Before they ever leave the house in the morning, most Americans have been touched by free, local broadcast radio or television. Marcellus Alexander wants to ensure the powerful broadcast industry he helps represent is as diverse as the listeners and viewers they serve. In his dual roles at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), Marcellus Alexander is doing double duty to prepare and equip diverse leaders in the broadcast industry.
At NAB, Alexander heads the NAB Education Foundation (NABEF), which is dedicated to ensuring broadcasters of all levels, roles and backgrounds are provided with training programs specifically designed to strengthen and diversify the broadcast industry workforce. “Our team prides itself in offering a suite of programs that touches every career level of broadcasters. From attracting recent college graduates to our business, to providing leadership and executive development training for current broadcasters, to preparing senior level, experienced broadcasters to purchase and successfully operate station properties, we cover all the bases,” says Alexander. “I am energized and excited to be part of the dynamic and evolving communications space. The opportunities and challenges assure that no two days are alike!”
He is also the Executive Vice President of NAB’s Television department, where he works to address legislation and regulations that impact the TV business. As EVP, Alexander works with his colleagues and the NAB Board to shape policy that is conducive for broadcast station operations to thrive. He also oversees programs and events produced to inform and enhance television broadcasters’ skills and boost their careers. These programs address a variety of issues faced by the industry, ranging from providing stations with cost effective ways to help their sales staffs succeed in a competitive environment, to how to attract new advertisers with creative marketing concepts and smart management strategies.
Maintaining dual roles of importance is not new to Alexander. He brings to his work a strong commitment to corporate results and community service. His long history of broadcast experience – including as VP & General Manager at CBS-owned KYW-TV in Philadelphia and WJZ-TV in Baltimore– uniquely positions him for his current roles at NAB. His past success in revitalizing stations’ sales, improving the news product and strengthening ties with local communities gives him the real-world experience needed to equip graduates of NABEF programs with the tools they need in today’s job market. “NABEF is working to become the premiere place our industry goes for its staff education and training,” he says. “We want to make certain that our programs remain fresh, relevant and well executed. Our approach is to provide education and training that attracts, inspires and prepares future and current broadcasters to become leaders in our industry.”
Alexander is most encouraged and motivated by the success of those who have graduated from NABEF’s diverse programs. “I’ve been fortunate to have good mentors and professional relationships that have helped me throughout my career. However, there’s nothing better or more inspiring to me than getting a call or email from a program graduate or former employee who says ‘Thanks to the program you guys offered or advice you gave me, I am now a general manager,’ or ‘I was promoted’. Their successes are what drive me and matter the most. It just doesn’t get any better than that!”
Alexander is upbeat and focused about the future. “Progress is being made, but there’s still a long way to go. When I talk about the various programs we produce, our objective is to help enhance the diversity profile of our industry. That process begins with getting some of the best and brightest into the pipeline and supporting them by providing training that builds on their skills for growth and success.”
A native of Austin, TX, Alexander has a Bachelor of Science in Speech and Journalism from Texas State University. Among his numerous recognitions, he received his alma mater’s “Distinguished Alumni Award” in 1994. In recognition of his extensive community service, he also received an honorary doctorate degree from Western Maryland College. In 2013, Alexander was interviewed for inclusion with The History Makers, which is the “Nation’s Largest African-American Video Oral History Collection.”
Marcellus Alexander and NAB are proactively addressing the leadership and development needs to diversify an industry that touches lives and impacts the world every day.