Industry News

Top O’ Texas Turns In Kingdom Keys For A Lone Star FM

Radio+Television Business Report - Thu, 02/18/2021 - 12:00

The religious noncommercial “Kingdom Keys Network” station roster has, until now, included a Class A facility in the tiny West Texas town of Stratford.

Now, this Top O’ Texas down due north of Amarillo is being spun, and a change in language — but not format — is on the way.

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Could A German HbbTV Rating Monitor Be A Future U.S. Tool?

Radio+Television Business Report - Thu, 02/18/2021 - 10:45

KAISERSLAUTERN, GERMANY — Here’s something broadcast TV stations seeking a unified viewership metric of use to the sales squad and marketers may wish to learn more about.

There’s a tool that is offering TV ratings in real time. It’s just come out of beta test. And, it could bring a new dimension to over-the-air TV companies actively gaining eyeballs in OTT, AVOD and digitally delivered content packages — across Bavaria.

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SBS Settles Series B Stock Litigation As Recap Effort Concludes

Radio+Television Business Report - Thu, 02/18/2021 - 10:15

MIAMI — Publicly traded Hispanic-centric multimedia company Spanish Broadcasting System (SBS) has completed its recapitalization effort and has closed its previously announced offering of notes due 2026.

But, here’s the big news: That Delaware Chancery Court matter regarding its Series B Preferred Stock is over.

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Rich Boehne Says Goodbye To Scripps Board

Radio+Television Business Report - Thu, 02/18/2021 - 09:59

On Tuesday, Aug. 8, 2017, Rich Boehne stepped aside as CEO of The E.W. Scripps Co., yielding the position to Adam Symson.

However, he retained a role on the company’s board of directors, serving as Chairman.

Now, Boehne is fully set to retire when his term expires.

Boehne has notified the Scripps board that he’ll step down as Chairman effective May 3.

This puts the wheels in motion to give the Chair to Kim Williams. 

She’s been a board director since 2008 and has served as the Scripps board’s independent lead director, elected by public Class A shareholders, since 2018. Williams is also the Chair of Scripps’ audit committee and a member of the executive and nominating and governance committees.

“Since she joined the Scripps board, Kim has contributed to the company in so many ways, through her wealth of board experience, deep financial expertise and an innate sense of corporate stewardship – all of which has helped Scripps continue to capitalize on the changing media landscape,” Symson said. “I look forward to her leadership as we set our course as a full-scale television company.”

Williams is a financial expert with more than 25 years of investment management experience. This includes a role as SVP and Associate director of Global Industry Research at Wellington Management Co.


Boehne leaves a long legacy of stewardship over the company, having had a hand in driving much of the company’s evolution and value creation over decades.

A director for 13 years and Chairman of the Board for eight, Boehne, 64, served as Scripps’ President/CEO from 2008 to 2017.

He became CEO and joined the board in 2008 when Scripps Networks Interactive was spun off into a separate publicly traded company with its cable network assets, including HGTV and Food Network. Prior to the split, Boehne was COO of the combined company.

“Rich has left a lasting imprint on our businesses and culture, from his belief in the journalist’s role in bringing light to the world’s injustice to the entrepreneurial mindset he instilled in his team and that remains core to who we are today,” said Symson. “Rich’s leadership for over 30 years has been invaluable to our company’s success, and we wish him well as he steps away to pursue other interests and opportunities.”

A 1981 graduate of Northern Kentucky University, Boehne joined the corporate staff in early 1988 to help the company prepare for its initial public offering of stock. Before moving to Scripps headquarters, he was a business reporter and editor at the now-shuttered Cincinnati Post, where he covered Wall Street, the national economy and developments in the media industry.


Categories: Industry News

The Fugitive: Starring Ed Stolz

Radio+Television Business Report - Thu, 02/18/2021 - 05:00

The continuing saga of Ed Stolz, the owner of Royce International Broadcasting Corp., has taken yet another twist.

The Federal Judge who on January 28 ordered Stolz to surrender to U.S. Marshals no later than February 2 took it up a notch on Wednesday (2/17).

Why? Stolz ignored the order, and in the judge’s words is “a fugitive from justice.”

