Meredith Beal               Broadcast Owner & Engineer        

Highlights
Bought Four Terrestrial Radio Stations
Pioneered Broadcasting High School Sports on the Internet
Created The Lasting Value Broadcasting Network
Former Board Director -- Texas Association of Broadcasters
Made the Cover of Radio World Magazine
Made the Cover of Texas Magazine
The Only Radio Station to Broadcast the Obama/Clinton Debate Live
Created KCLW Country TV
National Association of Broadcasters Fellow
Knight International Fellow

Named Texas Broadcaster of the Year
Owns America's Oldest Country/Western Music Station
Created the Lone Star Sports Network
Legislative Leader -- Texas Association of Broadcasters Board
Made the Cover of the Austin American-Statesman
Made the Cover of Texas Monthly Magazine
The World's First Radio Station to Break the Space Shuttle Crash News
Created The Bluegrass Channel
RIAS Berlin Fellow
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Fellow

               Lasting Value Radio, Inc.                                    Lasting Value Broadcasting Group




Lasting Value Mission Statement
January 2000


At the Jasper StationsAt KCLW in Hamilton TXKTXJ Antenna Site


Jasper TX

Jasper TX

Hamilton TX

Austin TX
 

 

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"The Broadcaster of the Year in the Lone Star State Advocates Localism With a Global Perspective." -- Radio World Magazine
 

 

60 Years of Western Music

Read Proclamation
"America's #1 Western Music Station"
-- Gene Autry Western Assoc.
Radio Station of the Year - Academy of Western Artists Meredith Beal Day in Hamilton TX
 



Space Shuttle Columbia
Crashes in Jasper




ABC World News Tonight Visits Meredith @ KCLW

Hamilton, TX -- The Houston Chronicle did a four-page, full color feature story that was the cover story in the Texas Magazine section of the Sunday paper. The writer was doing a story comparing big city radio to small town radio. I asked her why she did the story when you can't hear the station in Houston unless you listen online. She said she was looking in a directory for a radio station in a city with a population less than 20,000. Her finger stopped at KCLW. They spent several days in Hamilton at the station, at listeners' homes and various businesses in town capturing the flavor of small town America.

That story caught the attention of ABC News in New York. They were about to do a story on a ruling the Federal Communications Commission was about to make on how many stations one company could own in a single market. They were addressing concerns and complaints about media consolidation in which major media conglomerates like Clear Channel, Infinity and others were gobbling up radio stations. Clear Channel at the time owned around 2,500 stations and in some markets they owned three or four stations. If they combined the sales rate cards for all of their stations in a market, it would be extremely difficult for smaller broadcasters to compete.


"Trading Post" Host Sandee Jaggars

The story was to explore what's going to happen to small town America with the big boys swallowing stations across the country. What aired on the Sunday evening ABC World News Tonight broadcast however, turned out to be a story about a quaint little radio station 45 minutes from President Bush's ranch and barely mentioned the upcoming FCC hearing (during which I testified). After the broadcast, which brought a great deal of attention to the city of Hamilton, businessmen in the community approached the mayor and suggested that the City do something to show their appreciation for all the attention. That led to them proclaiming August 14, 2007 Meredith Beal Day in the City of Hamilton TX.


Vintage DJ Carroll Parham


Meredith hosting a political talk show


Space Shuttle Columbia Disintegrates Above Texas


Jasper, TX -- Out of all the places in the world where the space shuttle could have crashed, it disintegrated over the skies of East Texas and the bulk of the debris wound up scattered in the woods near the small town of Japser, TX where two of my radio stations were. It also happened on one of the rare occasions when I was in town visiting.

The world's first radio station to broadcast live news of the shuttle Columbia crash was my ABC affiliate KTXJ. Early on the morning of February 1, 2003, I was awakened by what sounded to me like an earthquake. Being a Los Angeles native, I thought to myself, "Do they have earthquakes in Texas?" I went back to sleep. My news director trains horses and she happened to be near the crash site with her horses and was the first reporter on the scene.

