GAB Radio Talent Institute Starts Today. Today begins the third annual GAB Radio Talent Institute on the University of Georgia campus. Students from numerous Georgia colleges are taking part. Cox Media Group EVP Bill Hendrich kicks off the 10-day institute with his session, "Now is the Time to Start Thinking like a Pro." Students will be immersed in all things radio for the next 10 days, with 40 broadcasters leading the sessions, including: on-air, programming, news, sports, digital/social media, production, promotions and sales, with each student becoming certified as a radio marketing professional by the RAB. The GAB Radio Talent Institute is the first of five radio talent institutes this summer from the National Radio Talent System, followed by the Kellar Radio Talent Institute at Appalachian State University in North Carolina; the inaugural Hubbard Radio Talent Institute at Central Washington University; the Confer Radio Talent Institute at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania and the KBA WKU Radio Talent Institute at Western Kentucky University. To date, 65 to 70% of the students completing an institute begin their career in radio or a related field and have gone on to work for CBS, iHeart Media, Alpha Media, Beasley Media Group, Entercom, Cumulus, Commonwealth Communications, Greater Media, Curtis Media, Forever Communications, CNN, and others. On Friday, the students are the live studio audience as CBS RADIO's "Ryan Cameron Morning Show with Wanda Smith" WVEE, Atlanta "V103" broadcasts live from the institute (pictured above from last year's institute are Ryan Cameron, right, and Wanda Smith at left).
Michael Harrison Issues Plea to Help the 'Working People' of the Radio Industry When Personal Tragedy Strikes.TALKERS/RadioInfo publisher Michael Harrison sent out a massive email blast to all of his trade publications' thousands of subscribers this past Friday afternoon (5/13) containing a personal video message calling for the "working people" of the radio industry to support the Broadcasters Foundation of America (BFOA). The BFOA is a non-profit 501(c) (3) in operation now for more than six decades. The mission of the Broadcasters Foundation of America is to improve the quality of life and maintain the personal dignity of men and women in the radio and television broadcast profession who find themselves in acute need. The Foundation reaches out across the country to identify and provide an anonymous safety net in cases of critical illness, advanced age, death of a spouse, accident and other serious misfortune. According to Harrison, "Radio is a tough business – especially for its 'working people' – the people in the trenches doing the shows, selling the spots, managing the stations, engineering the equipment and making the day-to-day wheels go around." He continues, "Since the crash of '08 and consolidation stretching the limits of economic integrity – life has been downright brutal for the working people of the radio industry. However, we persevere – because radio people are driven and resilient. We always find a way to make a living…even if we have to turn to the dreaded last resort of seeking employment in another business to put food on the table and a roof over our heads. After all, we are talented, creative, resourceful and in tune with people, the street and the times. All handy assets if you have to go into PR, real estate sales or teaching – unless personal tragedy strikes. And unfortunately, sometimes it does. When radio professionals are stricken by horrible accidents or catastrophic illnesses that make it impossible to work, hold a job or make a living in ANY business, the results can be disastrous. Especially, if they don't have a nest egg to fall back on… which unfortunately is the case for so many folks in this business struggling to make ends meet when the rent is due or from mortgage to mortgage payment. Radio is one of the only forms of mass media and entertainment in which charity and community involvements are part of its fundamental fabric. How many other forms of media are so quick to raise money for victims of disaster as radio? A significant percentage of the stories we cover in the trade press are about radio broadcasters rising to the occasion to help people in need – sick children, homeless veterans, single moms, victims of natural disasters, and catastrophic illnesses. Helping people is a key part of all our formats. It's what we do. But who's out there to help individual broadcasters when WE are stricken by tragedy and have the rug pulled out from under us? That's when the Broadcasters Foundation of America steps up to the plate." To see and hear Michael Harrison's dramatic presentation in its entirety, please click here.