2016 NCAB Hall of Fame Award
In this current day and age, just about everyone in the sports broadcasting business has heard of RAYCOM Sports. It was formed in 1979 by broadcast power couple, Rick and Dee Ray. Rick graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and immediately started working in local television in Charlotte, North Carolina. As a young woman, Dee began her career working in outdoor advertising and later formed her own firm, Birke Advertising. Combining his experience in television and her background in advertising, Rick thought a networking company specializing in sports broadcasts was a good idea. As a result, in 1979 he and soon-to-be-wife Dee co-founded RAYCOM Sports producing 600 plus telecasts per year including live sports, entertainment and educational programming.
Under the Rays’ leadership and expertise, RAYCOM grew to be the nation’s largest producer of live collegiate basketball and football events, producing more than 10,000 hours of live content. From its inception, RAYCOM Sports has been visionary in its use of new production techniques. It was the first to use color billboards on all telecasts, the first to distribute games by means of satellite distribution and the first to employ “virtual signage” technology in college basketball and professional golf.
In a partnership with Capitol Broadcasting, on December 3, 1999 the company was the first to produce a college basketball game in high definition television (HDTV). At the 2007 ACC Tournament in Tampa, RAYCOM produced the first syndicated sports programming in HD. In addition, RAYCOM was a pioneer with in-stadium instant replay, with producer Johnny Tyous providing video feeds from production trucks to JumboTron screens the company provided to such schools as Texas, Oklahoma State and Texas A&M.
On April 12, 1994, Ellis Communications purchased RAYCOM and Dee and Rick retired in 1994 and 1995, respectively. Ray continued to serve on the Board of Directors of Ellis Communications. In 2010, Dee and Rick co-founded NURAY Digital which offers services to corporations and non-profits for the migration, preservation, search & retrieval, media storage and monetization of legacy content. NURAY Digital also provides services for clients in the entertainment, communications, and corporate and educational industries.
2016 NCAB Hall of Fame Award
Ann Seltman Smart was a true pioneer in the radio industry. She was one of the first female radio personalities in Raleigh, North Carolina during the 1950’s. Her commercials, call-in shows, and “woman-on-the-street” interviews were the talk of the town between the mid-1940’s and 1961. Ann Seltman grew up in Raleigh on Halifax Street where the Legislative Building now stands. By the age of six, she was destined for Raleigh’s version of stardom when “Smilin’ Ed” McConnell singled her out to perform on WPTF. In 1944, she became Phil Ellis’s co-star conducting both live and taped “woman-on-the-street” weekly interviews in front of the courthouse in downtown Raleigh. As the “Zesta Girl” (named for the show’s sponsor), Ann and Phil entertained Raleigh and gave away boxes and boxes of crackers. Off-air, Ann was secretary to Graham Poyner, WPTF Vice President and General Manager. By 1949, she was music librarian, traffic manager and soon the voice of many of the station’s in-house commercials. In 1954, she became the host of the widely popular Party Line where she fielded thousands of questions ranging from finding a lost sister (which she accomplished) to getting rust out of sheets (use lemon juice and salt). By 1955, she was one of Raleigh’s top radio personalities, and one of the first woman broadcasters in North Carolina to find wide audience. In addition to her work on WPTF, she voiced tracks for NC State’s Extension Division, judged forensic competitions across the state, and immersed herself in every local venue for her talented voice. Ann also appeared in, managed, or helped direct over 40 stage productions at Raleigh Little Theatre over a period of 30 years. In 1958, Raleigh Little Theatre awarded her their Best Supporting Actress “Oscar” for the
play Witness for the Prosecution, an award she would win again in 1966 for her role in Summer and Smoke. Ann’s last on-air broadcast was with Wally Ausley on the occasion of WPTF’s 50th anniversary celebration in 1974. She died in 1998. Her son George Smart, Jr. accepted the award.
2016 NCAB Distinguished Service Award
The Honorable G.K. Butterfield. Jr. is a life-long resident of eastern North Carolina having grown up in Wilson. Congressman Butterfield attributes his life long dedication to public service to both his eastern North Carolina roots and the example set by his parents. His father, Dr. G.K. Butterfield, Sr. practiced dentistry for 50 years and served as one of North Carolina’s first black elected officials since the Reconstruction. His mother, Addie Butterfield, was passionate about education and taught elementary school for 48 years.