The Space Shuttle Columbia was returning from its 28th mission when, 16 minutes to touchdown, the shuttle incinerated and broke apart while re-entering the atmosphere over Texas killing all seven crew members on board. The disaster occurred minutes before Columbia was scheduled to land at Florida’s Kennedy Space Center

The largest-ever organized ground search took place. Thousands of volunteers descended upon Texas to participate in the effort to gather the Shuttle’s remains. I was planning to go home that day but I wound up staying another week witnessing an incredible phenomena as people came together to search the forests for debris and remains. Because there was sparse cell coverage Verizon donated cell towers. Walmart donated over 100,000 batteries. There were only two hotels in town so families opened their homes and farms, churches opened their doors and fed thousands of people as folks put their lives on hold to help.

I hosted episodes of "Deep East Texas Today," the public affairs program I created in the aftermath of the Nightline town hall broadcast, bringing on officials from NASA, search team leaders, eyewitnesses and others bringing this real-life human drama to the airwaves.


Interviewing NASA & FEMA officials


Ted Kopple talks with Meredith before the broadcast

Jasper, TX -- NIGHTLINE COMES TO JASPER Ted Koppel anchored a live town hall meeting on race in America from Jasper, TX. The town meeting, broadcast on both ABC and PBS was held with the citizens of Jasper, many of whom were interviewed for the PBS "Point of View" documentary "Two Towns of Jasper," which examines the disconnect between whites and blacks, highlighted by the brutal murder in Jasper of James Byrd, Jr. by white supremacists in 1998, one of the most hideous racial crimes of our times.


Nightline Audience

When James Byrd, Jr. was chained to a pick-up truck and dragged to death by three white men, the town of Jasper was forever altered. The murder shocked the nation and news outlets around the world reported on the violent hate crime.

My station, KTXJ, was the ABC affiliate and the largest radio station in Jasper. I bought KTXJ along with KWYX-FM in July, 2000. I had heard of the brutal slaying but had no idea of how profound the racial tension was in that part of East Texas.

ABC News' "Nightline" returned to Jasper to examine the crime, its antecedents and aftermath. When residents heard of plans for the news media to come back to Jasper many were distrubed. They felt that the media already gave the town a black eye and painted Jasper as a place full of backwards hillbillies. There also was controversey about who was and was not invited to attend. I had observed that after many of these town-hall type of broadcasts there usually were people who didn't get their say. I decided to launch a program the following day continuing the dialogue. Sure enough, there were a number of people still standing in line to speak, including the victim's son.

The next day I launched "Deep East Texas Today," carrying on the dialogue. The program was a hit and the discussion was fascinating. In addition to Ross Byrd, the victim's son, who amazingly visited the killers in prison and pleaded to the State for mercy for the murderers of his dad, the show also featured a former white supremacist who experienced a change of heart, ministers from a Black church and a white church who were instrumental in maintaining the peace along with the sheriff who caught the perpetrators before sundown.


Meredith Interviews Father Ron on "Deep East Texas Today"



 
FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn

Radio Legend George Marti

Radio Legend Hal Jackson

Kelsey Grammer
Steve Croft


How I Wound Up Buying Radio Stations

Meredith's Broadcasting Story
  I have always been interested in gadgets. As a boy I was fascinated with science and spent many, many hours with my chemistry set and electronics kits. In those days there were stores like Olson’s (formerly Tandy and now Radio Shack), Heath Kit, Estes Rockets, Allied and others where you could buy parts or kits to build all kinds of things – radios, rockets, lasers, walkie-talkies, parabolic microphones and all sorts of stuff.

In these days young folks are intrigued by web design, media creation and the like. In those days it was amateur radio also called ham radio. Amateur radio operators also discovered that long-distance communication was possible on shortwave bands. Many amateurs began as I did with a fascination with radio communication and then combined other personal interests to make pursuit of the hobby rewarding. I built a transmitter and was able to talk with people in Australia, Hawaii, Canada, South America and other parts of the United States.

When I was 16 I got a First Class Radio License. When I was in my early 20s, I discovered that my neighbor’s grandmother owned a radio station in northern California. He and I visited one day and I was fascinated and began hanging out there from time to time when I could.

