Art Kellar

 Art Kellar

Through the support of lifetime broadcaster Art Kellar, The National Radio Talent System and Appalachian State University are proud to present the Kellar Radio Talent Institute, committed to discovering and preparing a new generation of broadcast professionals. 

Kellar stated, "There is a need to bring fresh talent into the industry at every level, to contribute to make the industry even more dynamic, and there are plenty of people in the industry that want to help young people enter the industry and be successful."

Kellar became a disc jockey in Ronceverte, West Virginia. He told an interviewer, "I got off the train and walked the two blocks to the [radio] station, and when I walked inside my very first thought was, I've got to own one of these."

Kellar founded O.K. Broadcasting in 1956 and that year purchased his first radio station, WEEL-AM in Fairfax, Virginia. In the 1960s and 1970s, WEEL was one of the Washington area's most popular Top 40 stations.  In 1967, he founded EZ Communications, Inc., which eventually owned and operated 26 AM and FM stations across the United States.

In 1996, after the easing of deregulation rules, EZ Communications merged with Boston-based American Radio Systems, Inc. (ARS), sealing a $655 million deal that made the resulting company the second largest station operator in the country. Kellar retired shortly afterward.

His radio stations entertained millions of people, from Seattle to Miami, from Philadelphia to Phoenix. With very little capital, and lots of work, foresight, vision, and talent, he built a company worth more than $500 million.

Woody Allen of Allen Financial Services commented, “A mark of his greatness is the number of people who have better lives because of him; an even greater mark is that, oftimes, the recipient of his generosity never knew that it was Art who provided it."

"If there ever was a real gentleman, a person who said 'I'll do this' and who always did it, it was Art Kellar. He was a man among men, if I might use that old cliche. I was so enthused when I heard the idea of this institute that I wanted to do anything that we could possibly do to make it successful, because anything that Art Kellar had his hands on was always done to perfection."  George Beasley - Founder – and former Chairman and CEO - Beasley Broadcast Group

"Art was always reaching out to help others, and would go out of his way to do it. I always appreciated his willingness to give through what God had blessed him with. He cared." 

- Joe Gibbs, Former Washington Redskins Coach and three-time winner of the Super Bowl, Owner of Joe Gibbs Racing


The National Radio Talent System

Dan Vallie, a lifelong radio broadcaster, is the innovator and founder of the National Radio Talent System™ and the Radio Talent Institute™. In 2020, National Radio Talent System was acquired by the Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB).  RAB serves more than 6,000 member Radio stations in the U.S. and over 1,000 member networks, representative firms, broadcast vendors, and international organizations, and leads and participates in educational, research, sales, and advocacy programs that promote and advance Radio.

 The program gives each student a learning experience they could not get anywhere else. The National Radio Talent Institute team uses its contacts and reputation in the radio industry to invite radio professionals to present and teach during the institute. The National Radio Talent System™, the only program of its kind in the world.  It was created to answer the long discussed issue of where to find the next generation of broadcasters  and acts as an incubator of well-rounded, well-educated college talent with a passion for radio and a determination to begin a career in broadcasting..

The National Radio Talent Team works throughout the year with universities to connect with both young talent who are interested in a career in broadcasting and with radio professionals who embrace the vision and believe and support the mission of bringing young talent into the industry today and who will be leaders  of the industry tomorrow,

The vision of a Radio Talent System has been proven and radio professionals directly recruit from the participants  who are  determined and passionate about a career  in radio.. And the talent system continues to grow with more institutes across the country and support from broadcaster groups, individual broadcasters, and broadcast associations.


Appalachian State University

Appalachian State University

Appalachian is a special place. Our location in Boone, North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains, a place of great beauty abundant with cultural and recreational opportunities, profoundly shapes how our community lives, works and learns together. Once you become a part of our community, you never really leave.

Appalachian State University prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The transformational Appalachian experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and embrace diversity and difference. As one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina system, Appalachian enrolls about 19,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.

Appalachian was founded in 1899. The pioneering spirit necessary to overcome the mountains’ hardships quickly characterized the institution, giving Appalachian a special niche in higher education that continues today. After more than a century, students still feel the pull of this unique place to transform their lives, and Appalachian has remained focused on providing students with educational experiences that are not only life-changing but world-changing.