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Excellence In Community Service Recognized At NAB Crystal Radio Awards

By: Marjorie Galas

Since its inception in 1922, NAB, or the National Association of Broadcasters – has been committed to a standard of excellent in all forms of broadcasting.  During the annual NAB show held in Las Vegas April 24- 27th, NAB presented a number of special panels and sessions.  They also bestowed the NAB Crystal Radio Awards during the show.

Global Lead for Business Development and Partner Management of the Ford Developer Program at Ford Motor Company Scott Burnell was the featured speaker at the award ceremony.  Prepped to discuss the ever-changing listening habits the American public, he asked the crowd what they envisioned when he said the words self-driving car.

“Do you think of KITT pulling off a trailer?  Or maybe you think of what you saw in ‘The Jetsons?”

After highlighting a normal Ford vehicle, Burnell informed the crowd that self-driving cars have been tested for several years.  “They can parallel park better than you, I guarantee it,” he stated.  While the car is parking itself, listeners won’t be tuned in to the standard radio, but instead consuming their favorite station as it is streamed through an app.  Burnell encouraged the crowd not to fear this switch of technology, but rather to embrace it and seize the opportunities it present.

“People want someone they trust to tell them what is good,” said Burnell.  “Radio has been that voice for people.  They are the connection.”

Celebrating the 30th anniversary of radio’s most prestigious award, ten winning radio stations, recognized for their outstanding year-round commitment to community service received the Crystal Radio Awards. The finalists were chosen by a panel of judges representing broadcasting, community service organizations and public relations firms.

. Prior to the presentation of the awards, John C. David, Executive Vice President, Radio, NAB, commended the valuable service all fifty finalists provide.

“The personalities and professionals at each station pull the community together,” said David.  “They provide an emotional connection between the listeners and the radio personalities.”

In addition to millions of collective hours of PSAs, the winning stations engaged in hours of community service, volunteerism, and fund-raising events, ranging from securing forever homes for abandoned pets to securing school supplies for needy educational facilities.  Below is a list of the 2017 Crystal Radio Award winners:

KMOX – AM, St. Louis, MO

WREW-FM – Cincinnati, OH

KRMG-FM – Tulsa, OK

WTOP-FM – Washington, DC

WBLS-FM – New York, NY

WUBE-FM – Cincinnati, OH

WDNS-FM – Bwling Green, KY

WHUR-FM – Washington, DC

WYCT-FM – Pensacola, FL

WZUS-FM – Decatur, IL

The event concluded with the induction of radio personality Delilah into the NAB Broadcasting Hall of Fame.  Delilah recounted her early days as the sole female working in prime time radio in 1974, and recognized the mentors who helped her along the way.

“This is such a huge honor,” said Delilah.  “My career, my entire life, revolves around story telling.”