Network & Connect and get your start in Podcasting, On Air, Streaming, News/Talk, Sports, Social Media, Sales, Marketing, Promotions and more!
Confer Talent Institute May 20-25, 2024!
APPLICATIONS NOW OPEN! Take a huge step toward starting your career in On Air, Podcasting, Streaming, Audio Production, News/Talk, Sports, Social Media, Sales, Marketing, Promotions and more!
The Confer Radio Talent Institute™ at Commonwealth University in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania creates opportunities for new and emerging careers in media. It is truly an incubator of well-rounded, well-educated college students, or recent graduates with a passion for media and a determination to get into the business.
The National Radio Talent System™ is made up of multiple Talent Institutes at colleges and universities throughout the United States. Each institute brings in industry professionals from around the country as Guest Speakers who bring their real-world knowledge to this intensive 6-day summer program.
The Confer Radio Talent Institute™ in Bloomsburg is the campus-to-career connection most students need to begin their broadcast career, each not only learning from the dozens of pros but are able to network with them individually. This proves invaluable, as most will otherwise never have such an opportunity to meet and speak with these professionals. Likewise, these pros already have an introduction to these students who are available for open positions.
Upon completion of the institute, students will further their networking opportunities with access the National Radio Talent System's Career Center. This is where those in the industry are able to discover and hire NRTS graduates, who very likely, will be tomorrow's industry leaders.
Here are some of the Institute highlights (See Curriculum for more)
- Now is the Time to Start Thinking Like a Pro
- Radio's Digital Content & Social Media
- Programming Sports Talk Radio
- How to Get In and Win
- Marketing and Promotions - Doing It Right
- Basics of Great Voice Work and Production
- Goal Setting & Time Management
- Doing It Live & Voice Tracking
- How to Get a Good Job
- How to Do A Great Talk Radio Show
- Basics of Doing a Great Music Radio Show
- Music Scheduling: How & Why
- Sales & Marketing
Industry Pros Speaking at Confer Radio Talent Institute
Chief Aquisition Officer, Seven Mountains Media, State College, PA
Chief Operating Officer, Seven Mountains Media, State Collge, PA
Shelly & Harry Mann
Big Foot Country Morning Show, Seven Mountains Media, Selinsgrove, PA
Afternoon Drive, WCBS News Radio 88, New York City, NY
Market Manager, Seven Mountains Media
Confer Radio Talent Institute Students Say It Best!
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes. You may cancel your registration and request a refund for the Confer Institute at Bloomsburg University by April 15, 2024
About the Confer Radio Talent Institute
Through the support of legendary broadcaster Kerby Confer, the National Radio Talent System and Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania are proud to present the Confer Radio Talent Institute, which is committed to discover and prepare a new generation of radio professionals.
Confer, an inductee into the Pennsylvania Radio Hall of Fame, commented,Â “The quality of the mentor teachers assembled for this ten day ‘radio immersion’ is amazing. This is just what the industry needs...it’s important...and the digital age is upon us; this couldn’t come at a more opportune time. I’m excited to be able to extend the National Radio Talent System to Pennsylvania and the Northeast United States at Bloomsburg University.”
Kerby Confer's first job was selling measuring cups and handmade potholders (which he made) door-to-door when he was 9 years old. A resident of Williamsport, PA, Kerby landed his first radio job at the age of 16 working for Galen (Dave) Castlebury at WMPT, Williamsport.
When he was 14 years old, there was the birth of Rock and Roll, and he discovered that when the sun went down, he could hear 50,000-watt clear channel radio stations from all over America. He Â began listening to stations in Buffalo, Chicago and Nashville, hearing all the latest songs. He would start listening around 8:00 PM and sometimes listen until one or two o'clock in the morning.
"By the time I was 15, I was copying down the clever things the DJs would say and was practicing doing it myself. Then, when I was 16, a guy came along and announced he was going to build a third radio station in our town. I showed up the first day and said I would help build the station when I wasn't in school. I said I'd be there seven days a week and wouldn't charge him anything, but when the station went on the air, I wanted a job as a DJ at minimum wage. That was a buck an hour back then. He said, 'Deal.' I helped him for a year. I was a gopher; cleaned the toilets, changed the light bulbs in the tower, and did whatever had to be done. When we went on the air, I was the first voice on the station. I even picked the station's call letters. I was there for a couple of years,Â and then I heard about a job that was open at WCAO. There were 50 guys auditioning for the job, and I drove all night to get down there at eight o'clock in the morning, and by some miracle I got the job. Six months later I was emceeing the Beatles in Baltimore." Those amazing days led to a local TV dance show in Baltimore from 1967 to 1970. "Then, in 1969, I had the biggest break of my life right there in Baltimore. I had been on the radio and TV for about 5 years; I was 29 years old and I'd emceed the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Iron Butterfly, James Brown, and every soul act you can think of. I didn't want to be 40 and just going through the motions because I had really enjoyed everything I'd done. Then I got a magic phone call.” "A man named Marvin Mervis called me and said, 'Kerby, you don't know me, but I've been watching you on TV and I've heard you on the radio. I own a radio station in Annapolis, MD. My manager has left me; I've had a heart attack and a quadruple bypass, so I can't work anymore. I'd like to talk to you.' “About what?” I asked.” “Somebody told me that your dream is that someday you want to own a radio station”, he said. He was right. Mervis said he thought he could make it happen. He invited Kerby to lunch and made him an offer. "He said, 'If you come down and work for me for a year, and we set the goal, I'm going to teach you how to sell and manage. I'm going to teach you how to administrate the radio station because I can only come in about an hour a day. So you'll come down; you'll be a DJ in the morning, and then you'll go sell commercials all day long. I'll show you how to do it. If you make the goal that we both set - not that I set, but that you and I agree on - I'll cut you in for 10% ownership of the station.' I had to think about that long and hard," Confer said. "There was a famous DJ on the air in Baltimore at the time that was probably on the air for more years in Baltimore than any other DJ. He was the program director at the station I worked, WCAO. He said, “You're quitting to do what?'” "I said, 'I'm quitting because I'm going to be the general manager of a little station in Annapolis.'” “You can't even hear that station up here!” he replied. 'I know,' I said, 'but it's my chance to learn how to run one and the guy's going to cut me in for 10% ownership.' 'Be careful, Kerby,' he said. 'I'm just afraid you're going to become a has-been.' And so it was, I became a has-been DJ."
