Veteran music industry leader becomes new KTSU GM
A graduate of nearby Jack Yates High School School of Communications, an alumnus of the School of Music in Washington DC, and President of Walker Entertainment Group Inc., Ernest Walker has joined Texas Southern University as the new general manager of its radio station at KTSU-FM (90.9). Walker brings more than 20 years of experience in business, production, entertainment, fundraising and professionalism to the Texas Southern University radio station. Walker has served as a producer and music director in all aspects of the entertainment industry, including new mediums, for many years.
He has been the producer and director for national and international recording artists Chante Moore, Kirk Whalum, Al Jarreau, Regina Belle, the late Natalie Cole, Quincy Jones and countless other artists.
He has collaborated on major projects with Radio One, Clear Channel Radio, KHOU-TV, ABC, TV-One, The Kennedy Center and produced shows and handled technical production, schedules, marketing, sponsorships and sales for various national conventions, concerts and festivals. He often selects TSU students to serve as musicians and/or interns.
Walker manages a staff of employees for the Abundant Life Cathedral, the Mayor’s Holiday Tree-Lighting Celebration and other major city events. He has musically produced the inaugurations of the Mayors of Houston for the past 10 years, and the City’s Freedom Over Texas 4th of July Celebration for the past six years. To his credit is the fact that Walker has produced, “Evolution of Gospel,” at The John F. Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., for the past six years, and provided the entertainment for the NAACP National Convention for the past three years, traveling to various cities.
He is the vice chairman of the Gospel Music Heritage Month Foundation Board and has the following experience: President/CEO, Walker Entertainment Group since 1991; Chief Operating Officer, Marketing Houston; Business Manager, Abundant Life Cathedral; General Manager, Ablife Records, where he spent a great deal of time handling radio functions from sales to promotions, managing talent and operations. He is also President of Keeping the Music Alive Organization, a company based in Houston and designed to keep “real music” in a safe place and archived.
Over the coming weeks, Walker will assess the needs of the station and its resources and align his goals and plans with successful outcome strategies.
“To state that we’re excited about Mr. Walker joining the station, is putting it mildly,” stated Eva Pickens, University Spokesperson, Advancement VP and Chair of the Search Committee. “We certainly did see some outstanding talent in the applicant pool. However, the majority of committee members feel that Mr. Walker’s energy, creativity, innovative style and knowledge, and perspective is what the station needs right now. The majority of the committee is familiar with Mr. Walker’s experience in the field, his work ethic, dedication to students and resources will play a vital role in taking the station to the next level. We are happy for our students in that regard as it will be critical that they receive the proper training to launch their careers before or soon after graduation day,” Pickens added.
Walker chimes, “I am anxious to get started. I have so many plans to connect KTSU with the community and beyond. For the students, I want nothing more than to see them properly trained, interning in real world experiences and succeeding beyond measure.” Continuing Walker adds, “It really is an honor to lead this entity as we look forward to charting a path to keep KTSU vital and vibrant. We will work hard to build a stronger station for our community of listeners and members. Please stay tuned.”