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TAB Salutes 2023 Leadership Award Winners

-    Awards Gala Closes TAB Show, Aug. 2-3 in Austin

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

The Gala, the closing event of the TAB Show, is slated for Thursday, August 3 from 6:30-9:30 PM at the JW Marriott in Downtown Austin.

“Local Radio and Television broadcasters have been helping build local communities since the industry’s advent 100 years ago, a tradition embodied by the men and women TAB is recognizing this year with Texas broadcasting’s greatest honors,” said TAB President Oscar Rodriguez.

“Each honoree has spent their careers advancing local businesses, community groups, schools and charitable enterprises that make cities and towns throughout the Lone Star State vibrant social and economic engines.

“They are examples and inspirations to us all and I look forward to joining the entire Texas broadcast community Aug. 3-4 in Austin in honoring their contributions and legacies.”

Pioneer Broadcaster of the Year – D’Artagnan Bebel, KRIV/KTXH-TV Houston

Throughout his 38-year broadcast career, D’Art Bebel has been a champion for innovation, diversity, and community outreach.D'Art Bebel

He has served as the SVP/GM for FOX 26 KRIV-TV, My20 KTXH-TV and for the past 23 years.

Bebel’s core belief that a local broadcaster must be in the business of serving the community through locally originated programming has motivated him to expand the station’s local newscasts/programming from 22 to 141 hours per week.

He’s a staunch believer in using the broadcast platform to not just TELL stories – but to shed light on issues that affect positive change for the Houston community.

Under his leadership, the station’s series “People for Sale: Houston’s Dirty Little Secret,” caused the City of Houston to form an interagency task force to combat human trafficking.

His staff is most proud of his leadership and planning during severe, catastrophic weather events, as well as the COVID-19 pandemic – keeping vital information flowing to the community all while making sure his employees were safe.

His commitment to community outreach extends outside of the station with service to organizations like the NAB Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Board, American Women in Media and the Emma Bowen Foundation.

Broadcaster of the Year – Amy Villarreal, Sinclair Broadcast Group

A spokesperson for women in broadcasting…a proven performer…a mentor and motivator…a true testament to the saying “hard work pays off…” This is how friends and colleagues describe Amy Villarreal.Amy Villarreal

Villarreal has served as the VP/GM of KEYE-TV Austin – the CBS affiliate – since 2005. In 2009, they launched a Telemundo affiliate. She’s passionate about providing unbiased, local news and content to English and Spanish-language viewers in Central Texas.

Sinclair Broadcast Group purchased the stations in 2012 and promoted Villarreal to Associate Group Manager in 2020. As of this year, she oversees stations in Amarillo, Beaumont, Corpus Christi and Abilene – in addition to the Austin stations.

She has a passion for volunteering and giving back to the industry and her local community – serving on Boards for Rodeo Austin, the Headliners Foundation and many more. She currently serves on the TAB Board of Directors’ Executive Committee and will Chair the Board for 2023-2024.

George Marti Award for Engineering Excellence – Tim Winn, KFDA-TV Amarillo

Born and raised in Amarillo, Tim Winn has been an integral part of the success for KFDA/KEYU-TV for more than 40 years.

Much like George Marti, Winn is no stranger to innovation and helping his fellow broadcasters. Whether it’s an assistant engineer at his station, a crosstown competitor, one of the many stations under Gray TV’s umbrella or a local church or school – Winn displays a true passion for broadcasting.Tim Winn

Throughout his career, he has prided himself on hiring and developing great broadcasters. His teaching, leadership and mentorship have led to seven people who have gone on to become chief engineers at other stations and in other markets – along with countless other industry sales and support techs.

In the Gray TV ranks, Winn is known as the “Adobe Premiere Whisperer.” He helps professional creative producers across the country troubleshoot systems and is the group’s leading authority on building the best editor at the best prices.

Colleagues salute his willingness to think creatively, keep an open mind to new ideas and create an atmosphere that fosters collaboration and teamwork.

Jason Hightower Award for Broadcast Excellence – Chip “The Fat Man” Arledge, KDPM Marshall

TAB proudly presents the Jason Hightower Award to recognize individuals with at least 10 years' experience in the broadcast industry who have demonstrated a proficiency for enterprise and innovation in servicing their stations’ audience, advertisers and communities.

The awards are named in honor of TAB 2009 Chairman Jason Hightower, owner/operator of KMOO Mineola, who passed away iChip Arledgen March 2009 after battling brain cancer. He was 37.

Like Jason Hightower, Chip “The Fat Man” Arledge is the morning show host and manager of KDPM 92.3 FM “The Depot” in Marshall.

He is committed to making “The Depot” a positive force for progress in East Texas.

In a little less than three years at the station, Arledge has been a vocal champion for the town of Marshall and its citizens, as well as the Regional Arts Council, Marshall ISD, Wiley College and many other community groups.

Day in and day out, Arledge strives to emphasize that the Radio industry exists to move local communities forward both culturally and economically – and to have fun doing so!

Convention registration is now open and tickets to the Gala are available.


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