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The Future's So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades

The song by Timbuk 3 says it best and I’ve seen it. There is a bright future for radio in regard to talent, programming, sales and engineering/technical. Despite the bemoaning of not having a supposed “Farm Team.” Last week, as part of the National Talent Radio Systems training, a part of the RAB and sponsored by the Georgia Association of Broadcasters, I visited the University of Georgia campus at Athens, GA. There I spoke to a group of 30 young college age students who are interested in a career in media.

The students were enthusiastic, engaged and showed interest and drive. Many reached out to me after the conference to share their resumes, ask questions and request guidance. The group participated in ten days of intense training that touches every area of Radio, TV, Sales, Production, Podcasting, Streaming, Sports, News/Talk, Music Programming an Engineering & Technical.

The Institutes are held at various universities and colleges throughout the country. In addition to the GAB Radio Talent Institute at UGA, the Confer Radio Talent Institute is at Bloomsburg University of PA, and the Kellar Radio Talent Institute is at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC.

These institutes are underwritten by Broadcast Associations and/or Broadcast Companies. Hubbard and Beasley have been involved in underwriting and sponsorships in the past. Through the RAB, they create marketing pieces for the universities and either visit the schools to talk about the program and/or do Zoom calls into the classrooms. Throughout the year, they reach out to industry professionals like myself who feel would add industry insight and inspire the students by speaking at the respective institutes.

Students take the RAB sales training as a part of the program and are all certified upon graduation as “Radio Marketing Professionals”. The RAB, powering this program, wants to help the industry identify and train sellers, and make them a part of their talent pool. The singular mission is to educate, empower, enlighten, and inspire young people and help jumpstart a career in all the various growing opportunities available in media today.

Broadcasters, like myself, participate in coaching, training, mentoring and sharing with the students. In the case of the event at UGA, V103/Atlanta broadcast their morning show live at the school one morning. A field trip to the Atlanta Braves ballpark and meeting their broadcast team took place on another day. Market after market, I am seeing pictures of the leaders in our industry, participating at these events. The events are well attended and that’s encouraging.

My encouragement to you is to mentor and coach those who want the opportunity to be in media. They’re eager. They have many opportunities to train and practice online, on social media, on YouTube and via podcasting. You have no right to say “there’s no farm team” if you’re not taking calls and answering E-mails from those who are expressing interest in radio. Be open to growing your own.

The future is bright.

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