I’m very proud of the increased visibility that the Radio Hall of Fame has throughout the radio industry. It shows a respect for the process. We are giving really talented individuals their proper due and recognition. If there’s one thing that has happened in my tenure, [it’s that] we’ve seen a strong emergence of relevancy. We have made the voting process very transparent so that everybody understands how democratized the induction process is.
The other way I’ve had an impact is by recruiting members of the nominating committee and asking them to put their time, focus and energy into healthy debate and discussion about who were the most deserving nominees.
What does the voting process entail?
We gather hundreds of suggestions during the first eight to 12 weeks of the year from industry members and listeners alike. We have a 25-person nominating committee. Six or seven new individuals join each year and six or seven individuals retire, so there’s a continual evolution of new voices, faces and energy. That committee selects 24 nominations, 16 of which are put in front of a radio industry panel for a vote by confidential ballot, with four inductees chosen from the group of 16.
The remaining eight of the 24 nominees are voted upon by the listening public, with the top two nominees receiving a nominating committee vote. The nominating committee reconvenes to review the voting results and casts their votes among the same eight nominees, two of which have already earned a vote by receiving the greatest number of listening public votes. The same committee then reviews any other candidates for induction before concluding their duties.
Who sits on the panel?
There are about 600 people on our radio industry panel who are representative of a very large cross-section of professionals across every format, whether they’re playing top 40, country music, Spanish-language presentations or spoken word, which includes all-news, news/talk, public radio and sports talk. The nominating committee then picks four nominees in the music format and four nominees in spoken word who are voted on by the public. Each year we receive close to 600,000 votes, and the outcome of that popular vote counts as one vote on the committee.