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GAB Radio Talent Institute Begins

Starting this week; course is a “talent incubator”

The second annual Georgia Association of Broadcasters Radio Talent Institute has begun at the University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. It is this summer’s opening section from the National Radio Talent System.

This year, 25 applicants were accepted, the maximum number allowed, and they come from the University of Georgia, Georgia Tech, Ft. Valley State University, Georgia Southern, Piedmont College and Georgia College and State University.

The institute says that 65–70% of the students completing a term begin their career in radio or a related field and have gone to work for media organizations including CBS, iHeartMedia, Alpha Media, Beasley Media Group, Entercom, Commonwealth Communications, Greater Media, Curtis Media, Forever Communications and CNN.

“I knew we needed it, but even then didn’t realize how special it is until going through the experience in our inaugural institute last summer,” said GAB President Bob Houghton. “Broadcasters from all over the state come and give their time and expertise. These students will be the leaders in our business 10, 20, 30 years from now; we have a great deal of pride in what we are accomplishing.”

The Georgia Association of Broadcasters and Cox Media Group sponsor the institute.

The opening session is led by Lew Dickey, chairman and CEO of Cumulus Media, followed by Scott Smith, vice president and director of Radio Broadcast Technology for Cox Media.

All sessions over the10 days of the GAB Radio Talent Institute are taught by broadcasters from their specific area of expertise, including Kim Guthrie, executive VP of Radio for Cox Media. Other speakers from Cox Media include Donna Hall, VP/market manager; Scott Slade from Atlanta’s Morning News/WSB(AM); Chris Eagan, program director, WSB(FM); and Heather Taylor, digital content editor in Athens, Ga.

Speakers were also pulled from Cumulus and iHeartMedia, as well as sales courses are led by Dennis Jones of Bootstrap Broadcasting and Sanders Hickey of Golden Isles Broadcasting, both based in Atlanta, as well as Mark Haddon, VP/market manager of Beasley Media Group, Augusta, Ga.

Each student who participates in the RAB sales program receives his or her Radio Marketing Professional certification.

Sports broadcasting sessions are led by Steve Koonin, CEO, Atlanta Hawks; Steve Holman, play-by-play announcer of the Hawks and Jim Pfeifer, VP of Revenue Integration & Broadcast Services; Wes Durham, Georgia Tech director of broadcasting and play-by-play announcer for the Atlanta Falcons and college football games for Fox Sports; along with Gus Eurton of the Atlanta Braves. Students will visit Atlanta’s Phillips Arena and Turner Field.

Voiceover talent Kelley Buttrick teaches, “Basics of Great Voice Work;” Norm Schrutt, of Schrutt and Katz, leads the “Student to Superstar” session; Dr. Dale Van Cantfort of Piedmont College moderates the “Adjusting From College to the Pros” session, and Don Anthony returns to do the “How to Get a Good Job” session.

The National Radio Talent System is a system of Radio Talent Institutes on college campuses across the country. It says its mission is to create a talent incubator for individual regions and campuses, building on existing education. The Kellar Radio Talent Institute at Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C., will host the next institute. Also on this summer’s docket is the Confer Radio Talent Institute at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania, followed by the Kentucky Broadcasters Association/WKU Radio Talent Institute at Western Kentucky University.