Marshall’s own Chip Arledge was awarded the Texas Association of Broadcasters Jason Hightower Award for Broadcast Excellence this week, making him one of just a handful of broadcasters across the state to be awarded the honor.

Arledge received the news on Tuesday, when he received a call from TAB President Oscar Rodriguez, who announced the award in front of the staff of 92.3 The Depot. Community members joined together to celebrate for the event.

“You have a passion to serve, and you have made a difference, and for that you deserve to be recognized,” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez said during the call that the award is named after Jason Hightower, a broadcaster from the KMOO station in Mineola who worked to engage with the community and lead the country when it comes to local radio broadcasting.

“This award is inspired by a young leader in the industry who worked to bring hyper local radio to his city, and bring a true passion to the work,” Rodriguez said, “And that’s why you are receiving this, because you have that same passion. It’s the way of local radio.”

Arledge was surprised by the honor, and thanked those in attendance and the TAB for their continued support of his work.

“It’s what we said when we first rolled into Marshall a few years ago, we want to make downtown better, and we want to make Marshall better,” Arledge said, “We have a product that is unlike anything else in the country. It’s nice to be awarded for, really, what you ought to be doing as a broadcaster, which is serving the community you’re licensed to serve.”

Arledge came to Marshall with the station 92.3 The Depot, which opened in fall of 2020. He brought with him almost 50 years of broadcasting experience, and said at the time that he was looking to make Marshall his final career stop.

In under three years being open at their location in downtown Marshall, Arledge has spearheaded a wide range of community programs, and worked to promote Marshall and the downtown area in all of his work.

He played a large part in organizing the Third Saturday Weekend event series, hosted by the Marshall Regional Arts Council — not only coordinating the Depot’s regular Boogie on the Bricks event every third Thursday, but also hosting and planning the artists who were to perform.

Arledge also brought with him to Marshall the Shop with a Cop program that offers local students the chance to spend $100 at Walmart, shopping for holiday presents with local law enforcement. He has said that the program offers another avenue for positive interactions between law enforcement and local children, and also offers families some fun and assistance when it comes to holiday budget strain.

Arledge has also worked with Wiley College to promote student voices during Black History Month, and has participated in a wide range of other community events and programs, all with the hopes of making Marshall a better place to live.

“It hasn’t always been easy, actually it has been hard,” Arledge said, “But I love this, I love what I do, and I enjoy working in Marshall and working to support the community.”

Arledge will be honored with the award on August 2-3 during the TAB award ceremony held in Austin.


City Reporter

Jessica Harker has been the city reporter with the Marshall News Messenger since 2019.