Voting opens online on Tuesday, August 28, and closes at 10am EDT on Saturday, September 29. Additional candidates may be nominated during the Excellence in Journalism opening business session on Thursday, September 27; however, votes cast prior to that time may not be changed. Election results are announced at the closing business session of the Excellence in Journalism conference at 1:30pm EDT on Saturday. September 29.
How to Vote
Voting members will receive an email when voting opens (as well as periodic reminders until voting closes) with voting instructions. To vote, you will need to log into your account on the RTDNA member portal. If you do not know your login information, you will receive it by email or you can contact us.
2018 Board of Directors Candidates
Region 3 | Region 4 | Region 5 | Region 6 | Region 9 | Region 10 | Region 13 | At-Large
Regional and At-Large Directors serve two-year terms. Regions 1, 2, 7, 8, 11, 12 and 14 will be up for election in 2019.
Regional and At-Large Directors serve two-year terms. Regions 1, 2, 7, 8, 11, 12 and 14 will be up for election in 2019.
Terrence Shepherd, News Director, WLRN-FM, Miami, FL
Sheryl Worsley (Incumbent), Director of Audience Development, KSL-AM, Salt Lake City, UT
Lauren Olson, Digital Director, KARE11, Minneapolis, MN
As an RTDNA board member representing Region 4, I would offer my digitally-driven perspective developed over 11 years in our industry to help preserve trust as consumers increasingly turn to new platforms for news and information. For stories to make the maximum impact, our industry needs to proactively embrace digital trends, not react once the audience has left. The landscape is changing quickly and I hope to provide a fresh point of view that empowers our industry to embrace digital experimentation, innovation and transformation. The need for trust and excellence in journalism is as vital as ever, but it’s just as crucial to live up to our audience’s expectations and preferences for how they consume news. Having a seat on the RTDNA Board would allow me to make a very meaningful contribution to propelling our industry forward.
Scott Diener (Incumbent), News Director, KMOV-TV, St. Louis, MO
Having served the past year as RTDNA’s Region 5 Director, I have had the honor of working with fellow board members and executive director Dan Shelley on the increasingly important issues facing radio, television and digital journalists. In a time where our profession is under constant scrutiny, it is vital we stand united as an organization that demands accurate and timely reporting on all platforms—and defends it against those who want to vilify us. RTDNA is more important than ever now in rallying its members. As electronic journalists, it is imperative we step up our game, not be afraid to look in the mirror and correct our flaws and publically defend our constitutional right to question the powerful without intimidation or retribution.
When our newsroom broke a story earlier this year about Missouri’s governor possibly committing a felony, we came under constant attack from the governor’s supporters---even as he faced felony charges and members of his own political party beginning the process of removing him from his office. We continued to pursue the story despite threats against our reporters and station. And as the governor moved closer to trial, our news organization led the fight for Missouri and national media to keep the courtroom open and accessible to the public in pre-trial hearings and to fight for cameras in the courtroom. Eventually---the governor reached an agreement to resign from office in return for the charges being dropped. Throughout the process Dan Shelley and the RTDNA were instrumental in providing support for our efforts to keep the public informed.
I have more than 30 years' experience as an electronic journalist with 20 of those years as a news director in top 50 markets. If re-elected as Region 5 Director; I will continue to work closely with our fellow RTDNA members in our region for improved access, providing training opportunities for up and coming journalists and rebuilding the public’s trust in journalism. Feel free to reach out to me at email@example.com if you have any questions or suggestions. I very much appreciate your support.
Wendy Wilde, News Director, WHO Radio, Des Moines, IA
David Wagner (Incumbent), News Director, KLST/KSAN-TV, San Angelo, TX
Gary Wordlaw (Incumbent), News Director, WVLA/WGMB-TV, baton Rouge, LA
Alisha McDevitt. News Director, WMUR-TV, Manchester, New Hampshire
Joe Inderhees, Assistant News Director, WTLV/WJXX
Quality journalism is vital to the advancement of society. The only way to ensure its survival is through the work of professionals dedicated to its preservation. I would be honored to support RTDNA’s mission to promote and defend the only profession which enjoys Constitutional protection. It would be my privilege to represent the journalists of Region 13 on the RTDNA Board.
