The Alabama Broadcasters Association Convention runs from this Friday, Aug. 19 through Saturday, Aug. 20. To help describe what will be going on throughout those two days, Radio magazine's Cameron Vigliano got in touch with ABA President Sharon Tinsley.
Radio magazine: During the convention, a variety of seminars and meetings will take place that touch on many topics of interests to attendees. What sessions and seminars at the ABA convention would professionals in the radio sphere find interesting to them?
Sharon Tinsley: We have some sessions this weekend that were specifically scheduled for radio station managers and staffers. Brian Wright of Audience Development Group will be conducting a session titled “Developing and Monetizing Your Radio On Air Product.” Brian’s company focuses on programming and ways to improve overall station operation around good programming. He’s also conducting a talent coaching session Friday afternoon. On Saturday, David Chipman of Nielsen Audio will deliver a presentation on some new and improved data collection and reporting tools that are designed to better capture audience measurement in the rapidly changing audio landscape.
Radio sales executives will be impressed with Speed Marriott of P1 Learning and Michael Theodore of the Interactive Advertising Bureau Foundation. We keep hearing from radio and TV sales managers that they want more guidance with digital sales. Speed and Michael are leading two sessions. In addition, Dr. Kerry Johnson, somewhat of a “sales psychologist,” will lead a session on “How to Read Your Clients’ Minds.” Who wouldn’t want to be able to do that?
We’ll also have a session highlighting all the latest FCC regulatory news and especially the EAS updates going on right now. Our own legal advisor, Scott Johnson of Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth will be joined by Engineer John George. As your readers know, stations should be preparing for the upcoming national EAS test on Sept. 2. The FCC has set some deadlines for that prep, and the next one is coming up quickly, on Aug. 26.
Most radio stations across Alabama continue to deliver local news every day. One of the challenges they face is covering public meetings and local government. We have representatives from the Alabama Attorney General’s office, Special Deputy Attorney General Corey Maze and Assistant Attorney General Winfield Sinclair, coming to explain Alabama’s “Open Meetings” law–one of the best in the country. In addition, Secretary of State John Merrill will follow them up with a discussion of how his office administers the “Open Meetings Law” and what stations should do when they encounter problems.
Our keynote address will be delivered Friday morning by Major General Vincent Boles, US Army (Ret). General Boles has a great book for managers, “4-3-2-1 Leadership: What America’s Sons and Daughters Taught Me,” that gives great guidance on building a productive team–even for those of us who don’t wear camo to work every day.
Aside from these great offerings, we have some very practical sessions on station facility security and Active Shooter Training. We’re really fortunate to have great partnerships with the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency and local law enforcement who are stepping up to help us educate our stations on these vital topics. It’s sad to even think about but, today, you must be prepared.
Radio: The Broadcaster of the Year/Hall of Fame Luncheon takes place on Saturday. By any chance can you disclose who is in the running for this year’s Broadcaster of the Year Award?
Tinsley: We have a very long tradition of surprising our Broadcaster of the Year at the luncheon each year so, I’m afraid I can’t give that up. I can tell you that it’s a great local broadcaster who has a long history of community involvement and has taken on many leadership roles in his or her community to bring about positive change and growth. We contact leaders in this person’s community to solicit congratulatory letters for a book we compile to present at our luncheon.
It’s one of my favorite things to do. It’s so rewarding to speak with the Broadcaster of the Year’s friends and associates each year. I get to hear wonderful stories about what these broadcasters have meant to their towns and listeners. A few years ago, we started a Hall of Fame. The first year, we inducted our first “class” and all former Broadcasters of the Year. There are so many wonderful people to recognize and we are just scratching the surface in Alabama. When we name someone our Broadcaster of the Year, they automatically go into our Hall of Fame now.
In addition to our Broadcaster of the Year, we are honoring three others this year. We will celebrate Mazie Eaton Jones, a longtime radio sales executive from the Huntsville area; Sherry St. John-Clark, a radio talent with a history of charmed experiences in the business; and, Rosemary Lucas, a former “Weather Girl” and talk show host from the Birmingham TV DMA. Of course, “weather girl” wasn’t considered a derogatory designation in Rosemary’s heyday.
Radio: ABA’s annual Citizen of the Year winner will be honored on Friday, Aug. 19. Briefly, can you outline why this year’s winner, Don Logan, is so deserving of this honor?
Tinsley:Don Logan is an Alabama native who has done great things here and beyond our borders! He’s well known for his leadership at Time Inc. and Southern Progress. But, most central Alabamians probably know him better as the owner of the Birmingham Barons minor league baseball team and the man who brought the B.A.S.S. organization from Florida to the state. We are honoring Mr. Logan for his previous contributions to a positive image for our state but, especially for what he’s done in the last few years. His desire to move the Barons from the suburbs to downtown Birmingham launched the renaissance the Magic City is experiencing today. The new baseball stadium is surrounded by a beautiful green space and new businesses. The growth around the stadium has inspired building and renovation throughout downtown Birmingham. Don Logan deserves a lot of the credit for what’s happening now.
The ABA Convention takes place this week, Aug. 19–20. For more information, visit the Alabama Broadcasters Association’s website.