Gloves are off: War of words continues over an award


On Friday 1/22/10, Friday’s RBR-TVBR published broadcaster Dennis Jackson’s strong viewpoint about the Broadcasters’ Foundation’s decision to name an award after broadcaster Lowry Mays. Mr. Jackson wrote, “… I am incredulous – actually, I find it absolutely beyond belief – that the Foundation has chosen to create a ‘Lowry Mays Excellence in Broadcasting Award’ to salute the so-called ‘broadcaster’ who took the lead in the rape and ruin of our industry for personal and family gain …”

It did not stop there — by late Friday afternoon, 01/22/10, an industry email was routed by Radio Ink Publisher defending the foundation and in return it produced this reply by Dennis Jackson:

Hello Eric,

You make a very good point. Hopefully, those who profited so extensively in our industry by following in Mr. Mays’s footsteps, ultimately at the expense of virtually every other stakeholder including many of those who are probably beneficiaries of the Foundation’s largess, will be more generous than ever in his name so the Foundation can remain strong and continue its good work.

I, too, intend to step up – not reduce – charitable giving. However, I don’t plan to include the Broadcasters’ Foundation in the pipeline, for it is inescapable that to do so would be to endorse the glorification of the so-called “excellence” of Lowry Mays in the process. It is simply not possible to survive by merely holding one’s nose when the room is full of hydrogen sulfide. One needs some oxygen — the fresh air of integrity.  

Are there any of us in broadcasting, other than the handful who led their own smaller companies down the trail blazed by Mr. Mays, who see any “excellence” or virtue in his work at all?  We all know that what Clear Channel has done to our industry under Mr. Mays’s leadership was selfish, destructive, and ruinous to a great many careers and lives. Indeed, yes, the term I most often hear my fellow broadcasters use to characterize it is “rape.”  A mere $125,000 contribution to the Broadcasters’ Foundation is not nearly enough to justify such hypocrisy.    

Best regards,
Dennis Jackson

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