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House E&C Dems Tackle Media Distortion In COVID-19 Times

Radio+Television Business Report - Thu, 02/18/2021 - 05:00
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Chairman of the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee and the Chairman of the Communications and Technology Subcommittee have scheduled a fully remote hearing for February 24 that takes aim at how “disinformation and extremism” has been fueled by U.S. media. BE SURE TO FOLLOW RBR+TVBR ON FACEBOOK!

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Categories: Industry News

Lawo Expands Gonzalez’ Role in LATAM

Radio World - Wed, 02/17/2021 - 20:15

Media technology manufacturer Lawo has given Sales Director Nacho Gonzalez additional commercial responsibility for the Brazilian market.

“Nacho draws on experience of over 20 years of sales experience in Latin America,” the company stated.

“Soon after starting at Lawo in 2013 as sales manager for the LATAM region, Nacho was entrusted also with Spain and Portugal.” He speaks Spanish and Portuguese and is based at Lawo offices in Germany.

The company said it has experienced “exponential” growth in the Latin American and Iberian markets in recent years.

Gonzalez was quoted in the announcement: “Last year has been particularly complicated for the audiovisual sector, which has led to technologies changing at a rate unthinkable months ago and forcing some companies to be more flexible and reinvent many traditional processes.”

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Tieline Introduces Gateway-4 IP Codec

Radio World - Wed, 02/17/2021 - 18:26

Tieline has added another IP audio codec to its lineup called the Gateway-4, which it expects to begin shipping by the end of next month.

It described it as “a powerful DSP-based 1RU IP codec designed for live remote broadcasting applications, as well as STL or SSL links,” the manufacturer stated in its announcement.

“The Gateway-4 also includes support for AES67, ST 2110-30, AES3 and analog I/O as standard, and an optional WheatNet-IP card.”

[Check Out More Products at Radio World’s Products Section]

The Gateway-4 replaces the company’s Merlin and Genie STL audio codecs; it supports four full-duplex audio channels in 1RU to expand channel density by one compared with the older models. VP Sales APAC/EMEA Charlie Gawley said it is suitable for mission-critical broadcast applications requiring two to four audio streaming channels. Those who need more channels can choose the Gateway-8/16 multichannel codec, another recent introduction that replaced the Merlin Plus and Genie Distribution.

The new codec provides two stereo connections, or one stereo and two mono connections, or up to four mono full-duplex connections. Tieline said it also supports multiple unicasting to up to 20 endpoints and multicasting.

“For larger networks, the Gateway-4 is ideal for transmitter sites, remote trucks or rack-mounted remote kits,” Tieline said. “For affiliates and smaller stations it can be used to transport studio-to-studio links, or a stereo studio-to-transmitter link signal plus another stereo connection, or dual mono connections for remotes.”

Features include hitless packet switching using SmartStream Plus redundant streaming, and bandwidth aggregation using Fuse-IP technologies over internet connections; dual internal power supplies, dual LAN ports and dual AoIP ports; and an optional Gateway Euro ISDN module to integrate with legacy ISDN network infrastructure for primary or backup connections.

It is interoperable with other Tieline IP codecs and compatible over SIP with EBU N/ACIP Tech 3326 and 3368 compliant codecs and devices.

It is configurable through an embedded HTML5 Toolbox Web-GUI interface and is controllable using Tieline’s Cloud Codec Controller.



The post Tieline Introduces Gateway-4 IP Codec appeared first on Radio World.

Categories: Industry News

WABC-7 Selects OConnell’s Successor

Radio+Television Business Report - Wed, 02/17/2021 - 17:27

In fall 2020, Debra OConnell was elevated to President of Networks for Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution, thus leaving the role of President/GM of WABC-7 in New York open for her replacement.

ABC Owned Television Stations has just select that individual, and it is WABC’s News Director.

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Futuri Welcomes a VP for TV … and ‘Digital Publishing Innovation’

Radio+Television Business Report - Wed, 02/17/2021 - 16:20

Futuri is known in media circles for its AI-driven audience engagement and sales intelligence technology.

Now, it seeks to be known for its forthcoming suite of offerings for local, network, and cable television and digital publishers.

