The inaugural Tennessee Association of Broadcasters (TAB) Radio Talent Institute was held in CCI’s Scripps Convergence Lab, May 15 –24, 2017. Twenty-five student attendees from UT, Middle Tennessee State University, Austin Peay University and the University of Mississippi gained invaluable information, skills and networking contacts as part of a unique 10-day experience. Students also completed the Radio Advertising Bureau Marketing course.
Tennessee is the seventh university in the US to hold a Radio Talent Institute in conjunction with the North Carolina-based National Radio Talent System. It was hosted by the School of Journalism and Electronic Media with sponsorship provided by the Tennessee Association of Broadcasters, Patrick Communications and Stone Broadcasting.
Broadcast professionals from Tennessee and other parts of the country served as guest faculty to share their insights and expertise with students in an interactive and immersive learning environment. JEM Professor Sam Swan and WUTK-FM General Manager Benny Smith worked with National Radio Talent System President Dan Vallie and TAB President Whit Adamson to organize and orchestrate the Institute. Among the guest faculty were several CCI alums including Bob Kesling (BS/JEM ’77) of the Vol Network, John Montuori (BS/JEM ’03) from Scripps Radio, John Wilkerson (BS/JEM ’88) and Heather Harrington (BS/JEM ’06) of WNML radio in Knoxville.
The institute provided students with an insider’s view of the broadcasting business including sales, sports, news and entertainment. It also allowed them to revise and/or solidify their career plans based on the people they met and the information they received.
The institute culminated with presentations from Larry Patrick (MS/C&I ’73), managing partner of Patrick Communications LLC; Whit Adamson, president of the Tennessee Association of Broadcasters; and Dan Vallie, president of the National Radio Talent System.
In his session titled, “Now is the time to start thinking like a pro,” Patrick shared interviewing tips, first career job success strategies and punctuated his advice with many colorful stories from his years in the broadcast business.
Students were highly complementary of the institute and felt that it had a major impact on their understanding and ability to become broadcast industry professionals.
“Our students were privileged to be a part of the inaugural TAB Radio Talent Institute,” said CCI Dean Mike Wirth. “We are grateful for everyone who made this possible, and look forward to working with TAB, the National Radio Talent System and all the broadcast professionals who participated to make next year’s institute an even better experience for our students!”