KBTX News Director honored by state broadcasters association

“Texas broadcasting is nothing without the passionate and dedicated leadership of individual men and women who take to heart the federal license to do good for the communities they serve”
KBTX News Director Josh Gorbutt.
KBTX News Director Josh Gorbutt.(KBTX)
Updated: Jun. 10, 2021 at 5:10 PM CDT
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AUSTIN, Texas (KBTX) - KBTX News Director Josh Gorbutt has been chosen as one of three inaugural winners of the Jason Hightower Award from the Texas Association of Broadcasters.

The award recognizes individuals with at least 10 years of experience in the broadcast industry who have demonstrated a proficiency for enterprise and innovation in servicing their stations’ audience, advertisers and communities. The awards are named in honor of TAB 2009 Chairman Jason Hightower, owner/operator of KMOO Mineola, who passed away in March 2009 after battling brain cancer at the age of 37.

“In every case, these honorees define the highest standards of leadership in our industry amidst an ever-evolving media marketplace wherein broadcasting remains unique in delivering important news, emergency information and entertainment while also powering local business growth,” said TAB President Oscar Rodriguez.

Gorbutt has been with KBTX for thirteen years and served as news director since 2015. Under his leadership, the KBTX newsroom has received prestigious honors including the Texas Association of Broadcasters’ Bonner McLane Public Service Award for its commitment to local community service, the Texas Freedom of Information Foundation’s Nancy Monson Spirit of FOI Award for investigative journalism, six regional Edward R. Murrow Awards from the Radio Television Digital News Association, and dozens of honors from the Texas Associated Press Broadcasters and Lone Star EMMY Foundation.

“I am thrilled that Josh Gorbutt was recognized as an inaugural recipient of the Jason Hightower Award for Broadcast Excellence,” said Lori Bruffett, General Manager of KBTX. “His dedication to KBTX and the Brazos Valley shows through his locally-focused approach to news coverage for this community we call home. Like the award’s namesake, Jason Hightower, Josh also possesses that drive, commitment and journalistic integrity. And, through his leadership, our news room also reflects these same characteristics. Josh is very deserving of this award recognition.”

The other two inaugural recipients are Melissa Rivera, the Digital Sales Manager for Townsquare Media Victoria, and Joe Ellis, Executive Producer of Investigations and News Projects at KVUE-TV Austin. Gorbutt, Rivera, and Ellis will be honored at the TAB’s annual gala in August alongside Pioneer Broadcaster of the Year Mark Grubbs of the Ranch Radio Group Kerrville, Broadcaster of the Year Marty Wind of KLUX-FM Corpus Christi, and Norm Philips, the George Marti Award for Engineering Excellence winner.

“Texas broadcasting is nothing without the passionate and dedicated leadership of individual men and women who take to heart the federal license to do good for the communities they serve, and no one embodies that spirit greater than the six Radio and TV broadcasters we’re honoring this year,” said TAB President Oscar Rodriguez. ”They are examples not just to others in the industry, but also to the communities they serve, and are among those who’ve dedicated their lives to this mission of service, as well as others who are still charting the course of their careers.”

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