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NYSBA Formally Announces Reilly’s Retirement

ALBANY — It’s been almost a month since we caught word of the pending retirement of New York State Broadcasters Association President Joe Reilly.  Today, the NYSBA finally got around to rolling out a formal announcement about Reilly’s departure and details about the search for a replacement.

You’ll recognize one notable local name in the announcement: current NYSBA Board Chair Theresa Underwood is the General Manager of Syracuse ABC affiliate NewsChannel 9 (WSYR-DT).  Here is the official announcement:

BROADCASTERS ANNOUNCE REILLY’S RETIREMENT AT END OF JUNE:

NYC Search Firm Retained to Find Replacement

ALBANY, NY (November 10, 2010) — The board of directors of the New York State Broadcasters Association (NYSBA) announced that longtime President Joseph A. Reilly will step down from his position June 30, 2011, following the 49th Annual Executive Conference.

“Our board, management and staff are extremely grateful to Joe for his dedication and untiring commitment to this organization,” said NYSBA Board Chair Theresa Underwood. “Since taking over the reins he has helped transform this association into a major and respected player in the affairs of New York State. Our state association has also become a national model for enlightened advocacy on the great overarching societal issues which affect our listeners and viewers.”

Reilly, the Albany-based trade association’s first full-time executive director, joined NYSBA in 1979 having headed stations in Albany and neighboring New Jersey, where he launched the careers of television impresario Roger King. He was lured to the Capital Region by the opportunity to serve his peers and shift back and forth between the two worlds of broadcasting and politics.

During his lengthy tenure at the NYSBA, Reilly not only helped shore up the finances of the association, but also turned the organization into a strong lobbying voice, securing sales tax relief on broadcast equipment and leading the fight to allow cameras and microphones in the courtroom and in the halls of justice. The Voorheesville resident also greatly enhanced member services, recently launching a Digital Media Leadership Academy, designed to help local radio and TV stations stay competitive in the weakened marketplace.

“Throughout my tenure we have never hesitated to invest our resources and influence in many worthy causes and significant issues quite removed from our own purses and parochial interests,” said Reilly, emphasizing that free speech matters and the preservation of First Amendment freedoms always took precedence over pocketbook issues. “By doing so, NYSBA has earned considerable respect in civic, educational, governmental, judicial and public service circles as much more than an `industry lobby.'”

“Not your ordinary Joe, New York broadcasters have been blessed by the steady and genial stewardship of Joe Reilly,” said NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith. “He has the heart the size of the Empire State Building, and his presence in this great business will be sorely missed.”

“Joe has advocated brilliantly for the broadcasters of our state without once forgetting the vital interests of the listeners and viewers,” added former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo. “He is a New York treasure.”

Nationwide radio programmer Jay Meyers stated: “Joe leaving the NYSBA after 30 years is the equivalent of Johnny Carson leaving The Tonight Show.”

As part of the transition process, New York City-based Diversified Search Odgers Berndtson has been retained to find a successor.

“It is our expectation to find a successor by July 1, 2011,” said Underwood. “We are fortunate that Joe will remain available as a consultant through the end of 2011, thereby helping to provide the association with a smooth and seamless transition.”

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