Don Curtis Chairman and CEO
In 1957, fifteen year old Don Curtis walked into the studios of WKMT in Kings Mountain and applied for a job as a weekend announcer. The audition test tape is still in his possession, and according to Curtis, “It was terrible.”
While he didn’t get the part-time announcing job, the owner of the station told Curtis he would sell him an hour each week which Curtis could re-sell to the merchants of his hometown in Bessemer City which didn’t have a radio station. Curtis discovered that he could sell the time for more than he paid each week, and that was the beginning of his broadcast management career. View Full Bio.
Trip Savery, President & COO
More than twenty years ago, Trip began his broadcast career as an Account Executive with our own 94.7 WQDR, where he delivered winning marketing campaigns for his customers, earning him a reputation for creativity, exemplary service and personal integrity. He later managed WQDR, where he achieved record-setting ratings, sales and profits. In 2010, Trip left Curtis Media Group for Charlotte where he served as Vice President and Station Manager of Greater Media Charlotte stations WBT AM/FM, 107.9 The Link, and the Bob & Sheri Radio Network. Trip returned to Curtis Media Group in late 2013 to lead the company as Executive Vice President.
Trip has twice been recognized as one of the Best Managers in Radio by Radio Ink Magazine. He currently serves as Vice President of Radio on the Board of Directors of the North Carolina Association of Broadcasters. He is also on the Board of Visitors of the UNC Children’s Hospital.
Trip is a native of Chapel Hill, North Carolina and an alumnus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Trip lives in Raleigh with his wife Dolly and their two children.
Barbara Curtis, Secretary/Treasurer
Co-founder of Curtis Media Group, Barbara has held nearly every position over the years from accounting to sales.
Currently less active in the day-to-day operations, she continues to serve as Secretary-Treasurer.
Howard Hollar, Controller
For nearly 20 years, Howard has managed the financial aspects of CMG, not an easy task for a company that has experienced such growth over many years. Despite tracking revenues, expenses, assets, liabilities, capital improvements, contracts, taxes and a host of related issues for more than two dozen stations in multiple companies and various markets, he manages to keep things remarkably organized, legal and well, “accountable”. Not your typical “bean counter”, Howard has a very approachable demeanor, a dry sense of humor and a relaxed management style make him a perfect fit for this anything but “widgets” industry. As a Certified Public Accountant, Howard combines a savvy command of the best practices in the industry, a strong work ethic and willingness to do whatever is necessary to succeed. He has earned the respect of managers and staff alike.
Howard is a Newton, North Carolina native and an alumnus of North Carolina State University. Howard lives in Cary with his wife Linda.
Liza Weidle, Director of Career Development
Liza brings her tireless energy and passion to the CMG team as the Director of Career Development. A savvy connector with a passion for cultivating great talent, Liza has more than a decade of experience recruiting, training, and mentoring leaders in key positions at nonprofits in the Triangle area as well as nationally for PTA and Mom Congress.
Liza is a Meredith College alumna and lives in Cary with her husband and two birds that are known as the “blues brothers.”
Chuck Maisano, General Manager, CMG Southern Sales
Chuck’s career began in Atlanta, where he rose quickly through the ranks to manage the Atlanta office of McGavren-Guild, with responsibility for more than $18 million in annual billing representing stations across the country with Atlanta based agencies. In addition to running the CMG Southern Sales enterprise, Chuck also works with the new McGavren-Guild in additional markets around the country to coordinate sales on behalf of Curtis Media Group, and other partner stations.
In 2014, Chuck was recognized by the Atlanta Broadcast Advertising Club (ABAC) with a Lifetime Achievement Award recognizing his work in the industry. Chuck is a graduate of Georgia Tech where lettered in baseball. Chuck and his wife Susan, live in Roswell, Georgia.
Darren Smith, General Manager, Curtis Network Group
A creative problem solver and strategic thinker, Darren has spent a majority of the last 25 years in the regional radio network and advertising agency environment working with regional and national advertisers. Darren has managed radio networks across the South and Mid-Atlantic as well as station market management for some of the largest media organizations in the industry. His vast experience in both the media and advertising agency worlds provides his clients great insight in how to effectively market their product and services.
As he leads Curtis Media Group’s Network Division based in Raleigh. He is past president of the National Association of State Radio Networks. Darren has a passion for crafting custom marketing solutions for his clients and creating a culture committed to excellence.
Darren is a graduate of the University of Kentucky holding a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Communications and Marketing.
David Stuckey, Senior Vice President/General Manager WBBB
An advertising sales veteran with a successful background in sports marketing, David joined the company in 2003 as an Account Executive and quickly rose through the ranks to hold positions in sales management, station management, cluster management and now network management. As Senior Vice President, he leads the North Carolina News Network, Southern Farm Network and Triangle Traffic Network.
To his colleagues, David is always on a mission, a relentless seller and goal-oriented manager. To those he manages, he is a great resource and team player, who utilizes his coaching background to find the unique way to motivate each one. To his clients, he provides creative and carefully crafted strategies to insure marketing success and return on investment.