 




The Lasting Value Team
     
 

Meredith Beal
Chairman/CEO


Jonathan Clark
Chief Creative Officer


Ronald Beal
Operations Manager


Oko Drammeh
Producer

Thurston Bilal
Producer

Andrew Green
Webmaster
 
 
Montague
Broadcast Sensei


John Pelkey
Broadcast Attorney


Gil Moor
Broadcast Engineer


Lynn Willoughby
Broadcast Engineer


Carl Settles
Internet Broadcasting


Eileen Bowman
Sales
 
 

Tim Rickert
Lone Star Sports GM


Tisho Arline
Finance Officer


Jolena Johnson
Public Relations


Barry Sutton
Real Estate


Aileen Randolph
Events


Daneshe Bethune
Admin
 
 
KCLW Team


KCLW GM Kyle Phillips

KWYX GM Shelley Davis
KTXJ/KWYX Team




The Lone Star Sports Network
Meredith Beal Pioneers Broadcasting High School Sports on the Internet


A Lasting Value Network
Simultaneous weekly broadcasting of 10 games from a total of 25 cities

Hamilton Bulldogs

Connally Cougars

Pflugerville Panthers

Lago Vista Vikings

Manor Mustangs

Hico Tigers

Gatesville Hornets

Westwood Warriors


Carl Ross & Ricah Lynn Host Lone Star Sports' Saturday Wrap Up

 

Lone Star Sports Network Studios in Austin, TX
Sportscasters


Carl Ross & Justin Simmons
Vikings

Jan Stevens & Charles Akins
Cougars

Steve Howard & Guy Dean
Hornets

Chad Treadway & Steve Almquist
Bulldogs


Bill Culhane & Trent Calavan
Panthers


Ricah Lynn & Carl Ross
Alamo Dome State Playoffs


George Cagle
Mustangs


Peter Watkins & James Lyle
Warriors

Lone Star Sports Internet TV Production

Lone Star also broadcasted Pop Warner Football
Meredith Beal
Ricky Green/Ronald Beal
Carl Settles
George Cagle
Andrew Cook/John Luke
Damien Minter/Alana Peters
Marcus Cherry
Michael Waters
Marques Little/Maria Lopez
Lasting Value Broadcasting
Lasting Value Radio
  Executive Producer
Producers
Broadcast Director
Technical Director
Broadcast Technicians
Camera Operators
Audio Engineer
Sound Technician
Production Associates
StreamWorks
Syndication

The Round Rock Colts


The KCLW Band


 
  How many radio stations have an in-house band made up of station employees? The only one I know of was mine -- KCLW, America's Number 1 Western Music Station. Perhaps it was because the station had been playing vintage Western music longer than any other station in the world or maybe there were a large number of music enthusiasts in the community. Whatever the reason, it happens that all of the deejays but one was a professional musician or performer.

The morning show deejay was a drummer in a rock band, the noon deejay was a guitar player, the General Manager sang in a Country/Western band, the afternoon show host was a 70-year-old seasoned performer who played multiple instruments, released dozens of albums in his career and when he wasn't at the station he spent his time at his music instrument store giving music lessons on steel guitar, dolbro, banjo, fiddle, violin and who knows how many more instruments. And, of course I play a number of instruments.

A series of wild fires hit the central Texas area and really depleted the resources of many fire departments around the state. Most of the departments were comprised of volunteer firefighters and had small budgets. By mid-year many had exhausted their funds. One day a fire broke out and threatened the home of Kyle Phillips, our morning show host. Volunteer fire departments from two counties helped save his home. He wanted to do something to show his appreciation so we agreed to have the radio station host a fundraiser. That was the birth of KCLW's FireFest -- a family festival and celebration appreciating first responders during which we raised money for 14 volunteer fire departments. It became a great gathering of law enforcement, fire & emergency service personnel and community residents from all of the counties.

We decided to form the KCLW BAND for the event. We did a couple of Country standards and then performed two of each member's songs. I played bass and then when I moved to harmonica for a harmonica version of "Wichita Lineman," Carroll Parham moved from dolbro to bass guitar. We had a BALL and surprised the community who didn't realize we had that level of musicianship. This great community event was a factor in my selection as Texas Broadcaster of the Year the following year in 2007.
 




