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TAB to Honor Five Industry Leaders at #TAB2019

Texas Radio & Television Broadcasters will celebrate the achievements of five extraordinary industry leaders at TAB’s Annual Awards Gala.

The Gala, part of the TAB Show, is set for Thursday, Aug. 8 from 6:30-9:30 pm at the JW Marriott in Downtown Austin.

“Communities throughout Texas rely on their local Radio and Television broadcasters not just for important news, emergency information and entertainment, but also for their leadership in community service and entrepreneurship," said TAB President Oscar Rodriguez

“The broadcasters who are being honored this year reflect the finest traditions and highest ideals for our industry as they fulfill their mission to advance the well-being of their audiences and serve their local communities.

“Their leadership demonstrates the continued power and relevance of broadcasting in an increasingly competitive and diverse media marketplace, helping to define the highest standards for the broadcast industry.

“It is an honor to recognize their exceptional accomplishments and contributions to the Lone Star State.”

Pioneer of the Year – Jackie Rutledge (retired)Jackie Rutledge

Throughout her long career in Texas Radio and Television, Jackie Rutledge stands out as a shining example of dedication to the broadcast industry and her local community alike.

Starting out at the Houston Chronicle in 1977, Rutledge’s career took her to radio stations in Temple and Lubbock before she spent 23 years at KTXS-TV Abilene.

She rose through the ranks from AE to GSM and then VP/GM.

Under her leadership, the stations achieved strong ratings, created excellent promotions and received many community accolades, as well as industry honors.

Rutledge left Abilene to spend four years in the GM position at WOAI-TV San Antonio.

From San Antonio, she moved to KWES-TV Odessa-Midland for the remainder of her broadcast career.

She was a powerful legislative advocate for the industry before state and federal policymakers, chaired multiple TAB Board committees, and served for 10 years on the Board of Directors before being named TAB Chairman in 2007.

Television Broadcaster of the Year – Eric Lassberg, KXAN-TV AustinEric Lassberg

In his 13 years serving as Vice-President and General Manager, Eric Lassberg's leadership and team building has raised KXAN-TV Austin to new heights. 

He has built and developed a culture that breeds excellence and inspires the staff to do their best every day.

Under Lassberg’s leadership, KXAN-TV has received numerous awards for journalistic excellence and developed one of the leading weekly broadcast news programs focusing on state policy and politics called State of Texas which now airs in 12 Texas markets.

Most recently, the station received its third Walter Cronkite Award for Political Television Journalism, reflecting the station’s extraordinary investment and leadership in investigative reporting.

The award recognized a special broadcast of State of Texas, a program focusing on one long-form investigation into the Texas Railroad Commission Chairman and the conflicts of interest related to her politically prominent family.

Lassberg is an ideal example of what a broadcaster can achieve through hard work, core principles and a true belief in what television stations should achieve within a community.

Radio Broadcaster of the Year – Tania Moody, KLVT-AM LevellandTania Moody

TAB presented the inaugural Broadcaster of the Year Award in 1986. In 33 years, only six women have received the honor.

TAB’s 2019 Radio Broadcaster of the Year – Tania Moody – is not only a female owner/operator, she is the SOLE owner of her hometown station KLVT-AM Levelland.

Moody started in broadcasting in 2006 as a rookie sales rep for the High Plains Radio Network. In two years, she advanced to Sales Manager and became the Station Manager in 2010. She started her own LMA in 2012 and went into business for herself – purchasing KLVT-AM just one year later.

In only three short years, Moody’s Cute Boots Broadcasting had paid for the station, demonstrating the viability of Small Market Radio as a business opportunity for young entrepreneurs.

Moody not only manages her broadcast team of three, she also handles more than 50% of the sales for the station, performs day-to-day administrative duties and hosts/produces a very successful morning show.

George Marti Award for Engineering Excellence – David Stewart, Moving Target ConsultingDavid Stewart

Broadcast colleagues know David Stewart as the consummate engineer, starting “in the trenches,” while still in high school in his hometown of Lubbock.

In the tradition of Broadcast Legend George Marti, Stewart has been active in nearly every facet of the business.

Starting out as an announcer/engineer at KFMX-AM-FM Lubbock, he spent 23 years as the Station/Corporate Engineer for the Tichenor Media System stations (which became Heftel, then HBC then Univision Radio).

Stewart worked closely with former TAB President Ann Arnold in crafting the Texas State Emergency Alert System plan – as well as helping his fellow broadcasters create their own local plans.

He currently runs his own engineering company serving many rural stations – Moving Target Consulting Works – and is owner/operator of KPET-AM Lamesa, “THE local voice of Dawson County, Texas.”

Educator of the Year – Mac Aipperspach, Del Mar CollegeMac Aipperspach

Mac Aipperspach has worked in the broadcast industry in one form or another since 1972.

He started on-air at the campus radio station at John Brown University in Arkansas, eventually being promoted to Station Manager.

Upon graduation, Aipperspach worked at KAMO Rogers-Bentonville, AR and then KBUD Athens and KPAN Hereford – where he was able to work with Pioneer Texas Broadcaster Clint Formby.

After completing his master’s degree in Radio/Television/Film at the University of North Texas, he joined the faculty at Del Mar College in Corpus Christi.

The Del Mar RTF program was only a year old when he was hired. Over the next 38 years, the program has gone from a converted classroom to a specially designed Television studio with auxiliary rooms for audio and video editing, as well as a suite specifically designed for Radio.

Aipperspach also has been an active member of the Texas Association of Broadcast Educators since the mid-1980s – serving as Secretary/Treasurer for 25+ years.

Throughout his career, he has always provided his students with the best training and made it as comparable as possible to an actual industry work setting.

Many of his former students have gone on to successful careers at Texas stations and nationally.

Contact TAB’s Beth Bobbitt for information on purchasing tickets to the event.

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