WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Chris Cornelius, director of Business Development at Morgan Murphy Media, and Ben Downs, vice president and general manager of Bryan Broadcasting Corporation, have been elected by the NABPAC Board of Trustees to serve as co-chairs of the organization, the political action committee of NAB. They will assume their terms on January 21.
Cornelius takes over as NABPAC TV chair from Ralph Oakley, president and CEO of Quincy Media Inc, and Downs takes over as NABPAC radio chair from William McElveen, regional president of Alpha Media. During Oakley and McElveen's tenure as co-chairs from 2014 to 2019, total dollar contributions to NABPAC rose by almost one-third, while the number of donors grew by over 50%. They will remain active with NABPAC as trustees.
"NABPAC plays an important role in supporting broadcast champions in Congress, and Ralph and Bill deserve enormous credit for their work in growing NABPAC's voice on Capitol Hill," said NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith. "America's radio and TV broadcasters thank Ralph and Bill for their steady leadership of NABPAC, and we look forward to benefitting from Chris and Ben's guidance."
In 2013, Cornelius joined Morgan Murphy, where he oversees retransmission consent deals and network affiliation agreements as well as business development.
Prior to Morgan Murphy, he served as president and chief operating officer of the Barrington Broadcasting Group until its sale to Sinclair Broadcast Group. Previously, Cornelius was senior vice president of Benedek Broadcasting until its merger with Gray Television in 2002.
Cornelius currently serves on the NAB Television Board of Directors. He has served on the TVB Board of Directors and as chairman of the CBS Affiliates Board and the NBC Affiliates Board.
For more than 30 years, Downs has worked for Bryan Broadcasting, which operates radio stations and prints publications in the Bryan/College Station market in Texas.
Downs has spent his career in meeting the needs of the stations’ communities. His stations have won three NAB Crystal Awards for Public Service and two Marconi Awards for broadcast excellence. In addition, the Texas Association of Broadcasters has presented his station with their highest award for Public Service for eight of the past 11 years.
Downs has served on the Texas Association of Broadcasters Board of Directors since 1999, including two terms as TAB Chairman. He was chosen as TAB's 2010 Broadcaster of the Year and was inducted into the Texas Radio Hall of Fame in 2019. He was named by the Bryan/College Station Chamber of Commerce as Citizen of the Year in 2018.
He previously served on the NAB Radio Board of Directors and has been active in the AM Radio Revitalization effort making presentations to industry groups and before the FCC.About NAB