The National Federation of Community Broadcasters has named Walter Sheppard the recipient of the 2013 Bader Award.
For nearly a quarter century, Sheppard has advanced the cause of public media and community radio through his work at the Dept. of Commerce’s Public Telecommunications Facilities Program. PTFP grants for equipment purchases and facilities upgrades enabled many community radio stations to get on the air, and others received emergency assistance from the competitive grant program.
PTFP says it has helped public broadcasting stations and others construct facilities to bring educational and cultural programs to the American public. It handed out its last grants in 2011, but Sheppard continues to work with stations to complete projects and close grants.
Sheppard began his broadcasting career as a high school senior in 1947 at a small commercial station. He transitioned to public radio, then called “educational” radio, before joining PTFP in 1990. According to a release, he believed he could make a more significant contribution by helping stations understand how to apply for and make best use of grants.
“The NFCB Board of Directors recognizes the profound impact the PTFP has had on community radio,” the announcement says, and they honor Shepphard’s ongoing contributions to creating the solid foundation of so many community radio stations.
“Walter Sheppard was at PTFP when my station [KWSO] was built with program funding,” NFCB Board Chair Sue Matters said. “Since then, we successfully executed a back-up power project and equipment replacement. Irreplaceable, Walter Sheppard outlasted much of the equipment PTFP granted over the years. His steady guidance, kindness and knowledge were always appreciated.”
Sheppard will be presented with the award at the 2013 Community Radio Conference, May 29–June 1 in San Francisco. The Bader Award is given annually in honor of attorney Michael Bader, who worked on behalf of community radio stations.