The 66th Annual New Jersey Broadcasters Association Conference this week in Atlantic City was the biggest yet. Led by NJBA Chairman Dan Finn and President Paul Rotella, NJ’s best and brightest broadcasters were joined by NAB’s top leadership team, including NAB Joint Chair Charles Warfield and NAB CEO/Senator Gordon Smith. Live-local broadcasts were aired by WOND and WCTC.
Scott Taylor was sworn in as the new NJBA Chairman along with other NJBA officers and Board Members for the 2013-2014 Association Year. Gordon Borrell and Rick Greenhut made presentations to the Board and the Salvation Army formally thanked the Board for their enthusiastic support of their PEP program to help Sandy victims in the late fall and early winter.
Educational Sessions and Roundtables included Scott Herman, Steve Jones, Phil Boyce, Joe Puglise, Eric Johnson and Jeff Smulyan, who discussed the future of radio and the many exciting initiatives already being planned for the growing industry.
Mary Beth Garber and Charlie Sislen gave NJBA a review of Radio’s unprecedented “hold” on over 242 million Americans in their growing audience and Arbitron provided an update on their notable Infinite Dial studies in the Garden State. Patrick McGee moderated an Agency Panel with Jerry Levy, Larry Weitzner and Adam Geller.
The crucial role broadcasters played during Superstorm Sandy took center stage at the New Jersey Broadcasters Association conference; earning praise from NAB president Gordon Smith and Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR), who also complimented the NJBA for its “forward thinking leadership” highlighting our members’ creation of the first nation’s first state broadcaster association Student Division. Eric Scott, Steve Portnoy, Wayne Cabot, Matt Ryan, David Webb and Bert Baron provided broadcast college majors with an unfiltered view of what it takes to build a successful broadcast career.
The NJBA also paid special honors to the NJ Army National Guard for their superb performance during Sandy, bestowing the Howard L. Green Humanitarian of the year Award upon the Guard, en banc, and announced the creation of a special NJBA/NJNG scholarship funded through the support of Mercury One, bringing the number of NJBA sponsored scholarships to seven. General James Grant addressed the membership and was awarded with a special commendation reflecting the valor of our Citizen Solders in New Jersey.
NJ’s finest were also acknowledged with special recognition including Bob McAllan, who received the Association’s Unsung Hero Award for his service to the industry and his efforts to establish a new full power commercial TV station in NJ, and Bill Saurer was honored with an NJBA Life Member designation.
“Best of the Best top honors went to Greater Media New Jersey team. WRAT-FM in two categories during an awards luncheon at the Conference on Wednesday. The station won the Best News 2012 Award for its “Superstorm Sandy Community Coverage.” In addition, Scott Edwards and the WRAT-FM team received the Best Commercial 2012 Award for the station’s “E Street Bagels” submission.
Greater Media Chairman and CEO Peter Smyth, who was in attendance at the conference said, “I am so very proud of Dan Finn, Carl Craft, Scott Edwards, and the entire WRAT-FM team for receiving these coveted awards.” Also, the late Anthony (aka Tony) V. Marano was inducted into the 2013 NJBA Hall of Fame at the event. Smyth reflected on the legacy and countless contributions that Marano made to Greater Media and the community throughout his distinguished career. Smyth presented the distinguished award to his two sons, Tommy and Tony Jr. on stage during the luncheon.
Living legend Jim Gearhart, NJ 101.5’s iconic morning host was also inducted into the NJBA Hall of Fame by his friend and colleague, Townsquare’s New director, Eric Scott, who produced and narrated a tribute video to the honoree, who gave a touching and funny acceptance speech before almost 400 broadcasters, family and friends. John Morris of WIMG was our third inductee in this year’s class.
NJ 101.5 also received two NJBA “Best of the Best” awards in two categories: “Best Public Affairs” Awarded for NJ1015′s monthly show “Ask the Governor “which was presented to Eric Scott and his team of Christopher Knight, Chris Swendeman and Matthew White, and ”Best Promotions” Award for the Big Joe Jersey Talent Show, which was presented to Ray Handel and his team of Big Joe Henry and Dan Specht.