Member Login

Forgot Password?
Need Login?

You are here: Home > News & Events > News > Texas Radio’s Big…
Welcome, guest: Login to your account

Texas Radio’s Big “Howdy!” at the NAB Marconi Awards

- Three Groups Claim Seven Honors

The Lone Star State had a huge presence on the winners’ platform at the NAB’s Marconi Awards last week, with seven of the 25 trophies landing in the studios of Bryan Broadcasting, Cumulus Radio-Dallas and Reach Media. The District of Columbia notched three wins while no other state nabbed more than two.

The awards included the “Legendary Manager of the Year” which was bestowed on Ben Downs, the only person ever to serve as TAB Board Chairman twice.

Downs was named Texas Broadcaster of the Year in 2010 and his stations have won numerous TAB Bonner McLane Public Service and Lone Star Leader awards.

Bryan Broadcasting’s WTAW-AM – one of the oldest stations on-air in Texas – was named Small Market Station of the Year.

Sister station KNDE-FM won awards for CHR Station of the Year and Small Market Personality for Frito and Katy.

In the Metroplex, Cumulus-owned KTCK nabbed the Sports Station of the Year Marconi, and the Major Market Personality award for “The Muses.”

Reach Media’s Rickey Smiley was named Syndicated Personality of the Year.

The awards were announced at the virtual Marconi Radio Awards Celebration available for viewing at no charge on NAB Amplify.

NAB member stations are eligible to participate in the nominations process, with entries typically collected in May of each year.

Stations interested in participating next year can contact the NAB’s Director of TV/Radio Events and Awards.

Being “Legendary”

Ben Downs reflects on his Radio career, the industry and being “Legendary”Ben Downs

When I was starting out, I noticed there were very few people in Radio who were old enough to be legendary in this business.

But this award (Marconi Legendary Manager of the Year) says that I am.

Generally, the dictionary says that means “old.”

Being in Radio for more than 50 years gives you a chance to put together a group of people who support you and let you do things other than check the phone bills every month.

This station team has allowed me to work on several industry issues.

I’ve been a part of most of the legislative efforts that TAB has endorsed.

Longtime TAB President Ann Arnold used me and my sense of humor to speak to Republicans because as she said, she had no gift for foreign languages.

I burned a LOT of frequent flyer miles working out the details of the free FM translators for AM stations. I’ve had my hair set on fire by FCC Commissioners and Chairmen. And I’ve sat bewildered as the FCC asked my advice on issues.

I testified for Radio during the 2015 CRB hearings that gave Radio a 30% reduction.

Recently, I’ve been pushing AM digital – only to find that the manufacturers aren’t providing transmitters to broadcast it (you win some…).

One thing that I’ve had the opportunity to watch change has been the impact of the increased Hispanic population in Texas.

When COVID hit, Spanish speakers had no dependable source for Coronavirus information.

We were able to hire two language translators for La Jefa 102.7 (hiring during a lockdown, what a concept!) who repurposed our WTAW local news reporting and delivered it in Spanish.

The concerns of the Anglo and Hispanic community are different; we learned, and we were able to meet the information needs of both.

I’ll be keeping Spanish language news on the air. It’s popular.

I can’t begin to show how appreciative I am to be given these opportunities to support the industry.

If you do it long enough, you finally figure out what needs to be said and done.

Being closer to the dessert tray than the salad bar is sobering, but this award means somebody noticed I’m here.

And that’s pretty cool.

More than that…it’s justification for choosing to be a “Radio Guy” for 50+ years.

« Back to News Archive
« Back to Latest News