Managers Roundtable: The Importance Of Mentors


If you want to be a great leader in radio today, it’s vital you seek out successful people and pick their brains. Luckily, our industry is very good at giving back. Many of radio’s best leaders say they never would have made it to the top of their careers without being mentored. We reached out to several of radio’s best leaders to get their input and opinion on being mentors and providing mentorship. Here’s what they had to say.


“Mentors are so important. I have been blessed with many pioneers in the industry. Tom Stoner, who sold me my first radio station and gave me the courage to follow my vision; Wayne Cornils, who taught me to embrace radio for the good it brings; Eric Rhoads, for being willing to take a tough stand; and a talented guy named Connor who came to work with us because he saw the magic in the business today and wanted to be a part of making it happen.”
Mary Quass

Chelsey Maddox-Dorsey

“Mentors are critical; they provide context and a road map to success. Your mentors are your lifeline. Choose them carefully and be an active listener to them. My mentors were Sydney Small, Norman Wain, Bob Weiss — just to name a few. These three let me be authentic; they never tried to change me. They taught me life lessons about work-life balance. They taught me how to look forward to see where you are going, not to just focus on where you have been. It is just as important to mentor others. It’s the circle of life!”
Chesley Maddox-Dorsey
American Urban Radio Networks

“Mentors are extremely important. Bill Clark, the president of Shamrock Broadcasting, was and still is a wonderful mentor to me. He gives me honest feedback, helps me see things from another perspective, and supports me to take ‘calculated risks’ and to be willing to find new ways to lead. My responsibility is to pay it forward and to be a mentor to others as Bill has been to me. That is why I created the Broadcast Leadership Training program 18 years ago — to mentor our next generation of leaders and provide them with the resources necessary to succeed.”
Diane Sutter
ShootingStar Broadcasting

“Mentors are extremely important and can help set you on the right path. History shows that successful leaders are inspired and encouraged by others who have led remarkable lives. I was fortunate to have several mentors. Howard Travis, a professor of mine in college, was instrumental in helping me shape my career in my early years. Harvey Nagler and Constance Lloyd were both significant and influential in forming my philosophy, in very different ways; Harvey taught many of us the importance of relationships and Constance the significance of raw honesty. Both I hold dear. Mentoring is one of the most important investments of my time. As a mentor, I take on the role of coach. I’m not just helping an individual’s career but, in fact, building a team.”
Craig Swagler
General Manager
CBS News Radio Network


  1. oh sure, kinda like the push for dereg and engineers were tossed out back in the 80’s
    or the push for automation to cut costs which cut personalities and local links


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