Naples, FL - Sep 26, 2012 - Beasley Broadcast Group announced the winners of its annual Company Operating Awards. Each year at the company's annual gathering of general managers, Beasley recognizes noteworthy achievements, operating success and contributions from individual Beasley employees and radio stations over the preceding twelve months. The 2012 honorees include:
■ WKXC-FM - Radio Station of the Year, Augusta, GA
■ Lamar Smith - Engineer of the Year, Las Vegas
■ Kent Dunn - General Manager of the Year, Augusta,GA
■ Shelly Easton - Program Director of the Year, WXTU-Philadelphia
■ John Jaras - Sales Manager of the Year, WPOW, Miami
■ Jesus Novo - Business Manager of the Year, Las Vegas
■ Danny Highsmith - CEO Award of Excellence, regional vice president, Fayetteville, NC
Founder, Chairman and CEO George G. Beasley comments, "The lady and gentlemen we honor in 2012 exemplify the very best qualities in radio management. They are dedicated and talented leaders and it truly brings me pleasure to salute them and acknowledge their efforts. The entire staff of our Radio Station of the Year is to be commended for working together to create quality and community-minded local radio."
WKXC-FM in Augusta, GA, was selected as Beasley's Radio Station of the Year based on solid overall ratings and revenue as well as commendable community service. Kicks 99 is one of the highest-rated country music stations in America and the number one station in the Augusta Market. Most recently, WKXC has been named one of five 2012 CMA (Country Music Association) Radio Station of the Year finalists in the small market category. This is the second time WKXC has been singled out by the CMA, having walked away a winner of this award in 2007.
Vice President and Market Manager Kent Dunn has not only played a vital role in making WKXC-FM the Radio Station of the Year, he has also been named General Manager of the Year for his positive imprint on the entire Augusta cluster. Under his guidance, the cluster has performed exceptionally and is recognized as a vital community partner for business and charities alike. Dunn joined Beasley in 1991, working specifically in the Augusta market as general manager and/or market manger since 1993. He inspires those with whom he works to bring their best to the office each and every day, and he continues to represent the local Augusta community in the utmost professional manner. This is the fourth time that Dunn has been named Beasley's General Manager of the Year. He oversees WKXC-FM, WHHD-FM, WGAC-AM/FM, WDRR-FM, WGUS-AM/FM, WCHZ-FM and WRDW-AM in the Augusta market.
Beasley bestows the Program Director of the Year award to recognize the important task of providing creative and compelling content, and consistent ratings leadership. With ratings at WXTU-FM in Philadelphia performing at the highest levels seen in many years, Shelly Easton has earned this year's top programming honor. Since joining WXTU 92.5 as program director in 2010, Easton has shown great leadership and a huge lean toward local community involvement, attributes which certainly contribute to WXTU's success and to her recognition.
John Jaras, from WPOW-FM in Miami was named General Sales Manager of the Year. In spite of increasing competition in the market, and various changes within the staff, Power 96 continues to deliver solid results for their clients under his leadership. Vice President of Sales Heather Monahan adds, "During challenging times, John has the ability to stay calm, and keep his staff motivated by focusing on the future." A true Miami and WPOW veteran, Jaras has been successfully selling Power 96 since 1988.
Engineers play such a vital role in the successful operation of a radio station. This year's winner of the company's Engineer of the Year award handles five radio stations in the Las Vegas market. Lamar Smith is a relative newcomer to Beasley, joining the company as director of engineering for the Las Vegas cluster in 2011. Under his local guidance, Beasley became the first broadcaster ever to debut Advertiser Experience on KCYE-FM during the 2012 NAB Show. Vice President and Chief Technology Officer Mike Cooney comments, "In addition to fulfilling his day-to-day duties, Lamar designed, built and moved two radio stations to a new location in less than two months. Given this noteworthy accomplishment, it is only appropriate to name Lamar our top engineer for 2012."
Beasley's 2012 Business Manager of the Year is also located in the Las Vegas market. Jesus Novo joined the company in his current position as business manager for the Las Vegas cluster in 2009. He is being recognized this year for demonstrating excellence in all areas of the stations' business operations including financial reporting, accounts receivable and payable management, payroll and human resources. Like Lamar Smith, Jesus Novo also fulfilled additional responsibilities incurred by the relocation of stations to a new facility.
This is only the second time that Beasley has bestowed a CEO Award of Excellence and the 2012 winner is Regional Vice President Danny Highsmith. A native of Fayetteville, NC, Highsmith joined Beasley in 1971 and was named Fayetteville's general manager in 1974. He is well known and deeply respected in his hometown, having served many charitable and business organizations over the years. He has also earned numerous accolades and awards throughout his career including being named a Beasley General Manager of the Year on several occasions. He is serving as the current past-president of the North Carolina Association of Broadcasters (NCAB) and was named this year's recipient of NCAB's prestigious Wade Hargrove Community Leadership Award.