Longtime radio engineering executive Norm Philips is among the industry leaders who will be honored this year by the Texas Association of Broadcasters.
TAB also introduced the inaugural class of its Hightower Award winners, named in honor of the late Jason Hightower, who was a TAB chairman and owner/operator of KMOO(FM) in Mineola, Texas.
Its Annual Awards Gala will be held in August as part of the TABShow in Austin. The recipients were announced by TAB President Oscar Rodriguez.
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“Texas broadcasting is nothing without the passionate and dedicated leadership of individual men and women who take to heart the federal license to do good for the communities they serve, and no one embodies that spirit greater than the six radio and TV broadcasters we’re honoring this year,” he said.
Norm Philips will receive the George Marti Award for Engineering Excellence.
“Texas radio engineering and the name Norm Philips go hand in hand,” TAB wrote in its announcement. “He spent the bulk of his career directing engineering operations for Susquehanna, Cumulus, GAP and Townsquare Media stations in Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, Atlanta, Denver and several other markets.”
As one of two engineering VPs for Townsquare, Philips managed nearly 200 stations. TAB said he “has inspired a legion of broadcast engineers who are sustaining radio stations throughout Texas today.” Philips retired in 2016.
Here are the names and bios of the other recipients:
Pioneer Broadcaster of the Year: Mark Grubbs, Ranch Radio Group, Kerrville — “Since 1993, Mark Grubbs has been owner/operator of the Ranch Radio Group stations in the Texas Hill Country,” TAB wrote. “As a ‘consummate radio guy,’ he is always looking for opportunities to serve his community, either with new promotion, programming, and marketing strategies to better serve listeners and local businesses, or a soulful solution to a pressing need. Whether it’s serving as the official radio station for the Gillespie County Fair or raising money for 4-H and FFA scholarships, Grubbs’ passion for serving his community is woven seamlessly into everything he and the Ranch Staff do.”
Broadcaster of the Year: Marty Wind, KLUX(FM), Corpus Christi — “After 38 years, Marty Wind recently retired from managing KLUX, a station he helped start for the Diocesan Telecommunications Corp. He introduced digital radio broadcasting to the Coastal Bend area in 2006 and today, noncommercial station KLUX is a market leader in public service, with a long list of achievements highlighted by courageous endeavors to stay on-air even in the worst of hurricanes. Wind’s heartfelt commitment to his fellow broadcasters and listeners is unmatched. Whether it be technical advice, emergency news and information, education or inspiration and relaxation, Wind is there to serve and protect the people of the Coastal Bend.”
Jason Hightower Awards for Broadcast Excellence — This award recognizes those with at least 10 years in the broadcast industry who have demonstrated a proficiency for enterprise and innovation in servicing their stations’ audience, advertisers and communities. The recipients are Melissa Rivera, digital sales manager for Townsquare Media Victoria; Joe Ellis, executive investigative reporter at KVUE(TV) in Austin; and Josh Gorbutt, news director for KBTX(TV) in Bryan-College Station.