Lackness Plans to Take a Show on the Road

Paul McLane is U.S. editor in chief of Radio World.

John Lackness hopes to take up where the late Larry Bloomfield left off.

Lackness, sales manager for the Southwest sales office of SCMS, is making plans for what he calls the Broadcasters Roadshow. It’s ambitious; he expects to visit 67 cities in all 48 lower states, traveling 18,000 miles in four months, telling people about new radio and TV equipment featured at the spring NAB Show.

“I have always wanted to do something like this,” Lackness told me today. “I love new technology and what it has to offer to broadcasters.

“When Mr. Larry Bloomfield, who did Taste of NAB, passed away a couple of months ago, I decided I would go out and continue this, but in my own way. He did such a great job in what he did. I want to give my own spin on it, and I think it will be a very interesting trip, to say the least.” He emphasizes that while he is following in Bloomfield’s footsteps, he’s not associated with Bloomfield's original traveling show or his estate. Lackness is managing the project on his own, not as an SCMS employee, though of course it is also likely to benefit his day job.

Registration will be free. The target is radio and TV engineers, and in smaller markets, he hopes station owners will attend as well. “So many times, the smaller markets get left out and I want to get equipment out in front of them so that they can actually see what is going on,” he said.

Lackness is looking for 15 to 25 sponsoring companies and says he has several lined up. He’ll show their gear at each location.

“This is certainly going to be the engineers’ show and tell,” he said when I asked him to describe the format.

“I will be showing equipment, giving a brief overview of each, and then sending back with each attendee DVDs from each manufacturer giving their much more detailed presentation. I don’t want it to get long and drawn out, so the DVDs will give each person a chance to view what they want in the comfort of their own place. And, with 25 different manufacturers, a single presentation should not be a long drawn-out affair that will bore people.”

Manufacturers who want equipment shown can buy a sponsorship for $4,000, “which will get equipment out in front of a lot of people. I am asking each company to put together a professionally produced video of the equipment so that I can give to each participant. I will be putting these presentations on DVDs.”

The schedule and more details are still being worked out -- though having given equipment demos myself, I might suggest that 25 products is pretty ambitious; at just 10 minutes each, you’re already over four hours, without time for any other talk or questions. But, like Lackness says, “as with many plans, things will change. We will just have to wait and see.”

If you’re interested you can ask Lackness about it at (877) 390-7267.

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