Coming In 2018: A New RTNDA/F Leader


In exactly 13 months, Mike Cavender will need a successor.

In an announcement made Wednesday (11/30), the Radio Television Digital News Association and Foundation (RTDNA/F) revealed that Cavender, its Executive Director, will retire at the end of September 2017.

Cavender will continue to spearhead the association’s ongoing efforts to protect the rights of electronic journalists as his replacement is sought.

An Edward R. Murrow and Emmy award-winning, major market news veteran, Cavender (pictured, at right) was named Executive Director in 2011, after serving more than 20 years in virtually every board capacity of the jointly run organizations, including as Chairman. Under his leadership, RTDNA/F has served as a lobbying voice for journalism on such major legislative and regulatory issues as the use of drones for news gathering, the availability to the public of police body cam footage, transparency in government, improvements in the Federal Freedom of Information Act and FCC regulatory issues impacting broadcast news coverage.

During Cavender’s tenure, a program was created that enabled broadcast groups to enroll all of its news managers at once, helping to reduce membership costs.

Additionally, Cavender’s fiscal management led the association to regain its financial stability and experience new growth.

The RTDNA/F Board of Directors has appointed a search committee to locate a successor to Cavender.

Before joining the RTDNA/F in 2006, Cavender spent five years as VP/Client Solutions for Atlanta-based Synaptic Digital, formerly Medialink Worldwide. His resume includes stints as VP/News for CBS affiliate WUSA-9 in Washington, D.C., and as Director of News and Public Affairs for Meredith-owned CBS affiliate WGCL-TV in Atlanta.