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Lifetime Leadership Winner -- Jim Thompson


(By Ed Ryan)
Jim Thompson, also known as The Mayor, has had an outstanding broadcast career, one that continues to this day. Thompson, currently president of the Broadcasters Foundation of America, started his broadcasting run in television in 1971, as an AE at WJZ-TV. His TV career would include GSM, NSM, and VP and GM posts at KYW in Philadelphia. Thompson made the jump to radio in 1989 when he took the job as president and CEO of Group W Radio, which at the time was the largest non-network station group and the second-largest radio company in the United States. Group W had all-News radio stations in New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, and Los Angeles, as well as AOR, Country, and AC formats in major markets. After spending three years as president of Westinghouse Radio, Thompson and partner Mike Craven launched Liberty Broadcasting. That company started with one station, heritage Long Island Rocker WBAB, but within a few short years, it had grown to 19 stations. Liberty was purchased by Bob Sillermans SFX in 1996.

Craven says his close friend Jim Thompson is as genuine as they get. Hes honest, and hes very loyal to those he considers friends. His job at the Broadcasters Foundation is made much easier by the fact that he relates to people. And the environment hes operating in is successful because Jim Thompson is there doing it. People are willing to listen to him, and they contribute because of his character and his honesty. The Broadcasters Foundation is much better off today because Jim Thompson is there. When Thompson was knee-deep in radio, he says the industry was taking in $20 billion a year of real money. And, while he says he would definitely be willing to get back into radio ownership, his primary focus now is on helping broadcasters through the Broadcasters Foundation.

Greater Media Chairman/CEO Peter Smyth says, Jim Thompson is truly a class act. His commitment to the women and men of the radio industry is unparalleled. He is radios true ambassador a kind, caring, and dedicated leader. I cannot think of a more appropriate person to receive the Lifetime Leadership Award than Jim. Our industry is better because of people like Jim Thompson.

Broadcasters, like every other segment of society, experience hard times. A lost job. An illness that requires expensive medical care. An unexpected life tragedy. Thompsons job is to find those broadcasters and help them. Hes set a goal of giving out $1 million in one year to those in need. In order to do that, hell need to spend a lot of time raising money and expend a lot of effort finding those broadcasters who need help. Richard A. Foreman Associates President Richard Foreman says of his friend, If its true that in the end were all judged by the level we give back helping others then Jim Thompson has provided us all with a path to follow. His caring and dedication to the Broadcasters Foundation of America, and total commitment to those it serves, is exemplary.

Congratulate Jim for being named the 2013 Radio Ink Lifetime Leadership Award Winner

You can read our full interview with Thompson in the July issue of Radio Ink Magazine which also features the 40 Most Powerful People in Radio. To subscribe to the Radio Ink digital editon, which you can download to your device immediately, GO HERE. To subscribe to the print edition GO HERE or call Sue at 561-655-8778.

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