Nine months later, Confer passed the advertising goal they had set for the entire year and was cut in for the ten percent. Five years later, when Mervis retired and sold the station, Confer walked away with a certified check for $130,000 and bought his own station. "Since then, I've owned a billion dollars’ worth of stations," said Confer. "Bought them broken, fixed them up, and sold them."
Confer formed Keymarket Communications and in the 1980s, initiated dramatic turnaround success with stations around the country, including Mississippi, Louisiana, South Carolina, and here in Pennsylvania. During this era, he created the “Froggy” brand for his country music stations. In the 1990s, Keymarket Communications merged with Sinclair Broadcasting to become the 10th largest radio broadcasters in the United States. Since 1969, Kerby has owned an interest in and operated more than 200 station licenses and is still active in 70 properties. In 1991, Mr. Confer, along with others, purchased WFBG AM/FM in Altoona and formed what is now Forever Media. In 2003, Kerby was inducted into the Pennsylvania Broadcasters Hall of Fame, and he was recently a “Radio” inductee into the 2016 class of the Country Radio Hall of Fame for helping to innovate station branding like “Froggy” as a principal of the Forever and Keymarket groups.
Kerby has long been a leader in civic affairs. He has won numerous community awards and is well known for his charitable and industry work.
Confer: Underwriter & Sponsor
Broadcaster Kerby Confer is the underwriting sponsor responsible for making the Confer Radio Talent Institute possible in Pennsylvania. Mr. Confer is a well-known and highly respected broadcaster, having owned and operated over 200 radio stations, and is an inductee into the Pennsylvania Radio Hall of Fame.
Kerby's interest in radio was kindled at the age of 13 when he earned the Boy Scout Radio merit badge. At 15, he landed his first job as a DJ in his hometown of Williamsport, Pennsylvania, by promising to help in the building of a new radio station in exchange for any part-time job when the station went on the air. He gradually moved into larger markets as an on-air personality, including Harrisburg, Scranton, Wilkes-Barre and Syracuse.
In his twenties, Kerby worked as on-air talent for WCAO-AM and WBAL-TV in Baltimore, and WDCA-TV in Washington, D.C. He pioneered the first integrated TV dance show in America, which has been satirized in both the movie and Broadway productions of "Hairspray." Kerby was personal host to the major stars of the time, including the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Stevie Wonder, the Supremes, James Brown and more who were all his frequent guests. Kerby Confer was Baltimore's highest rated local Radio/TV personality by virtue of this daily, local radio and pop music TV dance show.
In 1969, Kerby became GM at local Annapolis station, WYRE and eventually retired from on-air work as his other responsibilities grew. After the sale of the station in 1975, Kerby purchased turnaround property, WILQ in Williamsport, Pennsylvania and introduced the country music format on FM in the market. The station had a similar turnaround at WHUM in Reading, Pennsylvania. In 1978, Kerby founded KSSN Little Rock, Arkansas' first FM country station. It became number one in less than a year. His success began attracting the attention of venture capitalists in Boston, which enabled him to use his new source of capital to create "Keymarket Communications" and throughout the 80s he rapidly repeated more turnaround successes in Jackson, Mississippi, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Columbia, South Carolina.
"The quality of the broadcasters assembled to teach in this week-long 'radio immersion' is amazing. This is just what our industry needs, and as the digital age is upon us, it couldn't come at a more opportune time. I'm excited to be able to extend the National Radio Talent System to Pennsylvania and the Northeast United States at Bloomsburg University.
- Kerby Confer
If you have any questions regarding applying or need assistance in any way, please don't hesitate to contact us directly.
- NRTS Contact: Bob Lawrence, General Manager
- Call: 972-753-6720
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters was the first of our nation's state broadcast associations. A membership driven trade association, the PAB provides value to member stations through a variety of services. Our goal is to ensure our communities are well served by local broadcasters through services in regulatory compliance, public policy advocacy and professional development programs.
The PAB encourages the highest standards in broadcasting and recognizes programming of excellence and achievement through our annual awards. We welcome membership by Pennsylvania broadcast stations of all sizes and will offer valuable resources to assist member stations and the audiences in our neighborhoods.
The PAB wants to hear from you and let us know how our association may best serve you.