Friday, February 20, 2009

Professional Academy of Broadcasting

The Professional Academy of Broadcasting was (is?) a Knoxville institution for a long time - AFAIK it started up back in the early 70's and lasted at least into the 90's. Does it still exist? I can't find a website, which would seem to be a good life/death test for a current media-based business. There are a lot of references to it on Knoxville radio history websites (see sidebar).

I taught there for a semester, but the date is hazy - it would have been sometime after I finished my graduate work at UT in the Broadcasting Department, which puts it after about 87 but before 90, when I was teaching at a private school in Seymour, and it couldn't have been 88/89, when I was teaching at Farragutt High School. The 80's are a little. . .vague in spots.

I was fired after (or maybe even before the end of) that semester, for being too (paraphrased) "academic" or "rigorous" - well, what did you expect from someone who recently came out of grad school?

Anyway, today's audio special is a recruiting disc from the Professional Academy of Broadcasting, voiced primarily by the owner Russ Skinner. I'd like to think that it was produced in the actual studios of PAB, but given the equipment that was there when I was there, I'd speculate that it was done somewhere else. The disc itself is one of those plastic, floppy flexi-discs, or in this case an "Evatone Soundsheet", to give it its official name.
I like the offer to "evaluate your abilities to work in the broadcast industry" - more likely "evaluate the status of your bank balance" - does anyone think any applicant ever got turned down?

*read: excited when you get an actual paycheck that covers the rent and food.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I went to PAB in the early 80's. We joked about how bad the quipment was. Your microwave would go on the fritz and we'd say, "It's PAB equipment." Your car wouldn't star, "It's PAB equipment.". . .

I think the school moved in the lat 80's and then closed sometime in the 90's. I remember reading an obituary about Russ a couple of years ago.

5:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I attended from 81-82. Half of the students had no future in broadcasting but several of us went on to respectable careers.

Academic? Hardly. But I don't think that was the point. It was mostly a chance to learn from - and make contacts with - working broadcasters (Jean Ash & Mike Hammond of WIVK and Colvin Idol of U-102 to name a few).


11:21 PM  
Blogger senormedia said...

I didn't know that Russ had passed. I liked him, even when he was firing me.

11:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I went there in '75 but didn't get to finish due to budgetary constraints. Almost starved to death. But I had a blast! Back then the equipment was in pretty good shape. Russ and Anita were great. I am also sad to hear of his passing. I spent about 14 years in radio and would get in it again if I didn't have to pay bills. We trained in the school studio and brought our own albums & did air checks that we were graded on. A great time in my life that I won't forget. RIP, Russ.
Mickey McConnell

6:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My name is Edward Conway and I attended the school in 1982 and received my license, but cannot find my diploma. I'm sorry to hear about Russ, I didn't know he had passed. I went on to drive a truck and through the years I have tried to locate the Skinners with no success. Do you have any information about Anita Skinner or where I could find my records?

My contact information is:
phone number is 704-345-0961

12:38 PM  
Blogger Captivating Kate said...

My name is Edward Conway and I attended Professional Academy of Broadcasting in 1982. I graduated and received my license from the school, but I am unable to find my records (my diploma). Through the years, I drove a truck and have tried to locate the Skinners unsuccessfully. I am sorry to hear about Russ' passing, I was not aware. Does anyone know how to get in touch with Anita Skinner or know how to find our school records?

Edward Conway

12:52 PM  
Anonymous Mark Nolte said...

I went there is 1981 and went on to 30+ years in Broadcasting to include last years Hall of Fame in Las Vegas soo now I can quit if I could. I wrote the school back in the 90's but haven't heard much since. I started Kermit Radio Academy in 2002 and closed it in 2007. I have kept up with Ernie Sutton from WOKI, he is still a great friend and I guess Russ died and the show closed. Kermit Radio was doomed because there are no jobs and no money to fund jobs. Internet radio is the only thing worth listening to. I moved on to Television 10 years ago because engineers wages vanished and its hard work for no pay. I am a General Manager with mad tech skills. NO PAY NO WORK I don't do windows and I don't do free. We can not care about something that does not care about us. The people chose free downloads and stealing torrents and the money that made the magic happen vanished so give it to the MAN and he will learn quickly the money is gone. RIP FREE RADIO and FREE TV is next. We love pay only radio and pay only TV. I get it. Exit stage left. Please hit the lights on your way out.

9:18 PM  
Blogger Al Cannon said...

I was there in '79 with teacher Raymond S Wilk lll. He was the best. Buster taught engineering. Great times; I never went back to Knoxville; I wish I'd never left. Al Cannon, NC

9:31 PM  
Blogger Al Cannon said...

I attended PAB from July through December 1979. Teachers included Raymond stecker Wilk lll and Buster taught engineering. I had a great time there, sometimes I wish I had not left. Al Cannon, Farmville, NC.

9:34 PM  

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