This is not a negative story about Nielsen. Nielsen is the ratings system, the currency radio uses and advertising agencies and local businesses rely on to make purchases and funnel millions and millions of dollars into the radio industry. Many would argue that since Nielsen purchased Arbitron, the bigger company is making more of an effort to improve its product for the industry. But those discussions are for another day.
The radio industry's top leaders do not just fall into their positions of leadership. They work harder, they work smarter, and they find ways to put themselves into positions to advance their careers. We turned to four of radio's top leaders and asked them exactly how they do it. Why are they the ones leading people? What did they do to educate themselves? Here's what they had to say.
Radio Ink’s Lifetime Leadership Award is presented each year, in conjunction with our 40 Most Powerful People in Radio list, to a radio executive who has demonstrated over the course of his or her career a commitment to excellence and has set a standard in leadership for others to emulate. Previous recipients include Lowry Mays, Ralph Guild, Gary Fries, Eddie Fritts, Bill Burton, Gordon Hastings, Ed McLaughlin, Jerry Lee, Charles Warfield, Dan Mason, and Cathy Hughes.Our 2017 Lifetime Leadership Award recipient is Bruce Reese.
Kay Olin's long and extremely successful radio career started by accident. She had just graduated from Agnes Scott College as a political science major and was working as a receptionist down the hall from RKO TV/Radio Reps in Atlanta. One day she asked what they did because they looked like they were having so much fun. The response was: “Do you want to work here?” She said yes and was hired.
Twenty-seven-year old Jud Heussler is the program director for Curtis Media’s WPLW & WWPL in Raleigh, NC. He started his life in radio as an intern with WGR-AM in Buffalo when he was a senior in high school. In late 2016 he was hired by Curtis Media as the program director at WPLW & WWPL. Let’s find out why this millennial chose radio as a career.
Heather Birks started working for the Broadcast Education Association in 2006, after working for the NAB for four years and NABEF for six. BEA is an academic media organization for educators, students, and professionals. BEA hired Birks, because in the six years she worked at NABEF, she helped build, manage and produce the Service to America Awards, and helped launch and run the Broadcast Leadership Training Program.
Heather Monahan is the Chief Revenue Officer for The Beasley Media Group. Her main responsibility is increasing revenue. Period. She's been Beasley's CRO since January 2015 -- overseeing all sales of the company's core radio, digital, and non-traditional revenue opportunities.
As the EVP for Strategy & Analytics at the Katz Radio Group, Stacey Lynn Schulman gets to work with almost the entire radio industry, so she surely plays a vital role as an advocate and industry builder. Her job is also to make sure the Katz Radio Group sellers have the most current, persuasive, analytical resources at their fingertips to promote the value and efficacy of radio.
Kim Komando was 9 when she first sat at a computer, helping her mother locate software “bugs” while she coded software. She graduated high school at age 16 and went to Arizona State University where she started helping people using computers. Kim graduated top of her class from ASU’s School of Business at 19 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Information Systems.
That's just one of the questions we asked Nielsen Audio Managing Director Brad Kelly in his May 22 Radio Ink cover story interview. A lot of industry revenue, and a lot of industry jobs, ride on the ratings. In the top 50 markets those ratings are determined by the Portable People Meter. What is Brad Kelly doing at Nielsen to make your radio life better?