The Radio Television Digital News Association and Foundation (RTDNA/F) today announced that Executive Director Mike Cavender will retire at the end of 2017. In the meantime, Cavender will continue to spearhead the association’s ongoing efforts to protect the rights of electronic journalists through the many programs and issues in which the association and foundation are actively involved.
An Edward R. Murrow and Emmy award-winning, major market news veteran, Cavender was named executive director of RTDNA/F in 2011, after serving more than 20 years in virtually every board capacity of the two organizations, including as their Chairman. Under his leadership, RTDNA/F has served as a strong voice for journalism on such major legislative and regulatory issues as the use of drones for news gathering, the availability to the public of police body cam footage, transparency in government, improvements in the Federal Freedom of Information Act and FCC regulatory issues impacting broadcast news coverage.
During Cavender’s tenure as executive director, RTDNA membership has grown by 52%. He launched the association’s first Corporate Membership Program, enabling broadcast groups to enroll all its news managers together at reduced costs. The first-ever Permanent Endowment Fund was created to help assure the Foundation’s future in training and First Amendment protection programs. Under Cavender’s fiscal management, the association regained its financial stability and experienced new growth.
“I’m proud to be a part of these and so many other efforts that are at the very core of the RTDNA/F mission,” Cavender said. “Our work in Washington and around the country plays a significant role in bringing clarity and progress to the major issues facing our industry.
“For 70 years, RTDNA has been an unwavering advocate for our industry and I look forward to continuing to be part of those important efforts, especially with the advent of a new political administration,” he added.
“RTDNA has grown and thrived under Mike’s stewardship, and we look forward to his continued support during the coming year,” said Board Chairman Vincent Duffy, news director of Michigan Radio. “The board is committed to maintaining and expanding our programs and advocacy efforts supporting electronic journalists.”
The RTDNA/F Board of Directors has appointed a search committee to locate a successor to Cavender. He will serve as executive director through the annual Excellence in Journalism conference in September 2017 and then provide transition assistance to the organizations.
Mike’s LinkedIn Bio
About RTDNA & RTDNF
RTDNA is the world's largest professional organization devoted exclusively to electronic journalism. Founded as a grassroots organization in 1946, RTDNA works to protect the rights of electronic journalists throughout the country, promotes ethical standards in the industry, provides members with training and education and honors outstanding work in the profession through the Edward R. Murrow Awards.
RTDNF, a 501 (c) 3 educational foundation, works to uphold the standards of ethical journalism and promote leadership in the newsroom. It offers professional development opportunities, training and support of First Amendment issues. The Foundation also provides scholarships and fellowships to aspiring and early-career electronic journalists.