Filled with a passion for service and a laser focus on growing his local community’s economy, Jason immersed himself in the Radio business, buying KMOO-FM in Mineola almost right out of college.
His energy, intelligence and personality were infectious, earning him the attention of TAB veterans in East Texas who saw in him a future leader for the industry.
True to form, he did not disappoint, winning election to the TAB Board, making significant contributions to the TAB Show and year-round programming, and rising quickly to Board Chairman before his life was tragically cut short by brain cancer – 10 years after he first bought KMOO.
TAB established the Jason Hightower Award for Broadcast Excellence in 2021.
We proudly recognize individuals with at least 10 years’ experience in the broadcast industry who have demonstrated a proficiency for enterprise and innovation in servicing their stations’ audience, advertisers and communities.
This is in keeping with Jason’s philosophy that we must salute our colleagues who do great things, or we risk losing our industry’s greatest legacy – fellow Texans committed to advancing local communities.
This year’s award recipient will be the first, Small or Medium Radio broadcaster to receive the Jason Hightower Award.
Much like Jason, Chip “The Fat Man” Arledge is the morning show host and manager of KDPM 92.3 FM “The Depot” in Marshall.
His previous experience includes stations in Michigan and Louisiana – but he came to Marshall in September 2020.
“The Depot” soon located its core operations to downtown Marshall and signed on the air one month later.
As Chip would say – “If your downtown ain’t happening, then your city ain’t happening!”
In a little less than three years at the station, Chip has been a vocal champion for the town of Marshall and its citizens, as well as the Regional Arts Council, Marshall ISD, Wiley College and many other community groups.
From a new, monthly art events weekend to the popular “Boogie on the Bricks” musical jam session, Chip is committed to making “The Depot” a positive force for progress in East Texas.
Day in and day out, he strives to emphasize that the Radio industry exists to move local communities forward both culturally and economically – and to have fun doing it!