David, a Pine Level, North Carolina native is a graduate of Barton College and received his Masters in Education from Averett University. He lives in Clayton with his wife Kathleen and their two children.
Shirley Davenport, General Manager WYMY
A North Carolina native, Shirley grew up in Buenos Aires, Argentina where her parents were Christian missionaries. Her early years in South America, combined with her fluency in Spanish give her a unique perspective on marketing to the growing Hispanic community in North Carolina.
With her unique blend of retail management, radio and television media sales and management, including a Hispanic market focus, and a broad and deep knowledge of the Triangle area, Shirley is the perfect leader for the La Ley sales team. Shirley was a top Account Executive with Univision television in Raleigh-Durham before joining CMG in 2014, and has built a customer-focused sales team for our popular Spanish regional station. Shirley’s passionate understanding for the Latino customer, her trademark customer service for clients and the professional development of her team members are the keys to success for this unique radio property in our group.
Shirley Lives in Raleigh with her son and daughter.
David Lewis, General Manager, WPTF/WPTK/TTN
David has worked in advertising since 1985, most of that time spent in radio in the Carolinas. From Account Executive to Sales Manager to Market Manager, his extensive background in meeting the needs of clients and listeners alike caught our attention for a new leadership role with WPTF. With his additional role in ownership of two regional publications, David also brings the kind of knowledge and entrepreneurial spirit that we love to see in our management team.
David is a native of Norfolk, Virginia. He and his wife, Lori look forward to relocating soon to the Triangle.
Robert Wallace, General Manager, WKIX-FM
A native of Marion, South Carolina, Robert got his start in radio more than thirty years ago with Grand Strand Broadcasting in Myrtle Beach as an Account Executive for heritage station, WKZQ.
He moved to Raleigh in the late 1980’s to accept a position with Capitol Broadcasting; he later moved in to sales management and became General Sales Manager of WRAL-FM.
Robert is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and is active in the Raleigh community, having served on various committees and boards. Robert is currently on the Board of Directors of the Episcopal Campus Ministry in Raleigh, and is an avid tennis player.
Robert is married to the former Elizabeth Musselwhite of Raleigh and they have two daughters, and they are active members of Christ Episcopal Church in Raleigh.
Dave Cooper, General Sales Manager WQDR
A native of St. Louis MO, Dave earned his degree in advertising from the University of Missouri School of Journalism.
Dave began his advertising career in 1991 with Media That Works (now Empower) in Cincinnati, OH. He was recruited back to St. Louis as an Account Planner for Advanswers Media/Programming in 1995.
Dave moved to radio sales at KIHT-FM in St. Louis in 1996. He spent 22 years in radio sales in St. Louis, 9 years as a top-performing Account Executive and 13 years in various forms of Sales Management including; National Sales Manager, Political Sales Manager, Local Sales Manager and most recently General Sales Manager of Entercom’s KYKY-FM/KEZK-FM/KNOU-FM.
Dave loves solving problems and helping my clients and colleagues succeed by developing strategic marketing campaigns tailored to achieve client goals.
Jason Kong, General Manager, ACC Sports Division
One of our newer ventures is ACC Sports, an established print venture purchased in 2012 and since further developed into newspaper, magazine, digital and on-air products. With such a promising future, this division required the passion of a true ACC fan, combined with the organizational and logistical skills of a hands-on manager. Jason had been producing the company’s Carolina Newsmaker’s program for the North Carolina News Network, and his strong work ethic, attention to detail and excitement for the products made him a natural choice for manager. He oversees the publishing of the bi-weekly newspaper, quarterly magazine, premium content website and circulation and distribution aspects of this labor intensive and very deadline-oriented division, all the while maintaining a calm and approachable “we’ve got this” management style.
Jason is a native of Orlando Florida, and is an alumnus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He lives in Raleigh with his wife, Rachel.
Al Bunch, Market Manager, Triad
A true broadcast veteran, Al’s thirty-plus years in the industry runs the gamut from part-time announcer to station owner, and we are glad he has been part of our management team since 1999. His market background is equally diverse, including Charlotte and Raleigh, Lenoir and Boone, and now the Triad, and in each market he has quickly become an active and prominent member of the community. His ability to multi-task and deliver fresh energy to whatever assignment he undertakes is remarkable. Whether in his role as Managing Member of his three station group in Lenoir, NC, his oversight responsibilities for our six station Boone cluster, or his on-site General Manager role for our stations in the Triad, Al is pulled in many directions but manages to remain focused. A skilled people manager, he seeks out the very best and develops talent in all areas, often from outside the industry, with great success. Al is noted by his colleagues, clients and staff for being easy to work with as well as a great source for creative ideas.
Al is a native of Edenton, North Carolina and is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He lives in Winston-Salem with his wife, Lilly, and their son.
Robin Lineberger, Market Manager, Boone
Before joining CMG, Robin honed her sales skills in television advertising sales in the Charlotte market at WSOC-TV.