After Congressman Butterfield graduated from high school, he went on to earn both a bachelor of arts in political science and sociology as well as a law degree from North Carolina Central University. During his time at NCCU, he worked tirelessly in the Civil Rights Movement as a young adult. After earning his law degree, Congressman Butterfield founded a law practice in Wilson and served the community in that capacity for 13 years. He is best known for his successful litigation of voting rights cases that resulted in the election of African-American elected officials throughout eastern North Carolina.
In 1988, Congressman Butterfield was elected as Resident Superior Court judge. In this role, he presided over civil and criminal court in 46 counties of North Carolina. For two years, he served on the North Carolina Supreme Court by appointment of the governor. Congressman Butterfield retired from the judiciary after 15 years of service. Congressman Butterfield was elected to serve the First District of North Carolina in the U.S. House of
Representatives in a special election on July 20, 2004. He is a champion of affordable health care, education, investments in rural communities, veterans issues, renewable energies, and federal programs that support low-income and middle-class Americans.
Congressman Butterfield serves in the Democratic leadership as Chief Deputy Whip and Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus. He sits on the influential Committee on Energy & Commerce as the 5th most senior Democrat on the Health Subcommittee. In addition, he serves as a member of the subcommittees of Communications and Technology, and Commerce, Manufacturing, & Trade. Congressman Butterfield is a life-long member of Jackson Chapel First Missionary Baptist Church. He is a veteran of the U.S. Army and a proud father and grandfather.
2016 NCAB Distinguished Service Award
Caroline Beasley has been the Chief Financial Officer, Executive Vice President, Treasurer and Secretary at Beasley Broadcast Group Inc. since 1994, and Interim Chief Executive Officer since March 18, 2016. Since joining the Company in 1983, Caroline has served in various capacities including Business Manager, Assistant Controller and Corporate Controller. Ms. Beasley is a past Chairman of the Radio Board for the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) in Washington, DC. She was asked to join the distinguished NAB Board of Directors in 2005, and has served as the Radio Board’s 1st and 2nd Vice-Chairman on the NAB’s Executive Committee. Additionally, Caroline is a trustee of the National Association of Broadcasters Political Action Committee. Honored by Radio INK magazine as one of the “40 Most Powerful People in Radio” in 2011 and 2012, Caroline has also been recognized in the magazine’s “Most Influential Women in Radio” listing every year since 2003.
A graduate of University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, in 2014 the UNC Chapel Hill Board of Trustees elected Caroline to serve as a member of the UNC Board of Visitors. Her past contributions also include service to the boards of two publicly traded companies that are not affiliated with radio broadcasting; these include Director and Audit Committee Member of Bank of Florida, Naples and Director and Audit Committee member of Summit America Television, Inc.
2016 Wade H. Hargrove Community Leadership Award
Lee Armstrong (Lumpkin) has more than 35 years of experience in the television industry. Her background includes a variety of television marketing, programming, sales and management roles across multiple markets and media platforms. Having begun her television career with WTCG-TV (now TBS) in Atlanta in 1970, Lee also worked in
television stations in Dallas, TX and Chattanooga, TN. Her roles included producing both programming and promotional spots, as well as management of various disciplines within stations, including marketing, production, graphics, programming and operations. Lee joined Cox Television in 1991 when she was hired at WSB-TV as Director of Programming and
Creative Services. She held this position until 1997 when she was promoted to General Manager of WHIO-TV and the Miami Valley Channel, being named the first female general manager in Cox Television Division. In July 2000, Lee made a move from Dayton, OH to Charlotte, NC when she was named Vice President and General Manager of WSOC-TV and WAXN-TV and remained in that position until her retirement in 2007. During her tenure at WSOC-TV/WAXN-TV, Lee was instrumental in a leadership role during many community outreach events and television programs including programs that took an in-depth look at
many dangers facing children in our community, community outreach campaigns for the region’s largest school supply drive, and community-wide auditions held throughout the Charlotte area for a singing competition involving local talent.