About LAB

Founded in 1947, the Louisiana Association of Broadcasters is the only statewide organization dedicated, solely, to promoting and protecting the interests of Louisiana's Broadcast Industry. Our goal is to provide a stable governmental and community environment in which Louisiana Radio and Television Stations may continue to fulfill the needs and desires of their listening and viewing audiences. Membership is open to Radio and Television stations licensed to and/or doing business in Louisiana. Business and Organizations with an interest in the broadcast industry are eligible for associate membership.

Our Mission

Our Mission is promoting the success and prosperity of Louisiana’s Broadcasters and the survival of the broadcasting industry by:

  • Representing our members’ points of view in the legislative and regulatory process in pertinent branches of State and Federal government;
  • Serving as a resource for training, revenue expansion, cost containment and information on evolving governmental policies;
  • Encouraging the highest standards in broadcasting by recognizing and sharing examples of excellence and achievement.

We achieve our mission through the combined support, input and leadership of our broadcast members.

 


 

Board of Directors

Executive Committee

 Flynn FosterFlynn Foster, CEO and President, Guaranty Corporation, Guaranty Media Ventures, LLC and Guaranty Broadcasting Company, LLC

LAB Chairman

Flynn joined Guaranty in 2010. He is also Vice President and Corporate Secretary of Guaranty Income Life Insurance Company. Mr. Foster is member of the Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of Guaranty Corporation and Guaranty Income Life. Having previously worked in the mortgage lending and construction industries, he has 20 years of experience in the financial services business. Mr. Foster is a graduate of Louisiana State University. 

Flynn is also involved in the following community leadership activities: Board Chair, Baton Rouge Area Alcohol and Drug Center, Member of the Executive Committee and Board of Directors, Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC), BRAC’s Small Business Council Chair, Louisiana Insurers’ Conference, Whitney Bank Baton Rouge Market Advisory Board,Former Board Member, St. Luke’s Episcopal Day School, Major Donor Co-Chair, St. Luke’s Episcopal Day School Member of the Board of Directors and Louisiana Arts and Science Museum.

He and his wife Dana have two sons, Landon and Luke.

 

Andrew D. Shenkan, President & General Manager, KATC-TV

LAB Chairman Elect

Andrew joined KATC Communications in January of 2006 as President & General Manager. KATC is located in Lafayette, Louisiana, and broadcasts as an ABC television affiliate as well as a CW affiliate on its multicast DT2 channel. KATC was selected as the Louisiana Television Station of the Year (small market) by the Louisiana Association of Broadcasters in 2014, 2012, 2011 and 2009. The LAB at their annual Prestige Awards also recognized Andrew as the Broadcaster of the Year in 2014.

Prior to joining KATC, Andrew worked as the Director of Sales and Marketing from 2002-2005 for WLEX 18 the company’s NBC affiliate in Lexington, Kentucky. Mr. Shenkan has had an extensive broadcast sales career throughout his tenure holding sales management positions with WBRZ, Baton Rouge, LA 1994-2002, WCJB-TV, Gainesville, FL 1993-94, and WCTI-TV, New Bern, NC 1989-1993. He has worked as an Account Executive for Blair Television in both their New York and Chicago offices.

Andrew holds an MBA degree from the B.I. Moody III College of Business at the University of Louisiana Lafayette and earned his bachelor’s degree in American Studies from Tulane University in New Orleans, LA. Mr. Shenkan is a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where he attended Shadyside Academy.

Andrew currently serves on the Regional Health System Board of Trustees in Lafayette. He is an active member of The Rotary Club of Lafayette where he served as Club President in 2012-13 and was presented with the Vocational Excellence Award in 2013 and Rotarian of the Year in 2010.

Andrew lives in Lafayette and has a daughter Kathryn who attends the University of Mississippi and a son Drew who attends the Episcopal School of Acadiana.

 

Joel Vilmenay, President & General Manager, WDSU-TV

LAB Television Vice Chairman

Joel was named President & General Manager of WDSU-TV, the Hearst Television Inc NBC Affiliate in New Orleans, LA, in February of 2007. In this capacity Vilmenay provides strategic leadership for WDSU-TV, MeTV New Orleans and a suite of web and mobile applications. Prior to the appointment, Vilmenay served as President & General Manager of KETV-TV, the Hearst Television Inc ABC Affiliate in Omaha, NE. He joined KETV from Gannett-owned, WZZM-TV where he led all national and local sales efforts on behalf of the Grand Rapids, MI ABC affiliate. Vilmenay began his career in Washington, DC where he held numerous sales and management positions for the Gannett Company.   He was also recruited and work for Blair Television / New York, where he negotiated on behalf of nine network television affiliates across the country.