Bob Longo, General Manager, WFOX-TV/WJAX-TV
Our constitutionally protected craft is under fire. That’s not a political statement – it’s a simple fact. As if our jobs and industry hasn’t had to endure enough change, tumult and uncertainty in recent years to make us all concerned, this new wrinkle should do the trick. We aren’t an enemy of the people – we represent the people. There are plenty of good folks on the RTDNA Board and plenty more running. Whether you vote for me or not, we should all push this organization to do all it can to stand tall against this most recent assault. My vow to you is this – if you choose me to represent you here, I will be vocal on this matter and unafraid to push back when pushed.
I’ve been at this since 1982. Yeah, I’ve been around the block a few times. I’d like to think all that adds up to valuable experience and perspective that I can use to our advantage here. I began my career in Radio as a reporter, then News Director – at the tender age of 23. I’ve led three Radio News Departments, including two Newstalkers, and led five TV News Departments in New York, Pennsylvania and Florida through hurricanes, Casey Anthony, 911, mine disasters, shuttle explosions and more. I’ve had the privilege of leading award winning staffs that have brought home National Murrows, Headliners, a Peabody and Regional Emmys. That coverage – gritty, unrelenting, aggressive coverage – along with investigative journalism, is the bedrock of what we do and what I believe in. The awards are a nice acknowledgement but what really matters is bringing the important stories that matter and add value to our listeners and viewers lives home to them in ways that they understand and like. Across all platforms.
Making sure our staffs have access to the people and information available to tell those stories is where organizations like RTDNA come in. Ideally, you can call a board member when the going gets tough and get some insight, some advice and yeah, some help. I’d like to be one of the folks who can lean in with you in times like that. I’d like to help us shape our thinking, our strategy and our actions as we push back against this nearly daily assault on our good people and our craft. That’s why I’m raising my hand to represent this Region and why I am asking you to vote for me.
Allison McGinley, News Director, WKMG, Orlando, FL
I fiercely believe it is the inherent responsibility of journalists to value the critical role we play in the community: to report the news providing context and understanding, to seek ways to be of service and improve our community, and to highlight and celebrate those people and places that make any neighborhood special. For those reasons, I believe being a board member of RTDNA would allow me to help to shape, encourage, and enhance the current and future state of journalism and those who have taken on the profession.
For the past 24 years, I have had the privilege to work in my hometown of Orlando alongside some of the most talented and passionate people in the television industry. Beginning in 1994 as an intern at WKMG, then WCPX, I was a ‘local’ young woman who knew ‘local’ television could make a difference in my community.
From intern I became an assignment editor and connected regularly with that community, often taking calls from people who felt they had no power and needed help. From 1997 until 2015, I produced newscasts, specials, and investigative pieces which had direct impacts on those who watched, listened and engaged with us. It continued to build upon my faith and bedrock belief that journalists must have an unwavering commitment to local news coverage and understand its impact on their surrounding communities. And in Central Florida, by their very nature, those communities are each unique and special.
In 2015, I took that understanding and commitment a step further by accepting the leadership role of News Director at WKMG. It has been a fulfilling, challenging, and amazing opportunity in which I have worked with my team to define who we are at WKMG, as journalists, community members, and neighbors.
We are committed to bringing our viewers breaking news and weather that affect them. In September 2017, our communities were impacted by Hurricane Irma. Before the powerful storm even made landfall, the News 6 weather team tracked 51 tornadoes warning neighborhoods and helping save lives. Throughout the year, News 6’s “Driving Change” initiative broke barriers in the legislature almost certainly ensuring legislation to deter distracted driving and bringing Florida up to par with dozens of other states in the nation.
