During Women’s History Month, NAB is spotlighting prominent women in broadcasting. We talked to Stacey Kauffman, senior vice president and Sacramento-area market manager for Audacy. As market manager, one of the first things she did was educate the staff on the company’s flow of business, trends and performance. She also created an interdepartmental task force to solicit input and feedback and create a more collaborative and innovative culture across the organization. Read more about her career, advice and insights into broadcasting’s future below.
How did you get your start in broadcasting?
I started as a promotions intern when I was 19 and in college in Indiana. I was then hired as a part-time promotions staffer, and became curious and interested in the role of account executive. After I graduated college, I moved to the sales side and was hired as an account executive, then moved up the ranks in sales management until being promoted to SVP/market manager three years ago.
Why were you interested in working in the broadcast industry?
I knew I wanted a career that was connected to something I was excited about. I loved the idea of doing something in music and sports, and in radio, you don’t have to choose one!
What have been the most exciting changes in broadcasting during your career?
I share often that I think right now is the most exciting time in the business, and especially at Audacy! The acquisitions and advancements we’ve made the last few years in particular are so exciting and energizing! This is a great career and business to be in for someone who is energized by innovation, is naturally curious and a lifelong learner like me.
What is the best career advice you’ve ever been given?
I have been blessed and fortunate to have a number of mentors throughout my career who have helped me navigate many professional and personal decisions throughout my career. The one that I think of most is actually from our CEO, David Field. When I was first promoted to the role of SVP/market manager of Sacramento, he said, “Stacey, we are promoting you because of who you are. Don’t go into this role thinking you need to be someone else now because the title has changed. Just be you and trust your instincts.” Many of us, especially women, can have imposter syndrome when we move up into new roles, and starting off with his vote of confidence – that being me was not only enough, but what was needed to be successful – was a lifelong lesson that I now try to pay forward to those I coach and mentor.
What advice would you give to young women interested in a career in broadcasting?
Go for it! It’s an exciting career with many paths, and you will never get bored! If you love learning, are curious, enjoy new challenges, and being a part of a team, this is a great career, no matter what piece of the business you are in! Every role in a radio station is important; they are interconnected and depend on each other to produce content that allows us to make a positive impact for our communities, audiences and advertisers. What we do matters, and I think that is pretty cool and rewarding!
Where do you see broadcasting headed in the next five, 10 or 20 years?
In the next five years, I think you’ll continue to see audiences extend their relationship with us on multiple platforms, i.e. social, streaming, etc. I think you’ll see more data and attribution that help us not only drive, but prove ROI for advertisers. We know radio continues to be the most effective, yet undervalued medium, and with these added data points should come a bigger share of the media wallet.
Longer term, who knows?! One of the reasons I love this business so much is that while I can’t tell you exactly what it will look like in 10 or 20 years, I can tell you that it will still be an important part of the lives of those we serve! What we do matters! And while many other media and entertainment sources have been created since the dawn of radio, none have been able to match the engagement and connection at scale that radio and our personalities bring to our communities, audiences and advertisers.