Joel is a graduate of the University of Maryland at College Park, where he received a B.A. in Radio, Television and Film. He also holds an MBA from the University of Maryland University College. In 2001, he was named one of four National Association of Broadcasters’ Education Foundation Fellows. He also serves as a director on the boards of New Orleans Center for Creative Arts Institute, Kingsley House, Second Harvest and the New Orleans Chamber of Commerce.

Joel resides in New Orleans with his wife, daughter and son.

 

Charlie SopranoCharles Soprano, Founder and Co-Owner, Cenla Broadcasting

LAB Radio Vice Chairman

Charlie is the founder and co-owner of Cenla Broadcasting since 1975.  Charlie entered the business with KQID and KSYL.  In 2006, Cenla Broadcasting completed the acquisition of Clear Channel's Central Louisiana market to a now combined portfolio of six radio stations, three of which, have 100,000 watt capability. 

Charlie currently sits on the Louisiana State Board of Commerce and Industry, and is also the Vice President of the Louisiana Association of Broadcasters.  Over his career, he has given his time to a multitude of boards, locally and abroad including: The Manna House, The City of Alexandria Board of Adjustment and Appeals,  Chamber of Commerce, Military Affairs Committee, Historic Preservation District Commission, St. Francis Cabrini Hospital, and others.

Charlie is a lifelong resident of Alexandria, Louisiana, and has been married to Mildred Soprano for 43 years, and the proud father of four children, and grandfather to seven grandchildren.  Charlie has been a leading local entrepreneur since the 1960's, and is also founder and co-owner, of Real Vision Software, a global imaging software company based in Alexandria. 

 

Gary McKenney, General Manager, Red Peach Radio

LAB Secretary/Treasurer

Armed with a handy BS in Biology from Arkansas Tech University in 1974, Gary decided to make a career out of radio, after working his way through college as a disc jockey. His father also worked at the same station, (KXRJ Russellville, Arkansas) as an announcer and Chief Engineer. Gary McKenney has over 40 years experience in radio in both Arkansas and Louisiana.

Gary began his career in positions that included announcer, copywriter, Operations Manager, and account representative. He has been General Manager of Red Peach, LLC (KXKZ,KNBB,KPCH,KRUS) in Ruston, Louisiana for the past 12 years. One of his stations, KXKZ, has won the Louisiana Association of Broadcaster's award for "Radio Station of the Year- Medium Market" over 20 times. KXKZ has also raised over $1 million in donations for St Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

He has worked on Habitat for Humanity homes and served on the Board of Directors of Ruston Dixie Baseball. He has served on Board of Directors Ruston-Lincoln Chamber of Commerce and as past Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Ruston -Lincoln Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Currently he serves on the Board of Directors, Louisiana Association of Broadcasters. He has also been chosen to serve on the Curriculum Advisory Committee, Mass Communications, Grambling State University.

 

Sandy BrelandSandy Breland, Group Vice President, Raycom Media 

Immediate Past Chair

Sandy joined Raycom Media in July of 2008 as Vice President/General Manager of WAFB/WBXH in Baton Rouge. She served eleven years as Executive News Director of WWL-TV, the CBS affiliate in New Orleans where she was honored with a Peabody, Dupont, and National Murrow, for her planning and execution of WWL’s coverage during Hurricane Katrina. Sandy has also been honored with RTNDF’s First Amendment Award and the Society of Professional Journalists Sigma Delta Chi Award for public service.

Sandy had the opportunity to return to her beloved hometown in December of 2013 when Raycom Media began managing WVUE-TV, the FOX affiliate in New Orleans, through a shared services agreement with Louisiana Media Company.

Sandy also serves on the LSU Manship Board of Visitors. She holds a BA in Journalism from Loyola University-New Orleans and has also attended continuing education sessions at Columbia University’s Sulzberger Leadership Program, Missouri University’s Management Program for Broadcast Professional, and the Poynter Institute. Sandy and her husband Dave have two children.

 


 Directors


 

Chris Claus, Vice President/General Manager Entercom

Born in Chicago, raised in South Bend, Indiana, Chris graduated from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. Chris worked for CBS Television and Radio for 25 years in financial and general management in Fort Wayne, Indiana, New York, Los Angeles, San Diego, and Philadelphia. He moved to New Orleans in 2007 to manage Entercom Communications’ six radio station cluster.

Chris has been a board member of the Southeastern Louisiana United Way for six years, Board member of the New Orleans Ballet Association, the Brees Dream Foundation, and past President of the Greater New Orleans Broadcasters Association.  In prior cities Chris has been a board member of the March of Dimes, American Cancer Society, California Association of Broadcasters, Pennsylvania Association of Broadcaster, among others.