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Chris McDonnell’s Giant Move: From S.F. to N.Y.

Radio+Television Business Report - Wed, 02/17/2021 - 15:59

In April 1958, just 3 1/2 years after the team won the 1954 World Series, the New York Giants baseball club moved to San Francisco from the Polo Grounds.

Now, a Nexstar Media Group local TV leader is moving from the Bay Area to the Big Apple.

Chris McDonnell has been promoted to VP/GM of WPIX-11 in New York, the former Tribune Media flagship that serves as the CW Network’s affiliate in Market No. 1.

Officially, he will direct WPIX under the terms of a local programming and marketing agreement between Nexstar and the station’s licensee, Mission Broadcasting.

As RBR+TVBR reported on Dec. 30, 2020, The E.W. Scripps Company is no longer the owner of WPIX-11. Mission became the owner through Nexstar’s decision to transfer its option to purchase the station to Mission.

Scripps purchased WPIX as part of its acquisition of eight television stations in seven markets from Nexstar. Those stations were being divested in connection with Nexstar Media Group’s acquisition of Tribune Media in September 2019.

McDonnell has been VP/GM of news-intensive KRON-4 in San Francisco since 2017, and his move to WPIX suggests Nexstar will ramp up WPIX’s news department — one that is largely known as the weekend home of veteran Big Apple anchor Kaity Tong. 

During his tenure at KRON McDonnell and his team added new hour-long weekday newscasts at 3pm and 9pm, while he also orchestrated the launch of KRONOn.TV, a local 24-hour digital streaming news application.

With KRON-TV now producing nearly 20 hours of local news each weekday, WPIX could be poised for a similar ramp-up in a market where Spectrum News NY1 has come under scrutiny for changes since its time as a Time Warner Media property and where Optimum-distributed News 12 has a highly localized approach to its round-the-clock news coverage.

If anything, WPIX’s increased news coverage would be a competitor to CBSN New York, the all-news OTT offering produced by WCBS-2 in New York.

Before joining KRON McDonnell served as the President/GM of NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises’ WSNS-TV in Chicago. He also handled sales and marketing for the Telemundo station and, before that, worked in sales management at NBC O&Os WMAQ-5 in Chicago, KXAS-5 in Dallas and at KNSD-39 in San Diego.


Categories: Industry News

Meredith Local Media’s New Atlanta DOS? It’s Another Ex-CMG Leader

Radio+Television Business Report - Wed, 02/17/2021 - 15:59

She’s been singled out by her new boss for her “extensive knowledge and experience” in the Atlanta market, along with her “winning attitude and impressive accomplishments.”

That’s what Debora Collura, GM of WGCL-46 and WPCH-17 “Peachtree TV”, has to say about the stations’ new Director of Sales.

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NAB Names Three To Its Board

Radio+Television Business Report - Wed, 02/17/2021 - 15:30

There are two new members of the National Association of Broadcasters‘ TV Board of Directors.

Concurrently, there is a new addition to the NAB’s Radio Board of Directors, and it is the person in charge of such radio stations as Easy 93.1 in Miami and K99.1 in Dayton.

Cox Media Group CEO Dan York and WDBD-TV in Jackson, Miss. VP/GM RaMona Alexander have been appointed to the NAB Television Board of Directors.

York succeeded Kim Guthrie in 2020, following Apollo Global Management’s majority acquisition of Cox.

Alexander leads a FOX affiliate at Channel 40 that, while owned by American Spirit Media, enjoys a shared services agreement with Gray Television. She also oversees management of WLOO-TV in Jackson, a MyNetwork TV affiliate licensed to Tougaloo College.

Additionally, Alexander is responsible for Program Acquisitions at American Spirit Media.

But, it is her experience at Gray Television that has been the hallmark of her career. Alexander began her career at WJTV-12, in Jackson, Miss.

Meanwhile, Cox Media Group SVP and Head of Radio Rob Babin has been appointed to the NAB Radio Board of Directors.

Babin recently assumed those duties from now-retired Bill Hendrich.


Categories: Industry News

‘La Favorita’: No Longer a Bakersfield Favorite?

