Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now


The Story Behind GAB’s Ditty–McLemore Award

Broadcast engineers are honored every year in this program in Georgia

Houghton Bob GAB
Bob Houghton

All hail to the Georgia Association of Broadcasters for its program to salute dedicated engineers in the state.

Here at Radio World, we celebrate efforts to elevate awareness of the role of our industry engineers. One such program is the GAB’s Angelo Ditty–Frank McLemore Award. Nominations are now open.

I wanted to learn more about it so I reached out to Bob Houghton, president of the association.

“In 2012, the state of Georgia revised the state Emergency Alert System plan,” he said.

“The GAB worked closely with the state on this project and received tremendous support from four engineers. Later that year the GAB decided to honor those four at the annual GAB convention, GABCON.”

From then on, engineers have been honored every year.

It was named the Angelo Ditty Engineering Award after the association’s longtime ABIP Inspector. Then, “In 2016, our much respected and beloved ABIP Inspector, Frank McLemore was killed in an automobile accident.” Now the name honors both.

“The great part about this award is that the recipients are nominated by their peers,” Houghton told me. “This could be other engineers, station management or on-air- talent.” Recipients are selected by the GAB board.

Photo of the GAB logo on a banner behind a microphone
This year’s GABCON will be virtual. Send nominations for the engineering award to [email protected] by the end of September.

Criteria include dedication, professionalism and willingness to help other engineers.

“Engineers are often the unsung heroes of the broadcast industry,” Houghton said. “Most people don’t realize what all goes on behind the scenes to keep a newsroom running and to get content on the air. This literally could not happen without the minds and talent of broadcasting engineers. They are a very active and close-knit community as well.”

Nominations are invited; email [email protected] by the end of this month. Qualified nominees must have 20 or more years as a broadcast engineer, with the majority of that time spent in Georgia. The awards will be presented in October during the GAB’s Virtual GABBY Awards.

While I had him, I asked Houghton how Georgia stations are doing at coping with the pandemic, and working to get back to some kind of normal operations.

“Since broadcasting is an essential industry, it’s been very important that all of our stations stay on the air in times of crisis,” he replied. Local radio and television often provide crucial, life-saving information to members of their community.

“While it’s true that revenue is down, morale remains high. Local broadcasting continues to donate PSA airtime while raising money and building awareness to our communities. We are so proud of the ways our stations have overcome challenges and established new ways of communicating with their audiences.”

The association asks that you check the list of past winners first; the list is below.

Recipients of the GAB Angelo Ditty–Frank McLemore Award

2013: Dick Boekeloo, Robert Butler, Daniel L. Davis, Frank McLemore

2014: Marty Foglia, Michael Lawing

2015: David Williams, Jeff Brock

 2016: LaVaughn Thompson, Randy Mullinax, Perley Eppley

2017: Bill Williams, Stu Graham, Knox Carreker

2018: John York, Dick Byrd, Vic Lester

2019: James Gay, Tom Giglio, Bob Helbush