 

 

 

Michele Godard, Vice President & General Manager, KALB-TV

Michele was named Vice-President & General Manager of KALB-TV, THE Gray Television Inc NBC and CBS Affiliate in Alexandria, LA, in September of 2009. She has worked at KALB-TV since 1993 beginning her career there as the weather anchor for News Channel 5's morning show "Jambalaya".

Her experience in the news department includes time spent in the position of General Assignments Reporter, Education Reporter, Evening News Anchor, and Executive Producer. From 2002 until 2009, Michele was the News Director. Under her leadership, the KALB-TV News Channel 5 newsroom won first place honors in numerous state awards, including Associated Press recognition of the station's coverage of major disasters like Hurricane's Katrina, Rita and Gustav.

In the sales department, Michele spent two years as an Account Executive giving her the experience of both news and sales and being named Salesperson of the Year.

Michele lives in Alexandria with her husband and three children. Born in San Francisco, she spent much of her early years growing up in Los Angeles, California and attended college in Boston, Massachusetts at Emerson College.

 

Mike Grimsley, Regional Vice President & General Manager, Townsquare Media Lafayette

Mike is a native of Tallahassee, Florida moved to Lafayette in 1988 to become the Vice President & General Manager of Lamar Advertising of Lafayette. Mike worked with Lamar until 1994 when he became the VP/GM of Schilling Media Radio Stations KMDL & KFTE; those two stations have now grown into seven. Grimsley’s leadership has been the thread of consistency for more than 20 years through 3 previous corporate owners and now is the Regional Vice President and General Manager for Townsquare Media, the third largest owner of radio stations in the United States. Townsquare Media Lafayette properties include, KMDL 97.3 The Dawg, KFTE Planet Radio 105.1, 99.9 KTDY, KHXT Hot 107.9, KPEL News Radio 96.5 FM, KPEL AM ESPN 1420 and KROF 960 AM The Gator.

Mike has served as a board member and committee member of several organizations including the National Association of Broadcasters, Louisiana Honor Air, Boys & Girls Clubs of Acadiana, Lafayette Education Foundation, Lafayette Science Museum, Lafayette Chamber of Commerce and United Way of Acadiana. Grimsley’s also the past Chairman of The Louisiana Association of Broadcasters and The Louisiana Open.

Mike and Townsquare Media Lafayette are active media sponsors for a multitude of non profit organizations and events throughout Acadiana.

KMDL 97.3 the Dawg has been the Flagship station for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital for almost 20 years. Townsquare Media Lafayette also sponsors Miles Perret Cancer Services, Acadiana Outreach, The American Heart Association, The American Cancer Society, The Boy Scouts of America, Acadiana Youth, Festival International de Louisiane, Festivals Acadiens et Creole, The Performing Arts Society of Acadiana, The Lafayette Science Museum, The Louisiana Honor Air Project, The Corporate Challenge, The March of Dimes, UL Lafayette and United Way of Acadiana, just to name a few.

Mike won the Louisiana Association of Broadcaster’s 2009 Broadcaster of the Year Award. Under Mike leadership, the Townsquare Media Lafayette stations have won dozens of local, state and National Broadcast Awards.

Mike currently resides in Carencro with his wife Gwen and two children Kimberly and Matt.    

 

Lisa JanesLisa Janes, Director of Sales, Townsquare Media - Shreveport/Bossier

Lisa Janes, hometown Shreveport-Bossier City girl, began her career in the radio field in 1993 after four years as a classroom teacher in Bossier Parish. She began her media career as an outside seller for stand-alone KRMD AM/FM. Since then has worn many hats from: General Sales Manager to the Director of Sales while working in the AM/FM and Capstar/Gulfstar ownership period.   1999 brought Clear Channel ownership, followed by GAP Broadcasting ownership and then an exciting 2 year stint as the GAP Central National Sales Manager. 2010 brought about the most challenging opportunity in Lisa’s career, General Manager for Townsquare Media: 6-station cluster in the Shreveport/Bossier City market, including 6 online radio sites and 6 highly engaged station websites.   The stations are: Kiss Country 93.7 FM, K 94.5 FM, 96.5 KVKI FM, 99X The Rock Station, News Radio 710 KEEL AM and AM 1130 The Tiger.

Lisa is one of the most active and involved in the Ark-La-Tex community and has served on the following boards and committees: Zeta Tau Alpha—Alumnea Officer, State Recommendations Chair and Key Woman, Shreveport-Bossier City Panhellenic, Bossier Chamber of Commerce Special Events Chair and Board Member, Downtown Shreveport Unlimited Vice President and President , March of Dimes, and has a little fun in the Mighty Krewe of Centaur. She has also earned the designations of Certified Radio Marketing Master, Certified Radio Marketing Consultant, Master of Radio Marketing and Certified Digital Marketing Consultant.

