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OHIO’s Media Sales Institute awards certificates to 12 graduates

May 30, 2013

Ohio University's MSI graduates and staff enjoy a visit from benefactor Perry Sook at the graduation ceremony May 23, 2013. In the front row, from left, are Tom Ricketts, Codi Giesey, Elyse Runkel, Allison Maggard, Perry Sook, Olivia Arnold, Melissa Vickery, Alison Mercado, Lidia Bit-Yunan and David Edmunds. In back row, from left are Richard Cardinale, Roger Cooper, Jason Weimer, Kandice Ausdemore and Joe Fenton. / Photos by Joel Prince

OHIO’s Media Sales Institute awards certificates to 12 graduates

By Erin Roberts

ATHENS, Ohio (May 30, 2013)—Twelve participants of the Media Sales Institute (MSI) at Ohio University were awarded National Association of Broadcasters Education Foundation (NABEF) Media Sales certificates May 23 at the finale of the twelve-day course. This is the first year Ohio University has been chosen to host the Institute.

MSI, an intense two-week training program for recent college graduates who are interested in careers in media sales, is part of NABEF’s commitment to expand diversity in radio and television broadcasting. This program helps students of diverse backgrounds begin their careers in media sales, and more importantly, trains students to excel and advance in the broadcast industry. The program culminates with sales presentations observed by media sales recruiters, who subsequently interview MSI participants for professional sales positions. Other host universities are Howard University, Florida A & M and the University of North Texas.

“I knew it was going to be a great opportunity to get immersed into the profession of media and to be introduced to some of the professionals in the industry,” said Ali Mercado, a recent graduate of Ball State University, native of Paris, Calif., and workshop participant. “It’s an intensive program. The Media Sales Institute is 12 days worth of golden material.”

The event included thirty-five presentations from professionals in every facet of the industry. Other highlights included professional development opportunities, such as an etiquette dinner, résumé reviews and recruitment interviews from nine media companies.

“It’s really been unbelievable,” said program director and School of Media Arts and Studies Professor Roger Cooper. “Even I have learned a lot, not just about sales, but on marketing, advertising and branding.”

Ohio University alumni Perry and Sandy Sook covered the cost of the event. Perry Sook, who served as keynote speaker during the Thursday graduation, founded Nexstar, a television broadcasting company, in 1996. The company now reaches one in seven American households and is in 48 markets. He said the MSI program teaches young professionals valuable skills. 

“The Media Sales Institute is important to the lifeblood of this industry,” he said. “Our business is often maligned as yesterday’s industry. In an increasingly fragmented industry, we have a uniquely powerful reach.”

In addition to telling MSI graduates to embrace change and to value their own ideas as currency, he encouraged them to always keep clients at the center.

“Do what’s best for your client,” Sook said. “If you focus on your clients’ business, you'll always be in business.”

Codi Giesey, a recent graduate of Bowling Green University, learned about the program through one of her professors. She was selected to interview with seven of the nine recruiters and listed Journal Communications and Cox Media Group Ohio among her most desirable employers.

“It’s nice to have this opportunity to meet with recruiters looking to hire,” Giesey said. “The speakers were all wonderful, and I learned so much. I will take with me the importance of listening to your client.”

Other companies who sent representatives to Ohio University to meet with program participants included Bristol Broadcasting, Clear Channel/Cleveland, Dispatch Broadcast Group, Hearst Television, Kindred Communications, Nexstar Broadcasting and Stone Communications. 

Cooper said that while his hope is to get the program up to a class of about twenty participants, the 12 enrolled in OHIO’s first year of the program were top-notch. 

“These students just really formed a good group,” he said. “From the first night, everyone got along.”

The “synergy” of the group was not lost on Sook.

“When I go into our stations, our best sales departments act just like you all do,” he said. “I’m pleased at the dynamic that developed.”

For more information about the National Association of Broadcasters Education Foundation, please visit www.nabef.org.