Historic Live Broadcast Events

Exclusive Interview
Herb Jeffries

1st Black Cowboy on the Silver Screen

Exclusive Interview
Texas Lt. Governor Ben Barnes

Exclusive Interview
Kinky Friedman



Herb Jeffries
Producer * Actor
Lead Singer in Duke Ellington's Band
1st Black Singing Cowboy

I was watching a television documentary on Black cowboys narrated by Mario van Peebles. The program examined the history of Black presence in western movies. There were several snippets where they interviewed Herb Jeffries. Jeffries produced and starred in several all-Black-cast-and-crew western movies during the 1930s. At the time Gene Autrey had risen to fame as a singing cowboy in movies and later on television. Autrey was followed by Roy Rogers and a string of others.

Jeffries had the idea to do a Black version. He set out to produce a low-budget western with an all-Black cast. He produced sound cinema’s "first all-Negro musical western in which he sang his own western compositions." Jeffries made his debut as Bob Blake, a crooning, good-guy cowboy who rode a white horse named Stardusk in Harlem on the Prairie. He did three more: Bronze Buckaroo, Harlem Rides the Range and Two-Gun Man from Harlem. He grew up on his grandfather's farm so he had the necessary horse riding and roping skills and had a great baritone voice, but he wasn't the ideal choice because he was light skinned and had smooth, wavy hair. He wore a big Stetson hat to hide his hair and darkened his skin with makeup.

Jeffries was urged by Louis Armstrong to move to Chicago. His break came in 1933 at the Chicago World's Fair singing with the Earl Hines Orchestra at the age of 19. His first recordings were with Hines in 1934 and by 1940 was singing and recording with the Duke Ellington Orchestra. His 1940 recording of "Flamingo" with Ellington, sold more than 14 million copies! His name had been Herbert Jeffrey but the credits on the record mistakenly called him Jeffries, so he renamed himself to match the typo.

I am an avid western movie fan and was intrigued by the documentary but curious that it seemed to be a recent production and I wondered if Jeffries was still alive. I did some research and found him residing on a ranch in southern California. I reached out to him as the only Black man left in America who owns a Country/Western station asking the last of the singing cowboys and the ONLY Black singing cowboy to have a talk. I invited him to do an interview on KCLW.

Back at the ranch ... so to speak ... that is, when I got back to Hamilton, TX and was at the station, I was talking with the afternoon deejay, Carroll Parham, who is an elder musician in his 70s who does a show on the station playing a range of vintage music covering several genres. You might hear him playing Brook Benton, Nat King Cole or José Feliciano. I asked him if he had heard of Herb Jeffries. He said "Sure, I play him sometimes. As a matter of fact..." and he reached into the back seat of his car where he had several milk crates of vinyl LPs (records in the old days :) and pulled out one of Herb's records. I literally got on my knees and bowed in respect to this white man who was hip to someone I knew very little about. I told him I invited Herb on the air and we decided that it would be great to do it in his time slot since his audience would be more familiar.

Herb did the show with Carroll and I hosting. It was another magic time with a conversation you could not hear anywhere else! Also, because of Carroll's age, he was able to ask Herb things and draw out humorous anecdotes and trivia that I never could have "...remember when so and so left your band and you did XYZ?" We played music spanning Herb's career with Hines and Elliington and snippets of soundtrack from the films. Listeners were able to call in with questions. Another fascinating piece of history brought out by Lasting Value Broadcasting.

Though, Jeffries was a pioneer in the film industry, he finally received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame but for his recording career as lead singer of the famed Duke Ellington Band, not for his film career.


(L-R) James Pickens, Jr., Glynn Turman, Film Historian Mamie Clayton, Reginald Dorsey, Oba Babatunde

I attended the ceremony at 6672 Hollywood Boulevard where his star is located. I was pleasantly and proudly surprised by the presence of a group of current African-American actors who are also real cowboys -- that is -- rodeo type cowboys. Glynn Turman, Reginald Dorsey, Oba Babatunde, James Pickens and several others came out to honor the original icon of the Black TV cowboy. Herb was also celebrating his 90th birthday. Amazingly, he even performed at the party.

