Radio’s next generation of pros descend on Appalachian State

Where radio’s next generation of air personalities, programmers, salespeople and even owners will be found has been a frequently-voiced concern in the industry. The answer, at least in part, is Boone, NC. That’s where Appalachian State University just wrapped up the sixth Kellar Radio Talent Institute. Seventeen students took part in a 10-day immersion into the radio business. Curriculum included topics such as on-air programming, sales, promotions/marketing, traffic, copywriting, news, sports, interactive, production and ownership. The classes were taught by 28 radio professionals. “These professionals and the Institute are bringing to reality what the industry has said it has needed for years, a ‘go to’ place to find young talent with a passion and desire to enter and succeed in radio broadcasting,” says Institute director Dan Vallie. He created the incubator with former station owner Art Kellar, who died just before the first year’s session began. While there isn’t a lot of traditional testing as part of the program, each of the students was required to take the RAB Sales Training certification course. All 17 of them passed the exam and earned their RAB Radio Marketing Professional certification. While seven-in-ten graduates have remained working in the media since the Institute began in 2006, not all the students may end up on someone else’s payroll. Thanks to a $500,000 gift from Institute co-founder Art Kellar and the Kellar Family Foundation, any graduate can apply for $50,000 in seed money to buy their first station within a decade of completing the program. “The Kellar Radio Talent Institute taught me more about myself as an industry professional and shed light onto which career path in the radio industry would be best for me,” student Jordan Sapp says.


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