A Second NAB Leader Exits for A Radio Industry Gig


First, it was Steve Newberry, who on April 1 becomes CEO of the company promoting technology that enables radio stations “to take full control of the RDS/HD in-car stereo display.”

Now, the COO of the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) is exiting. He’s taking a role as the top lawyer at the audio media company based in Naples, Fla.

Chris Ornelas will be departing broadcast media’s chief lobbying and advocacy group on Feb. 1 to become General Counsel for Beasley Media Group.

Stepping in as the NAB’s COO on a permanent basis is Curtis LeGeyt, the NAB’s EVP/Government Relations.

Ornelas joined NAB in May 2010 as EVP/Chief Strategy Officer and rose to COO a year later. Before joining the NAB, he was the chief counsel on communications and technology policy during NAB President/CEO Gordon Smith‘s tenure as a Republican Senator from Oregon.

Ornelas’ career also includes nearly a decade of communications law practice in the Washington, D.C. offices of law firm Wilkinson Barker Knauer.

“I’m grateful for the remarkable accomplishments that NAB has made on behalf of our radio and TV members over the last decade, and Chris and Curtis have been instrumental in that success,” Smith said. “I will miss Chris Ornelas’s wise counsel, good humor and strategic guidance of ‘Team NAB’ as our COO. He’s been a selfless servant, a trusted colleague and a loyal friend during my years on Capitol Hill and at NAB. I’m so proud that Chris has a new opportunity to shine even brighter as Beasley Media’s new general counsel.”

Beasley Media Group CEO Caroline Beasley has had the opportunity to work alongside Ornelas over the years as an NAB board member. “I have learned that he is an incredibly thoughtful and dedicated person,” she said. “His vast experience, outstanding reputation and proven leadership capabilities made Chris the absolute perfect choice to join our team.”

Ornelas earned a J.D. from the Washington College of Law at American University. He said, “It is a privilege to have the opportunity to work with Caroline and the entire Beasley Media Group family as I begin the next chapter in my career. I am incredibly grateful to Sen. Gordon Smith and the outstanding NAB family for having had the privilege of working with them over the past 10 years. I look forward to continuing that relationship in my new role serving as General Counsel at Beasley.”

In related news, NAB SVPs April Carty-Sipp, Shawn Donilon and Trish Johnson have each earned EVP stripes. All will now report to LeGeyt.

RBR+TVBR Editor-in-Chief Adam Jacobson contributed to this story from Boca Raton, Fla.