Watch Harlem Rides the Range


Former Texas Lt. Governor Ben Barnes in an
exclusive interview with KCLW following the release
of his new book "Barn Burning Barn Building"


Former Texas Lt. Governor Ben Barnes graced central Texas listeners with an exclusive interview following the release of his book "Barn Burning Barn Building." Gov. Barnes served under Governor Connally during the '60s and was instrumental in planning the fateful trip of President John F. Kennedy who was assasinated during his visit to Dallas.

Because of fortunate timing, I was able to get Riney Jordan to conduct the interview. Jordan is a leading citizen in the Hamilton community, a motivational speaker and a former broadcaster who happened to be on the air back when Gov. Barnes ran for his first political office in Brownsville, TX. That choice turned out to be magic because Jordan was able to ask questions and elicit anecdotes that I never could have because of his history and familiarity with Barnes and the politics of the time. It was a fascinating discussion.

Barnes won a seat in the Texas Legislature in 1960 at the unheard-of age of 22 and four years later became the youngest Speaker of the House since the Civil War. In 1968, he helped Congressman George Herbert Walker Bush get his son into the National Guard—a controversy that would rage during the 2004 presidential election.

Barnes was also U.S. representative to the NATO Conference in 1967, and United Nations Representative to Geneva, Switzerland, in 1968. How did the Democratic Party of JFK, LBJ, and civil rights fall from glory? How did Texas, home of its most promising players, become Bush territory? What do politicians on either side need to do today to get our country back on track? These are some of the topics discussed in this radio gold interview.




Shout Out From Iraq
Live Call-in Program from the War Zone


Barnes won a seat in the Texas Legislature in 1960 at the unheard-of age of 22 and four years later became the youngest Speaker of the House since the Civil War. In 1968, he helped Congressman George Herbert Walker Bush get his son into the National Guard—a controversy that would rage during the 2004 presidential election.

Barnes was also U.S. representative to the NATO Conference in 1967, and United Nations Representative to Geneva, Switzerland, in 1968. How did the Democratic Party of JFK, LBJ, and civil rights fall from glory? How did Texas, home of its most promising players, become Bush territory? What do politicians on either side need to do today to get our country back on track? These are some of the topics discussed in this radio gold interview.



Barnes won a seat in the Texas Legislature in 1960 at the unheard-of age of 22 and four years later became the youngest Speaker of the House since the Civil War. In 1968, he helped Congressman George Herbert Walker Bush get his son into the National Guard—a controversy that would rage during the 2004 presidential election.

Barnes was also U.S. representative to the NATO Conference in 1967, and United Nations Representative to Geneva, Switzerland, in 1968. How did the Democratic Party of JFK, LBJ, and civil rights fall from glory? How did Texas, home of its most promising players, become Bush territory? What do politicians on either side need to do today to get our country back on track? These are some of the topics discussed in this radio gold interview.



Barnes won a seat in the Texas Legislature in 1960 at the unheard-of age of 22 and four years later became the youngest Speaker of the House since the Civil War. In 1968, he helped Congressman George Herbert Walker Bush get his son into the National Guard—a controversy that would rage during the 2004 presidential election.

Barnes was also U.S. representative to the NATO Conference in 1967, and United Nations Representative to Geneva, Switzerland, in 1968. How did the Democratic Party of JFK, LBJ, and civil rights fall from glory? How did Texas, home of its most promising players, become Bush territory? What do politicians on either side need to do today to get our country back on track? These are some of the topics discussed in this radio gold interview.



Barnes won a seat in the Texas Legislature in 1960 at the unheard-of age of 22 and four years later became the youngest Speaker of the House since the Civil War. In 1968, he helped Congressman George Herbert Walker Bush get his son into the National Guard—a controversy that would rage during the 2004 presidential election.



1st Calvary Logo

Colorful Country recording artist Kinky Friedman
made a bid for the Texas Governor's job in 2006


Kinky Friedman, born Richard Samet Friedman, is an American Texas Country/Western singer, songwriter, novelist, humorist, politician and former columnist for Texas Monthly who styles himself in the mold of popular American satirists Will Rogers and Mark Twain. He was one of two independent candidates in the 2006 election for the office of Governor of Texas. Receiving 12.6% of the vote, Friedman placed fourth in the six-person race.

