The author is the president of the Texas Association of Broadcasters. TAB commentaries are featured regularly at radioworld.com.
Rave reviews continue to pour in for the programs and events at TAB’s Annual Convention Aug. 10–11 in Austin, which broke records with more than 1,400 registrants and boasted a jam-packed floor in the 124-booth trade show from start to finish.
The business-centric agenda featured 29 programs presented by 35 experts and innovators over a day and a half who addressed the evolving technology landscape for radio and TV stations, trends shaping key advertisers’ spending plans, regulatory concerns influencing broadcasters’ operational blueprints, and marketing and management strategies to help sales teams grow revenue.
But the highlight of the 63rd annual confab was the Awards Gala where Texas broadcasters honored five broadcast leaders who have raised the bar for their peers in advancing the industry and forging partnerships to expand opportunities for all Texans.
Texas communities benefit daily from their local broadcasters’ dedication to informing and protecting their viewers and listeners while partnering with businesses small and large to propel the local economy.
Pioneer of the Year — Bill Buchanan, KSHN(FM) Liberty
Bill Buchanan embodies the spirit of live and local broadcasting. With more than 50 years of radio experience under his belt, Buchanan currently owns and operates KSHN(FM) Liberty, but he’s not sitting behind a desk all day. Folks mostly know Buchanan from his daily on-air show, breaking news coverage in the Liberty-Dayton area, Friday night high school football broadcasts, and his dedicated service to the community during life-threatening storms and flooding.
Broadcaster of the Year — John Kittleman, KRGV(TV) Rio Grande Valley
John Kittleman has more than 30 years in broadcast sales, management and operations. His station, KRGV(TV) (ABC), recently started providing live Spanish-language translation of all the station’s newscasts — an important undertaking in a market where 90% of the viewers are Hispanic origin — while sustaining award-winning investigative journalism and groundbreaking community service programs.During his several terms on the TAB Board of Directors, Kittleman has been an active leader on the legislative front, never forgetting the true goal of serving his local community.
George Marti Award for Engineering Excellence — Mike Wenglar, KULP(AM) El Campo
Highly dedicated, innovative and ground-breaking engineer — Mike Wenglar is the owner/operator of KULP(AM) El Campo whose long career in Texas broadcasting embodies the standards of excellence set by Texas Broadcast Legend George Marti. Wenglar just retired from KVUE(TV) Austin (ABC) after 45 years. But his story starts and continues with small town, local radio at KULP El Campo. Over the years, he has become one of the most respected and competent engineers in the state of Texas.
Associate of the Year — Dan Giesler, Giesler Broadcasting Supply, Alvin
For more than 40 years, GBS has been supporting Texas broadcasters with the newest and best equipment to keep them on the air, and serving their local communities — especially in times of emergency. Dan Giesler took over the family business in the 1980s when his father retired and has continued his family’s dedication to fostering a strong network of vendors engaged in TAB events and using his knowledge, integrity and honesty to work in partnership with broadcast engineers.
Educator of the Year — Dr. Joe Oliver, Stephen F. Austin State University (retired)
After more than 16 years in commercial broadcasting, Dr. Joe Oliver moved into education and spent 30 years teaching radio/television student writing, media management, audio production and more. He set up the SFA radio station (KSAU) as a learning lab, based on a commercial radio model, to train students in radio. Since 1978, he has worked hard to bring broadcasters and educators together to improve the industry as a whole.