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Confer Talent Institute May 20-25, 2024!

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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

Sample Daily Curriculum
From the recent Confer Radio Talent Institute

8:45-9:45am Opening Comments

Dr. Diana Rogers-Adkinson, Provost & SVP for Academic Affairs, Commonwealth University/Bloomsburg

Dr. James Brown, Dean, College of Arts, Social Sciences, and Humanities, Commonwealth University/Bloomsburg

Dr. Jason Genovese, Dept Chair Media & Journalism, Commonwealth University/Bloomsburg

9:45-10:45am Start Thinking Like a Pro Erica Farber
Radio Advertising Bureau
New York, NY

Developing a Great Proposal

Features & Benefits

Karen Richards, Vice President of Sales, Cumulus Media, Harrisburg, PA
11:45-12:45pm Lunch
1:00-2:00pm RAB Training Module #2 - "Prospecting: Finding & Evaluating Prospects" Kristin Cantrell, Owner/CEO, Seven Mountains Media, Frankfort, KY
2:00-3:00pm RAB Training Modules
#3 - "Getting the Appointment"
#4 - "Conducting a Great CNA"
Bobbi Castellucci, Market Manager, Seven Mountains Media, Altoona & Johnstown, NY
3:00-4:00pm What You Need to Know to Be a Program Director Jeff Hurley, Executive VP of Programming, iHeartMedia/National Programming, Harrisburg, PA
4:30-5:45pm Social Hour at West End Ale Haus with Industry Professionals
8:45am Announcements and Agenda Dr. David Magolis, Professor of Media & Journalism, Advisor to WHSK – BU Student Radio, Commonwealth University/Bloomsburg

Engineering - RF & IT

Bud Williamson, Chief Technical Officer, Seven Mountains Media, President, Digital Radio Engineering, Port Jarvis, NY
10:00-11:00am Basics of Great Voice Work & Production

Leah Tyler, Production Director, iHeartMedia, Reading, PA
Damian Rhodes, Production Director, iHeartMedia, Harrisburg, PA

11:00-Noon On Air Delivery – Developing Your Own Style of Communicating

Bob Hauer, On-Air Personality, iHeartMedia, Harrisburg, PA

12:00-am-1:10pm Lunch
1:00-2:15pm It's Not Your Father's Radio Anymore Jim Loftus, Chief Operating Officer, Seven Mountains Media, State College, PA
2:15-3:15pm Using Video and Podcasting on the Radio Mike Miller, Vice President of Programming, iHeartMedia, Harrisburg, PA
3:15-4:15pm Aircheck Master Class Mike Miller
4:30-5:30pm Social Hour at West End Ale Haus with Industry Professionals
6:45am Bus to Philadelphia
9:45-10:00am Tour of Beasley Media Group Studios Bala Cynwyd Joe Bell, VP/Market Manager, Beasley Media Group, Philadelphia, PA
10:00-10:30am Developing a New Morning Show
John Kincaid/Fanatic Morning Show, WPEN 97-5, The Fanatic
10:30am-11:00am Programming Sports Talk Radio Chuck D'Amico, Program Director, WPEN 97.5 The Fanatic, Philadelphia, PA
11:00-11:45am Marketing a Sports Station Eric Simon/Todd DiFeo, Marketing/Promotions, Beasley Media Group, Philadelphia, PA/td>
12:00-1:00pm Lunch - Pagano's Market & Bar in the Beasley Building
1:00pm Bus departs for Audacy
1:30pm Tour of Audacy Studios, Downtown Philadelphia David Yadgaroff, SVP/Market Manager, Philadelphia, PA
2:00-3:00pm Sports Radio - Doing it Right Jeff Sottolano, EVP, Head of Programming, Audacy, Inc., New York, NY
3:00-3:30pm Getting Your Sports Broadcasting Career Started Jack Fritz, Sports Talk Host/94 WIP, Audacy, Philadelphia, PA
3:30-4:00pm The Commitment From Leadership Susan Larkin, Chief Operating Officer, Audacy, Inc., Philadelphia, PA
3:00pm Depart for Bloomsburg

