Press release

Winners of the 2019 Excellence in Local Media Marketing and TVB NEXT Awards Highlighted at TVB Forward Conference

Sponsored by Businesswire

TVB, the not-for-profit trade association of America’s local broadcast television industry, today announced the winners of this year’s TVB Excellence Award and TVB NEXT Awards at TVB Forward Local Broadcast Television’s annual outlook conference in New York City. The prestigious TVB Excellence Award recognizes recipients for their creativity in producing a local multiplatform advertising campaign that generated results for their client over the past year. The TVB NEXT Awards honor tomorrow’s leaders in media buying, planning and sales.

Steve Lanzano, President and CEO of TVB stated, “Year in and year out, local broadcast television has proven effective in reaching, engaging and influencing consumers and this is the reason why it remains the dominant force for generating the best possible outcomes for advertisers, brand managers and political campaigns. With unrivaled audience Impressions across all screens and devices, local broadcast television’s premium local advertising opportunities continue to deliver an unparalleled value for businesses and political campaigns. Our industry’s value proposition will become even stronger as we move from a ratings-based to an Impressions-based currency, which will deliver significant advantages for advertisers in terms of greater reach and targeting, while also facilitating Automated TV advertising transactions.

“TVB is proud to acknowledge political media agency Smart Media Group as the winner of TVB’s annual Excellence Award. Smart Media Group leveraged local broadcasters’ combined television and digital capabilities for a multiplatform political campaign that delivered winning results for then-representative Marsha Blackburn, who became the first woman from the state of Tennessee elected to the U.S. Senate.

“In addition, TVB and our NEXT program sponsor WideOrbit are proud to honor Danielle Marble, Matthew Barbato and Josie Flesher as the winners of the third annual TVB NEXT Awards. Local broadcast television’s leadership in delivering high-quality information, entertainment and marketing value to viewers and advertisers is reflected in the forward-thinking excellence and enthusiasm Danielle, Matthew and Josie exhibit. They, and all of the TVB NEXT program attendees, represent the best of the next generation of leadership in media buying, planning and sales. The passion and entrepreneurial spirit of our NEXTers is facilitating future growth and innovation across the local broadcast TV industry.”

2019 TVB Excellence and NEXT Award winners are:



Political Category – 2019 Excellence Award Winner


Smart Media Group


Marsha Blackburn for U.S. Senate


Tennessee 2018 U.S. Senate Election



Media Buying – 2019 NEXT Award Winner


Danielle Marble


Horizon Media


Media Planning – 2019 NEXT Award Winner


Matthew Barbato


Zenith Media


Media Sales – 2019 NEXT Award Winner


Josie Flesher


KSAT-TV (Graham Media Group)

TVB Excellence Award:

The TVB Excellence Award winner is chosen based on the creativity of their on-air and digital advertising campaigns, as well as the overall effectiveness of the campaign in addressing objectives, meeting challenges and delivering results.

The 2019 TVB Excellence Award acknowledges political media agency Smart Media Group for its Marsha Blackburn for U.S. Senate campaign. By strategically planning the timing of the media campaign for maximum exposure and impact, Smart Media Group targeted geographically when and where it counted. Focusing heavily on local broadcast TV and in-state geo targeting throughout the 13-week campaign, they also used local TV news sites and text messaging. Over the 13-week flight, a 14-point polling deficit was closed and Senator Marsha Blackburn won the election by 10.8 points. Smart Media Group’s highly sophisticated and data driven campaign delivered excellence in local media marketing solutions and helped elect the first Tennessee woman to the U.S. Senate. Accepting for Smart Media Group is Kyle Roberts, President, Smart Media Group.

TVB NEXT Awards (Media Buying, Planning and Sales):

TVB NEXT Award honorees are recommended by senior executives and chosen based on their responses to questions focused on the evolving TV ecosystem and localism. A group of more than 50 TVB NEXTers attended Forward 2019 alongside C-Suite executives and participated in a day of collaborative presentations and discussion regarding the latest trends and technologies powering the future growth of local broadcast television, as well as the challenges and opportunities facing ad buyers, planners and sellers. Three honorees were selected to represent the best of the next generation of media leadership.

“WideOrbit has been a proud sponsor of the NEXT program every year since its inception because we believe in the importance of supporting emerging talent in the advertising and media industry,” said Eric R. Mathewson, Founder and CEO, WideOrbit. “NEXT gives up-and-coming media leaders access to today’s thought leaders, insights into industry innovation, a leg up on career advancement and a voice in the bigger discussion. Each year we continue to expand the program to enable more rising stars within media buying, planning and sales to further build their professional skills and leadership through their attendance at TVB Forward and exclusive networking events with industry executives.”

Media buying category NEXT Award honoree, Danielle Marble, Senior Video Investor, Horizon Media said when commenting on the evolution of the business, specifically of Impressions-based buying and selling, “Moving from ratings to Impressions-based buying will help remove some department silos within agencies. Purchasing all media on Impressions helps agencies and clients to see the bigger picture and provides the opportunity to target consumers beyond traditional demographics.”

Media planning category NEXT Award honoree, Matthew Barbato, Associate Media Director, Zenith Media said when commenting on localism and what it means for advertisers, “Stations from coast-to-coast offer airtime for food drives, sponsor marathon runs, and spur multi-million-dollar relief efforts when disaster strikes. As advertisers, we are committed to deliver our clients’ message to local consumers. What better way to do so than with local TV.”

Media sales category NEXT Award honoree, Josie Flesher, Senior Account Sales and Digital Specialist, Graham Media Group owned ABC affiliate KSAT-TV in San Antonio, TX said when commenting on digital and automated TV, “Automation will shift attention to higher-value selling, marketing and advertising functions and will continue to drive industry growth through relevant and effective advertising that enhances consumer experiences.”

The 2019 TVB NEXT honorees can be viewed on the TVB website here.

Additional Awards Presented at TVB Forward 2019 Conference:



2019 Broadcaster of the Year Award Winner


Hilton H. Howell Jr., Executive Chairman and CEO

Station Group

Gray Television





2019 Catalyst Award Winner


ABC-Owned Television Stations Group

Accepted by

Debra OConnell, President & General Manager, WABC

About TVB

TVB is the not-for-profit trade association representing America’s $21 billion local broadcast television industry. Its members include over 800 individual television stations, television broadcast groups, advertising sales reps, syndicators, international broadcasters and associate members. TVB actively promotes local media marketing solutions to the advertising community and works to develop advertising dollars for the medium’s multiple platforms, including on-air, online and mobile. TVB provides a diverse variety of tools and resources, including its website, to support its members and to help advertisers make the best use of local ad dollars.

About WideOrbit

WideOrbit is the technology platform for media companies to connect audiences and ads, everywhere. WideOrbit’s mission is to simplify media buying and selling by focusing on innovation, customer delight, and value creation. WideOrbit software is used by clients to manage more than $37 Billion in annual advertising. Customers include the majority of local television broadcast stations in North America.