The Texas Association of Broadcasters will honor several broadcast leaders at its Annual Awards Gala — part of its 54th Annual Convention and Trade Show — on Aug. 9 in Austin.
The Pioneer Broadcaster of the Year award goes to the late Claudia “Lady Bird” Johnson, whom TAB says will be honored for her success in the once male-dominated world of Texas broadcasting. She purchased KTBC(AM) Austin in 1942 and turned the failing station into a media empire, according to TAB.
Biographers have written that the radio station was a base of finance and influence for Lady Bird’s husband Lyndon, the future president, who was active in its management and lobbying regulators for its advancement.
Lady Bird Johnson went on to build KTBC(TV) and gave Austin its first television broadcast on Thanksgiving Day 1952, when the station aired the University of Texas/Texas A&M football game. KTBC received its FM broadcasting permit on March 10, 1960 and renamed the station KLBJ(FM) on July 15, 1973. TAB says KLBJ has been on the air longer than any other commercial FM station in Austin.
The Broadcaster of the Year award will go to Meredith Beal for his commitment to local community service. He is the president and CEO of Lasting Value Broadcast Group, and purchased KCLW(AM) Hamilton in 2000 and has since increased local programming, added local news and created new public affairs programs such as “What Do You Think?”
TAB’s first Lifetime Achievement Award goes to TAB President Ann Arnold.