Radio+Television Business Report - Wed, 02/17/2021 - 15:00

SANTA CLARITA, CALIF. — Tune to 1100 kHz in the southern San Joaquin Valley of California, and you’ll get a Spanish-language radio Class B radio station that serves as the Bakersfield affiliate of the Don Cheto radio program.

Will that continue, now that this AM with an FM translator is being sold?

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Categories: Industry News

Pre-Upfront Words To Push ‘A New Vision at Univision’

Radio+Television Business Report - Wed, 02/17/2021 - 13:30

As the continuing COVID-19 pandemic will put a kibosh for a second-straight year on the annual alcohol-fueled parade of media buyers across Manhattan that’s become Upfront Week, media companies are already gearing up for what will be a zoom-fueled cavalcade of online sessions.

Among those companies is a newly reconstituted Univision Communications. But, ahead of its May 18 digitally delivered affair, Univision’s new CEO will team with Steve Mandala’s replacement in holding a virtual presentation to clients two months ahead of that event.

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Categories: Industry News

Hulu Marketing Head Discovers a Key Discovery+ Rollout Role

Radio+Television Business Report - Wed, 02/17/2021 - 12:39

In June 2020, he was promoted to Director of Marketing for Hulu, an ascension that came after roles as SVP of Growth Marketing and VP/Subscriber Growth at the Santa Monica, Calif.-based OTT platform.

Now, this former longtime Yahoo! global marketing executive is joining Discovery Inc. to serve as its Global Chief Marketing Officer for its Discovery Direct-to-Consumer unit.


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Rush Limbaugh Dies at Age 70

Radio World - Wed, 02/17/2021 - 12:32
Rush Limbaugh pumps thumb after being awarded the Medal of Freedom by First Lady Melania Trump after being acknowledged by President Donald Trump during the State of the Union address in February 2020. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP) (Photo: MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

Rush Limbaugh has died.

His wife Kathryn Limbaugh began the daily Rush Limbaugh today, with an announcement that Limbaugh had passed away.

His website has the headline “In loving memory of Rush Hudson Limbaugh III, the greatest of all time.”

The conservative talk radio icon had been suffering from lung cancer which he announced early last year.

His death brings to an end a remarkable chapter in media and politics.

Widely both admired and reviled, Limbaugh is acknowledged to have been one of the most influential personalities not only in radio but all of media in the late 20th and early 21st centuries.

Fans use terms like “radio revolutionary” and “doctor of democracy” and noted his role in helping the Republican Party, as when it took control of the House of Representatives in 1994. They admired him for raising millions of dollars over three decades for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Critics despised him for his reach and for his harsh commentary and outrageous comments about political and cultural figures and opponents.

He was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1993 and the NAB Hall of Fame in 1998, in addition to receiving multiple Marconi Awards for “Syndicated Radio Personality of the Year.”

Many people in radio also consider him to have been a savior of the AM band in the United States, or at least that he gave the band many years of new relevance after its decline as a source of music.

He was also a very profitable business, exemplified for example in 2001 when he signed an eight-year,  nine-figure with Premiere Radio Networks, which at the time called it the highest priced distribution deal “in the history of radio syndication.”

Benztown has published an audio tribute, written and voiced by Bill Royal and produced by Tom Baker. Listen here.

Read a 2020 bio and profile of Limbaugh.

The post Rush Limbaugh Dies at Age 70 appeared first on Radio World.

Categories: Industry News

Pro Audio & Radio Tech Summit Sponsorship Opportunities Available

Radio World - Wed, 02/17/2021 - 12:24

This year, the editors of Pro Sound News, Mix and Radio World are working together to produce the first Pro Audio & Radio Tech Summit, to be held virtually on April 1.

Sponsorship opportunities are available for companies that wish to reach professional technology buyers. The free one-day event will feature an exhibition floor, panel presentations, live chat and a host of media presentations showcasing the latest technologies and trends in radio and pro audio.

Watch the video below to learn more about sponsoring the summit.

Pro Audio & Radio Tech Summit will feature two individual program tracks within a single exhibition hall. In each program track, the show will explore how manufacturers and users are making use of both current and emerging technologies in order to keep the media coming.

The post Pro Audio & Radio Tech Summit Sponsorship Opportunities Available appeared first on Radio World.