At News 6, I believe we must dig deeper, hold the powerful accountable, give voice to the voiceless, provide actionable solutions and make a measurable difference to our community. But we must not be remiss and think that news is just headlines and breaking stories. It is finding ways to see the impact those headlines have on our community and find ways to solve problems facing our communities. For example, under my leadership, News 6 partnered with organizations to raise more than one million dollars for school children in need of supplies and clothes, $150,000 for domestic violence survivors, guaranteed Christmas presents were under the tree for more than five thousand children in Central Florida, and inoculated more than 30,000 Central Floridians against the deadly flu virus. And not every story starts with a problem. I believe journalists should be dedicated to finding ways to highlight and celebrate those in each neighborhood who are making a difference.
As the News Director at WKMG, I embrace and embody the beliefs, values and guiding principles espoused by our namesake and North Star Katharine Meyer Graham. As a Graham Media Group station, we inherently have strong roots in solid journalism and service to community, but the legacy name granted to our Orlando station inspires me to push our entire team every day to go above and beyond no matter the venue; be it breaking news coverage, community partnerships, or the simple station visit by a local school.
I believe strong journalism is the foundation of our democracy; as valued and viable as ever, and maybe even more so today. It is of the utmost importance that we inspire the current and next generation to ask questions, demand answers, stand up to those who may take advantage of power. I want to do whatever I can to ensure the future of honest, powerful storytelling and reporting.
Director at Large (2 seats):
Brett Hall, Reporter, WAVY-TV, Hampton Roads, VA
It’s vital to have first amendment protectors for the future.
That one statement defines why I am running to be an At-Large member for the Radio Television Digital News Association Board of Directors.
While there are many young journalists entering this field everyday, excited to join the forth estate. I hear from far to many who want to leave, because they feel the industry no longer lives by the standards that it did 10 years ago. Be it the quality of work or the ethical standards. It is causing a “brain drain” of sorts that is concerning.
Yes, budget constraints have led to less people doing more work. However that doesn’t mean we should lower our standard of excellence.
I believe RTDNA can be the leading force to ensure solid journalism is practiced in the future. It is an organization that truly has the ear of media companies and through 1st Amendment and Murrow awards it motivates all to do better.
I have worked full time in the industry for 3 years. I have been an MMJ in Syracuse, NY before becoming a reporter at WAVY-TV in Portsmouth, VA in March. As a proud 2015 graduate of the University of Maryland’s Philip Merrill College of Journalism, I must thank an RTDNF scholarship for making it all possible. While in college I served more than a year on the Society of Professional Journalists Board of Directors as a student representative. I also was active in the University of Maryland chapter.
"Don’t fret, vote Brett!" for the future of first amendment defenders.
Blaise Labbe (Incumbent), News Director, WOAI/KABB-TV, San Antonio, TX
I am running for the At Large Board seat again because I feel there is still a lot of work to do. There is a real threat to our constitutional right to Freedom of Speech. And there has been an unprecedented attack on our industry and a misrepresentation of the work we do.
I helped direct coverage for my company of Hurricane Harvey, the mass shooting at a Church in Sotherland Springs, TX and the school shooting in Santa Fe, TX. My company as well as the television other broadcast companies kept the public informed and safe. This is who we are at our core, a public service entity that serves our community.
Serving on the board of RTDNA allows me to have a voice in helping shape the image of our industry. Through my experience I have been able to interact with my peers on the board and help develop guidelines on covering hurricanes and mass shootings. I have also spoken up and been a voice providing context and offering a different viewpoint during discussions.
I also want to continue to provide a diverse voice and speak on behalf of the many minority journalists working in Broadcasting.
Chip Mahaney, News Director, WCPO, Cincinnatti, OH (Incumbent)
Sean McGarvy, Assistant News Director, KMGH-TV, Denver, CO