POINT PLEASANT — The 70th Annual Mason County Area Chamber of Commerce Dinner will welcome a keynote speaker who is president and CEO of West Virginia Media, a multi-media company which serves 90 percent of the state.
Bray Cary will speak to those gathered at the dinner set for 7 p.m., Thursday, April 7 at the First Church of God’s community building on Jefferson Ave. There will be a reception prior to the dinner from 6-6:45 p.m., courtesy of BB&T.
Cary lived his early years in West Virginia and is a 1966 graduate of Hinton High School. He earned two degrees from West Virginia University – a bachelor’s degree in journalism in 1970 and a master’s degree in public administration in 1971. Working in WVU’s Office of Intercollegiate Athletics as a student, Cary developed an interest in college sports and the media. After leaving WVU, Cary worked for the Sun Belt Conference, an experience in collegiate athletics management that led him to found Creative Sports in Charlotte, N.C. Creative Sports specialized in syndicating televised college football and basketball games. The company became the largest business of its kind in the nation.
Cary sold his company in 1994 to ESPN, and it operates today as ESPN Regional. From 1994 to 1997, Cary was a consultant for ESPN. In 1998, Cary joined NASCAR as vice president of broadcasting and technology and helped consolidate all television rights to NASCAR races. Returning to West Virginia in 2001, Cary assembled a group of predominately West Virginia investors who have acquired eight network television stations and a statewide business and leadership publication. West Virginia Media today owns and manages NBC affiliate WBOY-TV and an ABC affiliate EBOY-TV Clarksburg; CBS affiliate WOWK-TV and CBS affiliate WTRF-TV, MyNetwork affiliate ETRF-TV and an ABC affiliate GTRF-TV; CBS affiliate WVNS-TV and Fox affiliate Fox West Virginia in Beckley-Bluefield. The State Journal, the only statewide weekly business and leadership newspaper, also is a part of the West Virginia Media news network.
While involved in the day-to-day management of the media company, Cary also serves as host for “Decision Makers,” a statewide public affairs television program that appears on Sundays on all eight West Virginia Media television stations. The program features the state’s leading government, business, and community leaders and touches on topics important to West Virginians, including the economy, education, health and transportation. Cary lives in Charleston.
Tickets must be purchased in advance with organizers anticipating a large crowd and suggesting tickets being purchased as soon as possible. Due to what organizers are calling the significance of this year’s door prizes, attendees must present their ticket with their signature on the back in order to be entered in the drawings. Tickets will not be sold at the door.
Tables for eight will be sold in advance for $350; half tables of four will be sold in advance for $180. Tables purchased after April 1 will be sold for $400 or $50 per person. In order to ensure seating preference, make reservations no later than April 1.
Contact Chamber Director Hilda Austin at 304-675-1050 or email: [email protected] for more information.
For the latest news and updates, the chamber can now be found on Facebook.
Biographical information on Cary provided by Mason County Area Chamber of Commerce.
Reach Beth Sergent at [email protected] or on Twitter @BSergentWrites.