Categories: Industry News

Iconic Talk Radio Host Rush Limbaugh Dies

Radio+Television Business Report - Wed, 02/17/2021 - 12:13

WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. — Exactly 50 years ago, a 20-year-old student at Southeast Missouri State University was flunking all of his classes. Yet, he had a passion for one thing: Radio. Armed with some experience at a hometown radio station at age 16, he accepted a position as an on-air personality at a Top 40 radio station in McKeesport, Pa., using the name “Jeff Christie.”

That individual, who celebrated his 70th birthday on January 12, would revert to his birth name in 1983. He’d also transition from music radio to become of one the most renowned and, to some, reviled, talk show hosts in American history.

All are now pausing to reflect on the life of Rush Limbaugh, who has lost his battle with Stage 4 lung cancer.

An official announcement was made just after Noon Eastern on Wednesday (2/17) by Limbaugh’s wife, Kathryn, on his radio show. “Losing a loved one is terribly difficult, even more so when that loved one is larger than life,” she said. “Rush will forever be the greatest of all time.”

The news was shared by FOX News at 12:10pm Eastern.

Limbaugh had been absent from his Premiere Networks-syndicated daily talk show since February 2, with guest hosts called in to substitute. As recently as February 10, show producer “Bo Snerdley,” a.k.a. James Golden, thanked listeners for their prayers. On Twitter, he wrote, “Our prayers are with Rush as he continues to fight the illness he has been afflicted with. We are still praying for a remission.”

That, sadly, did not come.


America’s Anchorman, the Doctor of Democracy, with talent on loan from God.

For more than three decades, Rush Limbaugh has come to be known as the epitome of conservative American political thought – and influence. In recent months, he staunchly defended former President Donald Trump’s unproven claims that the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election results were flawed, and that he had actually won re-election. This led to Limbaugh’s voluntary deactivation of his Twitter account on January 7, 2021; his last Tweet was on December 17.

On December 23, Limbaugh took to the microphone to provide an update on his health to listeners.

“I’ve had a year now to reflect on the things that really matter, a year to reflect on the things that are completely relevant and important to me,” he said. “And all of you are in that large conglomeration of people and things that are very important to me.”

On February 3, 2020, Limbaugh told his audience, and the world, that he has been diagnosed with “advanced lung cancer.” At the time, he noted it was a struggle for him to make the revelation, after first telling his staff earlier in the day that Monday just over one year ago, when COVID-19 was still largely an Asian pandemic.

The diagnosis, Limbaugh said, was confirmed by two medical institutions, on January 20, 2020. He added that he first believed something was wrong on his birthday weekend of 2020. “I thought about not telling anybody,” Limbaugh admitted. “I thought about trying to do this without anybody knowing, ’cause I don’t like making things about me. But, there are days where I am not going to be able to be here.”

In his Dec. 23, 2020, update, Limbaugh told listeners, “I wasn’t expected to make it to October and then to November and then to December — and yet here I am. Today I’ve got some problems, but I’m feeling pretty good today. God’s with me today. God knows how important this program is to me today, and I’m feeling natural in terms of energy, normal in terms of energy, and I’m feeling entirely capable of doing it today.”

The lung cancer disclosure came 18 1/2 years after otolaryngologists Antonio De la Cruz and Jennifer Derebery discussed a diagnosis and treatment for hearing loss incurred by Limbaugh. As of October 2001, Limbaugh suffered from autoimmune inner ear disease (AIED), a disease that could include sudden hearing loss. He was able to regain much of his hearing with the help of a cochlear implant. It then became known that he had become addicted to Vicodin, resulting in a five-week leave of absence from his daily radio program in order to enter a rehabilitation program. Severe back pain led Limbaugh to begin using the drug.


As “Jeff Christie,” Limbaugh began his career in radio, first at McKeesport, Pa.-based WIXZ and then at a bigger Top 40 station in Western Pennsylvania, KQV-AM 1410, then-owned by ABC. He would enjoy two stints at KQV in the early 1970s, and in 1974 hosted the night shift as the station transitioned from ABC ownership to Taft Broadcasting. They weren’t fond of Mr. Limbaugh’s persona as Mr. Christie, and by the end of the year he was gone; RBR+TVBR founder Jim Carnegie, under pressure from Taft’s C-Suite, carried out the edict as KQV’s Program Director. Then-General Manager John Gibbs suggested he hang up the headphones and take a radio sales position.