As an Account Executive with our six station group based in Boone, she exhibited the kind of skills we look for in a manager and she was soon promoted to Market Manager. In addition to developing key client relationships, she now directs the sales and programming efforts of this cluster with a focus on managing inventory, revenue and staff development and overall profitability.
Robin is dedicated to the radio industry and seeks to best serve the company by super-serving our listeners and advertisers. She also manages our regional website, GoBlueRidge.net, the “go to” place for all things High Country, which adds another tool for our stations and our advertisers to broaden their reach and establish their brand.
Robin is a Hickory, North Carolina native, and an alumnus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She lives in Boone with her husband and two children.
Bruce Simel, Market Manager, Coastal Carolina
Bruce has worked in radio, marketing and management since the mid 1980’s. He has worn a lot of hats working in programming, sales and management.
Bruce served in radio group management where he was President of an entrepreneurial start-up radio company that acquired properties in 6 different markets.
Bruce’s real passion is helping a local team make a difference serving their communities, listeners and advertisers. He proudly works with the Curtis team in Eastern NC doing just that.
Bruce has been recognized twice in the radio industry as a Manager of the Year and gives all the credit to his staff. His openness, creativity and engaging personality help create an environment where his team can excel.
Bruce is a native of Greensboro, NC and graduated from UNC-CH with a BA and Wake Forest with a MBA. Bruce and his wife Kristal have lived in New Bern since 1994 where they raised their two sons and are active in the community.
Carrie Shields, Regional Manager CMG East
Carrie is dedicated to the Goldsboro region and is making an impact on the air in the community by overseeing the efforts of Curtis Media Group’s Wayne and Lenoir County Cluster including: WZKT-FM, WGBR-AM, WFMC-AM, WELS-FM, WWMC-AM/FM, WSSG-AM/FM and GoldsboroDailyNews.com.
With more than a decade of sales and management experience in the Greensboro area, Carrie is happy to be working in her hometown region of Wayne County. With her unique ideas and innovative approach, Carrie enjoys being apart of such a strong and passionate community. Carrie is an alumnus of UNCW with a BA in Psychology and lives in Mount Olive.
Bryce Wilson, Station Manager CMG East
Bryce has been with Curtis Media Group since the early days in Laurinburg, where he programmed our 100,000 watt, a unique gospel format we called Family Radio WSTS, a mix of Christian talk programs and music. After many years on-air, in operations management and programming roles, Bryce moved into the digital side of things where he managed station websites, streaming, texting programs and the Company email server. Currently, Bryce is heading up the new site for NCN affiliates – NCFYI.com – a portal designed to be the go-to site for all things North Carolina. He will be organizing overall content as well as working with our designer and affiliates to customize their own pages for a cohesive look and user-friendly interface.
Bryce is a graduate of Kent State University and lives in Raleigh.
Paul Michels, Operations Director
Paul has seen more change in the broadcast industry over his many years in the business than most.
Paul began his career with stations in his native California and Reno, Nevada. His service in the US Army brought him to North Carolina. By the time he joined Curtis Media Group in 2001, he had almost 40 years’ experience with other stations and groups in roles ranging from air personality to program director to station and operations management.
At CMG, Paul is responsible for IT operations including computers, the corporate e-mail system, phones, networking infrastructure, Internet and cyber security. He also insures that all CMG stations operate strictly within the legal limits established by the FCC including transmitter readings, Emergency Alert systems, local public files and the like. Paul holds an FCC General Radiotelephone license and various engineering and IT certifications.
We are grateful to have his depth of experience and knowledge on our team.
Paul and his wife Judy live near Wilson.
Allen Sherrill, Vice President of Engineering
When Allen joined the Company in 2005, he already had over twenty years experience with other broadcast groups, including roles in management of those operations. His ability to juggle multiple priorities in the normal daily routines of a group our size is impressive enough, but he consistently goes the extra mile to see that our many special projects stay on track as well. Whether it’s building translators, moving facilities, erecting towers or fine tuning complicated arrays for the best signal, Allen does it all with a calm and focused demeanor that belies the significant pressure inherent in our time-sensitive industry. In addition to a small staff of engineers, Allen works with contract and consulting engineers as well as industry partners to insure that the Curtis Media Group stations are always operating at maximum potential and efficiency.
Allen is a graduate of North Carolina State University and lives in Raleigh with his wife, Annette.
Rachael Jackson, Interactive Content Manager
Rachael manages our growing digital portfolio. She has the skills and experience to take us to the next level. Rachael’s previous experience includes Digital Program Director for iHeart Media’s Raleigh stations. Her skills include multi-media editing, content management, web analytics, social media, e-commerce, digital advertising design and scheduling, promotions and even on-air, giving her a well-rounded background for this important part of our brands and our marketing portfolio for advertisers.
Rachael is a native of Raleigh, North Carolina. She is a graduate of East Carolina University and lives in Raleigh.