The board of directors of the New York State Broadcasters Association (NYSBA) announced that longtime President Joseph A. Reilly will step down from his position June 30, 2011, following the 49th Annual Executive Conference. He has headed the association since 1979.
“Our board, management and staff are extremely grateful to Joe for his dedication and untiring commitment to this organization,” said NYSBA Board Chair Theresa Underwood. “Since taking over the reins he has helped transform this association into a major and respected player in the affairs of New York State. Our state association has also become a national model for enlightened advocacy on the great overarching societal issues which affect our listeners and viewers.”
Reilly became the first full-time Executive Director of the NYSBA back in 1979 and the title was later changed to President. As such, he has headed the Albany-based trade association for 31 years. Prior to that he managed stations in Albany and the neighboring state of New Jersey, where he launched the career of the late television impresario Roger King.
During his lengthy tenure, the NYSBA credits Reilly not only with helping to shore up the finances of the association, but also with turning the organization into a strong lobbying voice, securing sales tax relief on broadcast equipment and leading the fight to allow cameras and microphones in the courtroom and in the halls of justice. More recently, he launched a Digital Media Leadership Academy, designed to help local radio and TV stations stay competitive in the weakened marketplace.
“Throughout my tenure we have never hesitated to invest our resources and influence in many worthy causes and significant issues quite removed from our own purses and parochial interests,” said Reilly, emphasizing that free speech matters and the preservation of First Amendment freedoms always took precedence over pocketbook issues. “By doing so, NYSBA has earned considerable respect in civic, educational, governmental, judicial and public service circles as much more than an `industry lobby.'”
“Not your ordinary Joe, New York broadcasters have been blessed by the steady and genial stewardship of Joe Reilly,” said NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith. “He has the heart the size of the Empire State Building, and his presence in this great business will be sorely missed.”
“Joe has advocated brilliantly for the broadcasters of our state without once forgetting the vital interests of the listeners and viewers. He is a New York treasure,” added former New York Governor Mario Cuomo.
Nationwide radio programmer Jay Meyers stated: “Joe leaving the NYSBA after 30 years is the equivalent of Johnny Carson leaving The Tonight Show.”
As part of the transition process, New York City-based Diversified Search Odgers Berndtson has been retained to find a successor.
“It is our expectation to find a successor by July 1, 2011,” said Underwood. “We are fortunate that Joe will remain available as a consultant through the end of 2011, thereby helping to provide the association with a smooth and seamless transition.”