Dejected and with only one job offer, which he declined, Limbaugh went home. Over the next five years, he’d established a home in Kansas City – but not a successful radio career, with stints at KUDL and the former KFIX. In 1979, Limbaugh left the radio business altogether, taking a position with the Kansas City Royals just before their 1980 World Series season. While with the American League baseball club, he’d travel to Europe and Asia. It provided a foundation for his conservative views which would later permeate his Talk radio career.

That began in late 1983, when KMBZ-AM in Kansas City hired Limbaugh to be Limbaugh, with the “Jeff Christie” name gone for good. KMBZ fired Limbaugh. However, he soon accepted a job offer that would fundamentally change his career – and Talk Radio. On Oct. 14, 1984, Limbaugh replaced acerbic talk show host Morton Downey Jr. at KFBK-AM 1530 in Sacramento.

By 1988, fueled by the 1987 repeal of the Fairness Doctrine, Limbaugh’s show was attracting a large audience. It also gained the attention of Ed McLaughlin, the President of ABC Radio.

After 14 years, Limbaugh was rehired by ABC. Talking up Elton John and Blue Swede records was no longer necessary. Yet, the news was hardly headline-making. In the July 2, 1988, edition of Billboard, one line in the “Vox Jox” column stated the following: Rush Limbaugh comes to middays at Talk WABC New York from KFBK Sacramento, Calif., where he succeeded Morton Downey Jr.

While that may have been a minor hire in the view of columnists Sean Ross and Yvonne Olson nearly 33 years ago, Limbaugh’s presence on WABC was just the start of a career revival and explosion. Thanks to syndication, Limbaugh’s program gained a national audience. It also shepherded the transition of Talk radio from largely local programming to shows heard from coast to coast outside of overnights, where the late Larry King revived his career.

By the Persian Gulf War some 30 years ago, Limbaugh’s show was heard on some 650 radio stations.

By 1994, Limbaugh’s program greatly influenced the American electorate by ushering in the Congressional “Republican revolution,” led on Capitol Hill by Newt Gingrich.

The Rush Limbaugh Show would continue to have great influence over U.S. politics and talk radio for the next 27 years, even after his early 2014 move from WABC-AM to rival WOR-AM, which iHeartMedia predecessor Clear Channel agreed to acquire from Buckley Broadcasting in August 2012.


In early February 2020, just days after disclosing his lung cancer diagnosis, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom at the State of the Union address by President Trump in the House Chamber.

While those who may have disagreed with Limbaugh’s political views and sphere of influence likely scoffed at the honor, Limbaugh for several years used the power of his nationally syndicated radio program to save lives. He and his program are avid supporters of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Thanks to Limbaugh, hundreds of thousands of dollars have been raised in support of blood cancer cures, research and treatment through listener-driven telethons.

This will be part of Limbaugh’s legacy, cemented through a commitment to expressing his beliefs, challenging those in Washington, D.C., he didn’t agree with, and revolutionizing commercial spoken word radio for a generation.

Categories: Industry News

Babin of Cox Joins NAB Radio Board

Radio World - Wed, 02/17/2021 - 11:49
Rob Banin

Rob Babin has been appointed to the Radio Board of the National Association of Broadcasters.

He is senior vice president, head of radio for Cox Media Group, overseeing 65 stations in 11 markets. On the NAB board, he replaces Bill Hendrich of Cox, who retired.

[Read: Cox Names Rob Babin Head of Radio]

He has been with CMG for 20 years and is also a board member of the Georgia Association of Broadcasters and the Radio Advertising Bureau. He previously was on the board of the Florida Association of Broadcasters.

NAB also announced that RaMona Alexander, vice president and general manager of WDBD(TV), and Dan York, president and chief executive officer of Cox Media Group, were appointed to its TV board.

See other recent People News announcements.

The post Babin of Cox Joins NAB Radio Board appeared first on Radio World.

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