Lisa Janes and the Townsquare Media Shreveport/Bossier City crew are involved in multiple facets in the marketplace including: Mudbug Madness, The Robinson Film Center, Philadelphia Center, American Cancer Society, Louisiana Blood Bank, Give for Good, Susan Komen Friday in Pink, Bossier Sheriff’s In God We Trust Campaign, Hunters for the Hungry, Battle on the Border, Sleep Out 4 Independence and many, many more. Kiss Country is the proud recipient of 2014’s Large Market Station of the Year Prestige Award and 96.5 KVKI FM is also honored with the Best Website Prestige Award for 2014.

An LSU graduate, Lisa Janes is an avid college sports fan and cheers the Tigers on year-round.

 

Lee Meredith, Vice President & General Manager, WAFB/WBXH

Lee Meredith is Vice President and General Manager of WAFB and WBXH, the Raycom Media television stations in Baton Rouge. Meredith has been with Raycom since 1998, previously managing stations in Memphis, Tenn.; Huntsville, Ala.; and Columbia, S.C. He was also active in state broadcaster associations in Alabama and South Carolina and served as chairman of the Tennessee Association of Broadcasters in 2012.

Meredith is a native of Houston and began his career as a news reporter in Texas, also working as a producer and executive producer in his hometown. He served 13 years as news director at stations in Charlotte, Raleigh-Durham and Chattanooga. In 2006, Meredith was inducted into the Silver Circle at the Midsouth Region Emmy Awards in Nashville. The Silver Circle honors quarter-century contributions to broadcasting.

Meredith is also serving on the boards of the Baton Rouge Area Chamber and the Better Business Bureau of South Central Louisiana. He is a graduate of Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. He and his wife, Patti, are dedicated companions to their English Springer Spaniels.

 

Richard Petty, Chief Engineer, iHeartMedia

A. Richard Petty is the Director of Engineering for Iheartmedia Baton Rouge. Iheartmedia Baton Rouge stations include WYNK, WFMF, KRVE, WJBO, & WLRO. He has remained a staple at WYNK for over 35 years. Over the years, He has remained the engineer during several changes in ownership. He began working for Miss Lou, and continued to work as ownership changed to Steve Hicks then to Narraganset, Gulf Star, Clear Channel and now Iheartmedia.

Prior to working in radio, Richard worked for Louisiana forest products and also worked for the State of Louisiana in purchasing.

During his career he has earned several licenses and certifications including: Radio telephone third class operator permit in 1975, Second class radio telephone operator license in 1976, First class radio telephone operator license 1976, and General radiotelephone operator’s license 1985 life time. He attended Baton Rouge Vocational Technical Institute in 1978. He completed the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) training through FEMA.

He assisted in efforts to help New Orleans stations move to Baton Rouge to continue broadcasting after Katrina. Clear Channel stations from New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Entercom/WWL banded together to form United Radio to assist in relief efforts and to help reunite families. Richard received the Regional Engineer of the Year for Clear Channel Radio in 2006. Richard received the FCC Special achievement award in March 2010 for work done with communications in Haiti. He also received the Louisiana association of broadcaster lifetime achievement radio award in 2010.

He has been a member of the Society of Broadcast Engineers since 1994. He is also the State E.A.S. committee chairman. For the past 5 years, he has assisted in the Children’s Miracle Network broadcast at Our Lady of the Lake Hospital.

Richard has been a lifelong resident of the Baton Rouge area. He has two children, Jenny and Toby.

 

George Sirven

George Sirven, Station Manager, KTBS-TV

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

David Thompson, General Manager, KAJN-TV

 


Associate Directors


Aurthur "Bo" Hoover, Owner & President, Technical Services Group

 

Andrea Miller, Ph.D. Louisiana State University / Manship School of Mass Communication

Andrea Miller came to the Manship School in 2003 and is now an Associate Professor and Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies and Administration.  She teaches courses in crisis communication, broadcast and multi-media journalism.  

Prior to receiving her Ph.D. from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism in 2003, Miller was an award-winning television news producer for a decade at numerous stations in Texas.  While serving a station in Dallas, Miller developed an interest in breaking news and crisis coverage that has now translated into an academic research stream. Besides numerous articles, Miller is the co-author/editor of two books.  Oil & Water (2014) addresses all aspects of the media experiences of the dual disasters to hit the Gulf Coast - Hurricane Katrina and the BP Oil Disaster, and News Evolution or Revolution? (2014) explores the future of the newspaper industry using the New Orleans Times-Picayune as a microcosm of the industry.

Andrea and her husband Doug have twins, Zachary and Gracie.

Louisiana Association of Broadcasters

660 Florida Street
Baton Rouge, LA 70801 USA
Phone: +(225) 267-4522
Fax: +(225) 267-4329
Email: lab@broadcasters.org