Ian Auzenne, Morning Show co-host on KPEL 96.5 with Bernadette Lee, joins Discover Lafayette to discuss his journey in broadcasting. Ian is also well-known for his sports play-by-play broadcasting career. He is a delightful trivia buff who shows up prepared for any job he is called upon to handle in a cheerful and genial manner.
A Lafayette Parish native, Ian grew up in a rural area outside of Carencro around Gloria Switch Road. His father was a St. Landry Parish educator, and from a young age, Ian commuted with his dad to attend schools in that parish and graduated from Beau Chenes High School near Arnaudville, LA in 2006. He’s remained friends with many of his buddies from his grade school years, and still affectionately calls out Nick and Butterbean on his morning radio show.
A once-in-a-lifetime experience Ian’s Junior year in high school changed the trajectory of his life. Princeton University was inviting students from rural and poorer areas of the U. S. to apply for their “Leadership Enterprise for a Diverse America” summer program. Ian was encouraged by school administrators to apply and he was selected, one of only 54 in the U. S. to be selected (and only one of four or five from Louisiana). The experience led Ian to “absolutely fall in love with Princeton” and he applied to attend college there and was accepted. He graduated from Princeton in 2010.
Ian Auzenne pictured calling plays during a Princeton-Brown game in 2009. “Those four years at Princeton molded me into the person I am now. If I wouldn’t have gone there, I don’t know if I’d be in broadcasting, if I’d be in sportscasting. Princeton led me directly into my career. I studied Political Science, but people who know me say I majored in WPRB, Princeton’s student-run radio station, and minored in politics because I spent more time at the station than I did in the classroom or my dorm.”
While at Princeton, Ian became heavily involved with the student-run radio station WPRB, where he fell in love with broadcasting and was a natural at doing sports play-by-play. He covered Princeton football, men’s and women’s basketball, baseball, and softball.
Ian loved Princeton so much he thought he would be staying in that region upon graduation. On April 20, 2010, however, as he was about to graduate, his beloved grandfather, Darrell Sonnier, passed away. Ian’s heart told him he needed to return home to Acadiana to be close to family.
The first call he made as he was looking for a job was to Darla Montgomery, longtime anchor at KLFY. Darla was a friend and mentor of Ian’s, having met him when she allowed him to job shadow her in high school. Ian was hired and served as Producer of “Meet Your Neighbor” and Editor of “Passe Partout. He even had an opportunity or two to serve as a field reporter when called upon, something he loved to do.
Ian Auzenne in the early days of his broadcasting career at KLFY where he served as Producer of Meet Your Neighbor and Editor of Passe Partout. His experience has taught him the difference between editorials (viewpoints) and delivering the facts to the listening audience. “It’s easy to run your mouth off. It’s more difficult to be tactful and respectful. You don’t want to take the low road. At the end of the day, we’re a news organization and I deliver the news. I am bound by an ethical standard, by what our profession dictates. When a polarizing issue presents itself, you have to ask, “Is it worth offering an opinion or do you just give the listeners the facts and let them sort it out.”
Ian moved on to KATC-TV, serving as executive news and special events producer for nine years. He joined Townsquare Media to serve as co-host of KPEL 96.5’s daily morning show in February 2021.
Daily early radio work takes discipline. With the show beginning each day at 6 a.m., Ian’s day begins at the studio around 4:30 each morning so that he has time to write up the latest news and be ready to start the show promptly. His co-host, Bernadette Lee, arrives around 5 a.m. so that she has time to record news clips for the 5:30 a.m. hit, get the commercial logs ready and do the news for Hot 107.9.
Ian Auzenne not only serves as co-host of KPEL 96.5’s morning show, but he is the radio play-by-play voice for the Acadiana High Wrecking Rams on ESPN locally. He also calls UL-Lafayette Women’s basketball and fills in for Men’s basketball, baseball and softball as needed.
Still a very young man, Ian Auzenne dreams of one day working Saints play-by-play or working for a professional sports or college team. “Calling play by play on Westwood would be a dream.” Gratefully, Ian states that “everything I’ve ever wanted to do has happened.”
Officiating sports is also an endeavor Ian takes seriously and we discussed the shortage of sports officials in Louisiana. With only about 3000 certified officials, there is a dire need for more as many are in the retirement stage. Ian encourages anyone interested in how to get involved to email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Louisiana High School Officials Association website at https://lhsoa.com/become-official/
As we close, we must point out that Ian’s command of trivia and sports landed him on Sports Jeopardy, a show that was hosted by Dan Patrick. While he didn’t win, the experience of appearing on the show at Sony Picture Studios in Culver City, CA made for a lifetime memory!
Ian Auzennne, pictured as a Sports Jeopardy guest. “You have to time your thumb with the lights on the board. If you’re too early to hit the buzzer, you’re locked out for a quarter of a second. If you’re too late, someone beats you to the punch! You have to get the timing done perfectly.
Discover Lafayette thanks Ian Auzenne for the talent he shares with our community through his broadcasting endeavors! We look forward to watching his career unfold in ways that bring him joy.