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NAB Makes Outside Hire to Lead Sci Tech Department

Kevin Gage joins NAB as EVP, CTO

The National Association of Broadcasters has created a new position to head its Science & Technology department, and hired someone from outside the lobbying organization who has a background in television and music digital platforms.

Kevin Gage is the new executive VP and chief technology officer. His first day on the job will be Tuesday.

Gage — whose résumé, interestingly, also includes a stint as an RIAA board member — stated in the announcement: “I firmly believe advances in technology will help local broadcasters re-invent their business model and help create new revenue streams and new ways to better serve listeners and viewers.” He said the NAB technology team at NAB is well regarded.

Gage helped develop the DVD specification and production facilities at Warner Bros. Studios and helped launch the WB Network. He was a founding member of the Advanced Television Enhancement Forum, an industry initiative that developed standards for interactive TV.

Gage became head technologist at Warner Music Group, where he oversaw creation of new digital platforms and standards for products that included iTunes. While at NBC Universal, he was responsible for developing online TV strategies.

The 49-year-old will enjoy good access; he’ll report directly to President/CEO Gordon Smith. Gage will lead NAB’s technology efforts, including oversight of the staff that represents NAB on standard-setting organizations and interacts with engineering and technology communities.

The hire raised the question of whether this affects Lynn Claudy, the senior VP of the department; he has been heading up Sci-Tech since 1995 and joined NAB in 1988. Claudy will remain in his current position, according to spokesman Dennis Wharton, who told Radio World: “Lynn is an incredible asset to NAB and to the entire broadcasting business.”

Russell Reynolds Associates conducted a four-month search for NAB to fill the new position. Smith said the search demonstrates NAB’s commitment to fostering new business models using digital radio and television spectrum.

Gage is author of two patents on distributing multimedia programs. He was a member of the DVD Forum Technical Board and steering committee. He served on the board of the Recording Industry Association of America and the Mobile Entertainment Forum.

Gage graduated in 1984 from Penn State University with a B.S. in Science.

— Leslie Stimson