Jay Huizenga, Vice President and General Manager of KELOLAND Media Group received the 2019 Tom Brokaw Award at the South Dakota Broadcasters Association Annual State Leadership Conference held August 16. The Award is given by the USD Department of Media and Journalism and the SDBA to recognize excellence in broadcasting and public affairs.
Huizenga was recognized for his leadership at KELO, contribution to the broadcast industry, and for his active and successful participation in public affairs.
Prior to becoming KELO’s General Manager, Huizenga served as their General Sales Manager and before that as an account executive. Throughout his tenure, KELO consistently exceeded sales expectations, increased its community participation, and has been a significant booster for Sioux Falls and its surrounding communities.
Huizenga created and supports KELO’s investigative reporting department. The station’s 2016 expose of the GEAR UP Grant program, and insights into the SD Developmental Center in Redfield are award winning and among their most significant stories. He continues to serve on the Board of SD News Watch, a collaboration between broadcasters and newspapers allowing for more long form investigative reporting used by television, radio, and the newspapers. He has hosted Federal Communications Commissioners and their staff, Congressional members and legislators at the station to teach them about broadcasting. And he makes frequent trips to Washington, DC at the request of the National Association of Broadcasters to serve as a spokesperson on a wide variety of broadcast interests.
Huizenga is active outside the station. He has served in leadership capacities with the Sioux Empire United Way, the Sioux Falls Area Community Foundation, the Sioux Falls Chamber and the South Dakota Golf Association. KELO’s winter clothing drive, Keep KELOLAND Warm, has become the largest winter clothing drive in South Dakota. Their Avera Tradition of Caring, has won a public service campaign Emmy. In recognition of his accomplishments, his name will be added to the permanent display of past winners housed at the Al Neuharth Media Center at USD. The first recipient was former NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw in 1981.
The SD Broadcasters Association is a membership organization that represents South Dakota’s radio and television stations. It provides education, legislative and regulatory assistance to its member stations, and in cooperation with those stations, provides community service to South Dakota.