.

On March 29, we met at Stoker’s, in the basement of the Hotel Donaldson in downtown Fargo, and on March 30, we met in our in-house studio. We talked a lot about how far we’ve come in the eight years Spotlight Media has been a company, what’s possible for us in the future, our new mission statement, how we can improve individually and as a company, new story ideas for each of our publications and much more. However, the most important part of our conversation was about how we can better serve our community.

We left feeling very refreshed, re-energized and ready to tackle another great year here at Spotlight Media! Afterward, we met up for some more team-building and lots of laughs with the Spotees, an annual award show similar to the Dundies from The Office, an improv comedy show by the Line Benders.

Check out some photos from the retreat below!

spotlight-media-annual-retreat

Business Operations Manager Larissa Kunde, Sales & Operations Assistant Pam Mjoness, Sales Representative Scott Rorvig, Sales Manager Layne Hanson, Web Editor Jessica Ballou and Design & Living Magazine’s Editor Becca Opp focus during a discussion at the retreat.

spotlight-media-annual-retreat

Designer Matt Anderson, Fargo Monthly’s Editor Nolan Schmidt, Associate Publisher for Design & Living Magazine Chantell Ramberg, Senior Sales Executive Ryan Courneya and Chief Operations Officer Steve Kruse share their ideas with each other in a brainstorming session.

spotlight-media-annual-retreat

spotlight-media-annual-retreat

spotlight-media-annual-retreat

spotlight-media-annual-retreat

spotlight-media-annual-retreat

Check Your Mailbox For Fargo By Fargo This Week

Check Your Mailbox For Fargo By Fargo This Week

Fargo By Fargo just hit our mailbox, this means it’s on its way to you. This week, make sure to check your mailbox for your copy. Remember to let us know when you got it, too! Take a picture of your issue and share it on Facebook with the hashtag #FargoByFargo and tag @SpotlightMediaFargo.

We hope you love the magazine as much as we do!

The magazine was mailed out to 100,000 residential mailboxes in the Fargo-Moorhead-West Fargo community. It may take longer for Fargo By Fargo to reach some homes.

About Fargo By Fargo

Fargo By Fargo tells the story of the FM area. To do this, the entire narrative of the publication is told through the words of the citizens that make up our great community. We asked locals, “What does Fargo mean to you?” With their answers, Fargo By Fargo was created. The identity of the FM community is shaped by nearly 230,000 citizens, so why not let them tell the story?

Fargo By Fargo was created to be something unique,” Fargo By Fargo Editor Andrew Jason said. “It’s not just a magazine, it’s a conversation. We, as much as possible, tried to step back. We believe the story of the community is your story and we want to share it. This is what you told us. This is what we talked about. We hope you love Fargo By Fargo as much as we love the community.”

Fargo By Fargo is an insider’s guide chalk full of individuals from the community talking about their favorite places, people and things to do. Printed on high-quality paper, the magazine is also meant to be a collector’s item with relevant content people can reference any time of the year. Readers will learn more about what the community has to offer, and (hopefully) fall in love with it all over again.

Fargo By Fargo To Be Mailed Out To 100,000 Homes

Fargo By Fargo To Be Mailed Out To 100,000 Homes

For the second year, Spotlight Media is proud to announce it’s printing and mailing out 100,000 copies of Fargo By Fargo to every residential mailbox in the Fargo-Moorhead-West Fargo community.

Fargo By Fargo tells the story of the FM area. To do this, the entire narrative of the publication is told through the words of the citizens that make up our great community. We asked locals, “What does Fargo mean to you?” With their answers, Fargo By Fargo was created. The identity of the FM community is shaped by nearly 230,000 citizens, so why not let them tell the story?

Fargo By Fargo was created to be something unique,” Fargo By Fargo Editor Andrew Jason said. “It’s not just a magazine, it’s a conversation. We, as much as possible, tried to step back. We believe the story of the community is your story and we want to share it. This is what you told us. This is what we talked about. We hope you love Fargo By Fargo as much as we love the community.”

Fargo By Fargo is an insider’s guide chalk full of individuals from the community talking about their favorite places, people and things to do. Printed on high-quality paper, the magazine is also meant to be a collector’s item with relevant content people can reference any time of the year. Readers will learn more about what the community has to offer, and (hopefully) fall in love with it all over again.

Expect to see Fargo By Fargo in your mailbox by mid-February. 

For more information about Fargo By Fargo, visit SpotlightMediaFargo.com/Fargo-By-Fargo. If you’re interested in advertising in Fargo By Fargo, email sales@spotlightmediafargo.com for more information on how to get your business in front of everybody in town.

READ LAST YEAR’S ISSUE

FAQ ABOUT FARGO BY FARGO

What is Fargo By Fargo?
Fargo By Fargo is a special annual magazine published by Spotlight Media. Each year, 100,000 copies are printed and mailed to every residential mailbox in Fargo, Moorhead and West Fargo.

What type of information will be included in this year’s Fargo By Fargo?

Fargo By Fargo is meant to be an insider’s guide. It will be chalk full of individuals from the community talking about their favorite places, people and things to do.

Some of the people to have been featured in the past are prominent citizens like Mayor Tim Mahoney, Steve D. Scheel, Doug Restemayer, David Batcheller and more. However, we won’t be just talking with just the people making the news. We will also be talking to the everyday citizens who make our community special.

Who will receive Fargo By Fargo?
Fargo By Fargo is mailed out to every residential mailbox in Fargo, Moorhead and West Fargo. It’s expected to have a total readership of 250,000 people.

How many copies of the magazine will be printed and mailed out?
100,000 copies

My business is interested in advertising in Fargo By Fargo. Who can I get in contact with to discuss advertising?
This annual magazine is a perfect opportunity for you to maximize your marketing budget and reach everyone in the community. If you’re interested in advertising in Fargo By Fargo, email sales@spotlightmediafargo.com for more information on how to get your business in front of everybody in town.

Grab Your Copies Of The January Magazines Today

Grab Your Copies Of The January Magazines Today

The new magazines are here! If you haven’t already, take a peek at our January issues and see which one sparks your interest. You can also read past issues of our magazines at issuu.com/FMSpotlight.

Each magazine is available by stand distribution throughout the Fargo-Moorhead area and select locations around the state. You can also read Fargo Monthly, Design and Living Magazine and Fargo INC! online here. Subscribe to Bison Illustrated to get the magazine delivered right to your door every month.

For more information about Spotlight Media’s publications, visit SpotlightMediaFargo.com/Magazines.

Fargo Monthly January 18 Cover

Fargo Monthly

Join us as we discover and experience many of the new businesses the Fargo-Moorhead area has to offer. Whether it’s a fitness class, new food and drink options, a spa treatment or you’re looking for something new to do with friends, follow your curiosity and pursue all the newness our community has to offer. You’ll never know until you try.

Design & Living Magazine January 18 Cover

Design & Living Magazine

Honor five years of elegance with Design & Living Magazine. This month, we went through our style files to reminisce about the many remarkable people and places that have graced our pages. Also in this issue, we’ve curated our best content from 2017.

Fargo INC! January 18 Cover

Businesses with a give-back culture have higher morale in the workplace, have more than 20 percent higher profitability and are 70 percent more likely to be viewed favorably by the community. We sat down with five local business and nonprofit leaders to talk about why giving is not only good for employees and the community, it’s good for the bottom line.

Bison Illustrated January 18 Cover

Bison Illustrated

North Dakota has continually turned out high school talent to help North Dakota State flourish in Division I. We go to all four corners of the state to highlight the Bison student-athletes representing towns big and small on the Northern Prairie.