8:45-9:00am Announcements and Agenda Preview Dr. David Magolis
9:00-10:00am Goal Setting & Time Management Joe Wowk, Market Manager, Seven Mountains Media, State College & Lewistown, PA
10:00-11:00am Creative Writing for Radio - Telling Great Stories
TJ Hower, Creative Director, Seven Mountains Media, Elmira, NY
11:00-12 Noon In the Final Analysis: It's All About the Listener
Marlin Taylor, Architect of Beautiful Music format, Author, Doylestown, PA
12:00-1:15pm Lunch
1:20-2:20pm How to Get a Great Job Jon Zellner, President | Programming Operations & Digital Music, iHeart Media, New York, NY
2:20-3:20pm Aircheck Sessions Master Class Jon Zellner
3:20-4:20pm Building Your Marketing/Promotional Position in the New World Sean O'Malley, Seven Mountains Media, Regional Market Manager, Selinsgrove-Bloomburg-Williamsport, PA
4:00-5:00pm Social Hour at West End Ale Haus with Industry Professionals
6:00-10:00am Live Morning Show Broadcast Shelly Woods & Harry Mann, Bigfoot Country Morning Show, Seven Mountains Media, Selinsgrove, PA
10:00-10:15am Announcements and Agenda Preview Dr. David Magolis
10:15-10:45am Show Prep - What's Involved
Shelly Woods & Harry Mann
10:45-11:45am What's a Program Director Looking For?
Jerry Valeri, Programming & Talent Development, Seven Mountains Media Operations Manager, State College, PA
12:15-1:20pm Lunch
1:30-2:30pm The Digital Program Director: Digital Content & Social Media Jackie Spicher, On-Air/Program Director, POP 93.1 & 95.9, Seven Mountains Media, Dubois, PA
2:30-3:30pm Music Scheduling: How & Why Derrick "DC" Cole, CHR Program Director, iHeartMedia, Allentown, PA
3:30-4:30pm Aircheck Master Class Derrick "DC" Cole
4:30-5:30pm Social Hour at West End Ale Haus with Industry Professionals
8:45am Announcements and Agenda Preview Dr. David Magolis
9:00-10:00am Public Radio/Non-Comm versus Commercial Radio: What's the Difference? Bob Bedell, Director of Business Support, WPSU-FM/TV, Penn State
10:00-11:00am How to Do Great News/Talk Radio
Putting it Together and Delivering
Steve Scott, Afternoon News Anchor, WCBS News Radio 88, Audacy, New York, NY
11:00-12 Noon Preparing to Move from College to Pro Kyle Leff, On Air/Asst. Program Director, POP 93.3, Seven Mountains Media, State College, PA
Noon-1:00pm Lunch
1:10-2:10pm Resumes & Cover Letters Do Matter Jim Loftus, Chief Operating Officer, Seven Mountains Media, State College, PA
2:10-3:10pm Oh, The Places You'll Go! Kerby Confer, Chief Acquisition Officer, Seven Mountains Media, Fort Mill, SC
3:10pm Closing Remarks

Industry Pros Speaking at Confer Radio Talent Institute

Kerby Confer

Chief Aquisition Officer, Seven Mountains Media, State College, PA

Jim Loftus

Chief Operating Officer, Seven Mountains Media, State Collge, PA

Shelly & Harry Mann

Big Foot Country Morning Show, Seven Mountains Media, Selinsgrove, PA

Steve Scott

Afternoon Drive, WCBS News Radio 88, New York City, NY

Bobbi Castelluci

Market Manager, Seven Mountains Media

Confer Radio Talent Institute Students Say It Best!

Finn Kelly

Bodey Shallis

Hollis Zimmerman

Miryan Reyes

Frequently Asked Questions

The Confer Radio Talent Institute is an intense 6-day program held on the campus of Bloomsburg University in Bloomsburg, PA in partnership with National Radio Talent System.

National Radio Talent System is the only program of its kind in the world. It’s a system of Radio Talent Institutes on college campuses across America. Its mission is to discover, coach and nurture the next generations of professionals in the industry.

National Radio Talent System brings over 30 radio professionals to the Confer Radio Talent Institute to teach interactive sessions. Over the seven days you will personally learn from them, meet, mingle, and network with them. It could take years to meet and build relationships with this many broadcasters otherwise. Broadcast professionals from almost every aspect of the radio industry lead sessions; on-air, sales, digital, sports, news, production, management, marketing, programming, social media, etc.

After completion of the Confer Radio Talent Institute, you are highlighted on the National Radio Talent System website to broadcasters regionally and nationally. 70% of students who attend the Confer Radio Talent Institute get their first job in broadcasting after graduation.

YES. You don’t have to choose one or the other. To date, every radio station has allowed their interns to break away from the internship for seven days to participate in Radio Talent Institutes.

All college students, recent graduates and grad students from all universities in the state and region and interns and part-timers at radio or TV stations are welcomed. A total of 25 students are accepted on a rolling acceptance, so the earlier you apply, the better your chances.

The National Radio Talent System provides a “Certificate of Completion” from the Confer Radio Talent Institute and a “Radio Marketing Professional” certification from the Radio Advertising Bureau.

A $395 Registration fee is paid after you are notified of acceptance, and that cost includes a meal card for lunch to use during the 6 days. Housing, if needed, is available on campus for an extra fee.

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

Kerby Confer

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, “The quality of the mentor teachers assembled for this ten day ‘radio immersion’ is amazing. This is just what the industry’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  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, 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.

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Confer Underwriters

Confer Sponsors

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.

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