He ran a provocative, humoous campaign. When he first announced his candidacy, many took it as a joke but when the polls started showing that he had traction, suddenly people were taking him seriously. Among his campaign slogans were "How Hard Could It Be?" "Why The Hell Not?" "My Governor is a Jewish Cowboy," and "He ain't Kinky, he's my Governor."

Kinky supports the full legalization and cultivation of marijuana and hemp products, declaring that the end of the prohibition is a health, education funding, prison reduction, border security and state's rights issue.

Responding to a series of silly mudslinging attacks between Republicans and Democrats in town newspapers, I decided that I would raise the level of dialogue around the upcoming elections by talking with all of the candidates for political office about the issues.


I created a public affairs show called "What Do You Think?" We announced to listeners that we would be interviewing their candidates for office and would be soliciting questions over the next few weeks.

It mushroomed into a huge community activity and historic series of radio interviews. Everybody got involved. In addition to my regular news director, interviewers included high school teachers, college students, college professors, college students, even elementary students got an opportunity to interview candidates for County Commissioner, which, in essence became a civics lesson. We covered the entire spectrum -- city, county, statewide and federal.


The host for the Kinky Friedman interview was Richard Franklin, a friend from Austin who is quite savvy politically and served on the Board of Education. The interview was hilarious. Kinky starts off by saying "The Governor has a buggar in his nose and I don't mind pointing out that the Governor has a buggar in his nose!" And it got crazier from there. After the broadcast the phones rang off the hook with people calling to laugh and comment.

Originally I had intended to do all of the interviews live but when one candidate requested that he go last, certainly to hear what his opponents said, I decided nobody would go last. We recorded them all and once we got all of them in the can for a particular race, we aired them back to back. In addition to airing them during the day, we repeated the broadcast in the evening for folks who couldn't listen during the day. I heard some people would take notes and listen to the second broadcast to compare what was said. Our program became an important tool in the decision-making process.


During the 2006 election KCLW broadcasted more political interviews than any radio or television station in the United States! The program's attention and popularity also attracted substantial advertising revenue and attributed to the best revenue year yet. That incredible commitment to democracy and community service was another factor leading to my recognition as Texas Broadcaster of the Year in 2007.

A Few of the Other Candidates

Gov. Rick Perry Carole Strayhorn Chris Bell
Kay Bailey Hutchison Senator John Carter Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst
David Van Os Mary Beth Harrell Judge Fred Cox
Maria Alvarado Susan Combs Hank Gilbert


Beal Pioneers School News Show
with Elementary School Reporters
Hamilton Herald-News Thursday, Feb 26 2009



Historic Live Broadcast Event
Live Statewide Interactive Black History Month Webcast

Lasting Value Broadcasting Group & MediaXperiment's AdYouth partner to deliver a live, interactive webcast from The George H.W. Bush Library at Texas A&M University to a local audience of 500 with 3,000 more students participating in a Q&A session from schools around Texas via the state's school video network. This is the first event of its kind allowing students in seven locations around the state to ask questions via live video connection to the presenters in Austin. Several AdYouth program participants


Life of A Buffalo Soldier -- Texas Parks & Wildlife Presentation

being mentored by professionals from Lasting Value were selected to conduct the broadcast under supervision of Lasting Value & Texas A&M experts. "This is a demonstration of how technology can be used to expand delivery of educational experiences effectively to a broad audience," says Lasting Value CEO Meredith Beal. MediaXperiment Founder Carl Settles noted that this kind of hands-on experience is indespensible in preparing young people for careers in the media.




Innovative Programming
 

Shout Out From Iraq

What Do You Think?

The Trading Post

Values & Visions

AWEsome News

Deep East Texas Today

Dallas Cowboys Report

Texas Rangers Baseball

Get A Job

Classic Country Today

Cowboy Corner

Bluegrass Bash



 
Bobby Womack/Magnificent Montague

News Analyst Roland Martin

Roger Ebert

Marcellus Alexander (EVP of TV @ NAB)
George Christensen, Radio One, Gambia

  “I bought my first radio station in 2000 and seven years later I received the highest honor in the field of broadcasting in the State of Texas – Texas Broadcaster of the Year. Texas has the most television and radio stations in the United States and out of all of them I was selected.”



2007 Texas Broadcaster of the Year