Veil honored with Nebraska Broadcasters Association Friend to Broadcasters Award

Monday, August 21, 2023 - 4:15pm

Shari Veil, dean of the College of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, was honored with the Friend to Broadcasters Award at the Nebraska Broadcasters Association (NBA) Hall of Fame Banquet on Tuesday, Aug. 8. The banquet was the opening event at the NBA's 89th annual convention.

UNL College of Journalism and Mass Communications Dean Shari Veil shares her thanks after being honored with the 2023 Friend to Broadcasters Award.

The Friend to Broadcasters Award is reserved for a person or organization who is not a broadcaster, and who has demonstrated long-term support of the NBA’s ongoing mission, needs and interests. 

NBA President and Executive Director Jim Timm said, "Shari is passionate about our industry and equally passionate about educating our next generation. She contacted me shortly after she began her role and it was clear from the start that she would make an immediate, transformative and lasting impact." 

Veil began her role as dean of the CoJMC in July 2020, and a month later she learned 90.3 KRNU’s tower and antenna were failing.  

"I had no idea how to replace a radio tower and antenna," Veil said, "but I knew our partners at the NBA would."  

Veil reached out to Timm who put her in touch with then-Chair of the NBA Board of Directors Mark Jensen and broadcast engineer Val Lane, who helped outline plans for the new tower and antenna.  

"Everyone I have met through the NBA has been incredibly supportive and encouraging, said Veil. “I think they were happy I was committed to continuing radio over the air and not switching to streaming!"

Since the launch of the Experience Lab, CoJMC has had sixteen professionals-in-residence from ten different radio and TV stations working with students who are gaining hands-on experience with 90.3 KRNU, Nebraska Nightly, Unlimited Sports and Nebraska News Service. 

"Shari has made sure there are representatives from NBA member stations working with students in and out of classroom, both to learn what the current trends and needs of the industry are and to use that information to update coursework and facilities to help meet those needs through the instruction offered to students," said Timm.

Veil agreed they have a great partnership. "The students get to learn from experts in the field and the stations get to recruit the best and brightest out of the college."

In December 2021, Veil announced plans for five new experiential learning spaces. The NBA generously supported The Don and Lorena Meier Studio, an open-air integrated television studio and newsroom located on the second floor of Andersen Hall. 

"I can vividly remember first pitching the idea of a new studio to Jim Timm and the Nebraska Broadcaster's Association Board in May of 2021," Veil said. "And, with the help of the NBA and the Meier Foundation, look where we are today."

Dean Shari Veil and NBA president and executive director, Jim Timm in the Don and Lorena Meier Studio control room.

The NBA's donation helped fund state-of-the-art equipment to support student news reporting and media creation, including a news desk, conversation set and green screen.

The college hosted a ribbon-cutting in November 2022 to celebrate the installation of the new television studio and newsroom. Thanks to the NBA, students entering the broadcast workforce have experience and training in the latest broadcast technology.

Dean Shari Veil shares opening remarks with ribbon-cutting attendees after an introduction by Nebraska Nightly's first student leads, senior broadcasting, advertising and public relations and journalism triple major, Hannah-Kate Kinney (middle) and May 2023 graduate Kloee Sander (far left).

“The NBA’s support is constant, not only when it comes to the success of the studio, but also when it comes to our students' success and the future of broadcasting,” Veil said. "The NBA prepares future broadcasting professionals through various trainings, workshops, scholarships and awards."

At this year’s NBA Pinnacle Awards, CoJMC students won gold in six categories: Best Radio Promotional Announcement, Best Radio News Story, Best TV News Story, Best Radio News Feature, Best TV Public Service Announcement and Best Live TV Sports Event. KRNU General Manager Rick Alloway was also awarded the Chairman’s Award for his service hosting the Governor’s Call-in Show.

In addition, two CoJMC juniors with aspirations to work in broadcasting won $2,000 NBA Foundation scholarships and three of the four Nebraska high school seniors awarded $1,000 scholarships will start their first semester at CoJMC this fall.

"I'm honored to have received this award and am grateful to the NBA for their partnership," Veil said. "The NBA works tirelessly to advance the broadcasting workforce in Nebraska and we're proud to be key players in that endeavor."

Timm said the NBA doesn't present the Friend Award each year. "Our board discusses it annually and sometimes there is an obvious recipient and other times, not. Shari was a slam-dunk, unanimous choice to receive this honor in 2023. We are tremendously grateful for everything she does."

Previous Friend to Broadcasters Award recipients include Bob Devaney, Dr. Tom Osborne, the University of Nebraska football coaching staff, former Gov. Ben Nelson and former U.S. Sen. J. James Exon.

The college also received the Friend to the Broadcasters Award in 1999 and was the first educational institution to be honored with the award.