Thursday, July 21, 2011

A glimpse into the future of radio from the Keller Radio Talent Institute

I had the privilege last week of again addressing the students attending the Keller Radio Talent Institute at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC. This year marked my second appearance at the 10-day gathering which noted consultant Dan Vallie (Vallie-Richards-Donovan Consulting, pictured) put together in 2007. It is named for the late Art Keller of EZ Communications.

The Institute gathers 21 students from throughout North Carolina’s universities for intense schooling on radio sales, management, and operations.

While there, in addition to a long list of industry guest speakers, the students spend a day in Charlotte at the Time Warner Arena (home of the NBA Bobcats), the Bank of America Stadium (where the NFL Panthers play) the Charlotte Motor Speedway, and take the RAB’s Radio Marketing Professional certification course. Speakers this year included station owners Kerby Confer (Forever Broadcasting), Leonard Wheeler (Wheeler Broadcasting), and Henry Hinton (Inner Banks Media). The event is partially underwritten by the North Carolina Association of Broadcasters.

The students are attentive and engaged. They choose to spend almost two weeks in a radio cram course (when many of their peers are at the beach). Each is truly focused on landing a career in the radio industry. Former students have since gone to work for CBS, Beasley Broadcast Group, Clear Channel, Dick Broadcasting, Entercom, Curtis Media, Capitol Broadcasting, and others. Dan says that more than 70% of former students are now in broadcasting or a related field.

If you are asked to participate in the Institute in the future, please do it. And next time you see a resume from a participant, flag it for an interview. Kudos to the students, Dan, App State, NCAB, and the pros who volunteer their time to make it happen.

Media Services Group