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Editor’s Picks: Management Conferences

If your time is limited at the NAB Show, here are panels that particularly caught our eye

credit: iStockphoto/PashaIgnatov and maxkabakov
Hey managers! Do you know who is listening to, or looking at, your content on all those new platforms your station uses?

Measuring audience across various media is a question of growing concern to broadcasters, and it is among themes at this year’s Broadcast Management Conference at the NAB Show.

Key topics of the BMC also include AM revitalization, implications of the “connected car,” FM reception in mobile devices, performance rights and “best practices” for digital offerings.

Radio World sifted through the agenda of radio-oriented sessions and identified the following as particularly promising. Next issue we will focus on engineering and tech sessions.

Radio’s advocates find themselves in an interesting position these days. Culturally, radio often is depicted as hopelessly “old school,” just another legacy medium. But research data indicate that 242 million Americans listen weekly; and based on anecdotal evidence, radio continues to play a relevant role in consumers’ lives, including those of young people.

A Monday morning panel called “Radio Renaissance” will discuss how FM and AM managers can deal with cultural, financial and other pressures. A big part of the discussion will be the proposals being considered by the FCC to help AMs, and various strategies that FM owners are pursuing.

The panelists represent a mix of expertise. Peter Doyle has been invited; he is chief of the Media Bureau at the commission and often appears at the spring convention, sometimes taking questions from people eager to talk in person to someone in authority at the commission.

Ben Downs is vice president and general manager of Bryan Broadcasting Corp., and serves on NAB’s Radio Board; he has been an advocate for AM revitalization. Joycelyn James is a senior attorney and Cathy Hughes Fellow at the Minority Media & Telecommunications Council; she is active in issues involving minority and women’s entrepreneurship. Rebecca Rini of Rini O’Neil PCrepresents telecom, media and technology clients before Congress and the FCC, and handles communications-related transactions.

The moderator is Christina Burrow, who works in regulatory communications at law firm Cooley LLP. She was a partner at Dow Lohnes, which recently merged with Cooley.

A lunch panel Monday produced by the Radio Advertising Bureau will discuss “Radio’s Four Significant Issues.” As RAB sees it, those issues are perception, digital revenue, HD Radio and overall advertising trends.

“Radio is a dynamic, efficient and effective advertising medium, yet too often advertisers and agencies miss out on radio’s full potential because of their perception,” the organization states. RAB President/CEO Erica Farber will talk about that.

Deborah Esayian, co-president of Marketron Interactive, will explore a bright spot: digital revenue growth.

Based on a recent study, RAB believes U.S. commercial radio’s digital revenue will surpass a half-billion dollars this year for the first time; while that’s still far less than “traditional” radio revenue, it would be a growth rate for digital of 22 percent. The study by Borrell Associates estimates that the average station made $166,490 in digital advertising, or about 3 percent of total revenue. Some stations earn far more, through tools like mobile app development, search engine optimization and social media and email management.

Also at the lunch, Drew Horowitz, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Hubbard Radio, will talk about the sales aspects of HD Radio; and Tom Buono, CEO of BIA/Kelsey, will offer data about overall advertising trends and projections.

The RAB plans four other “revenue-and growth-oriented” sessions Monday and Tuesday including “Concentrating on Core Radio Revenues,”“Radio’s Best Ad Categories for Your Sales Staff to Target,” “Creative Radio Commercial Production and Imaging” and “Rapid Fire Revenue Generators for Small/Medium-Market Radio.”

And then there’s that measurement topic.

Radio has just seen a big change in its audience metric environment, with Nielsen acquiring Arbitron. Insiders say radio programmers are still getting adapted to working with the unfamiliar world of what is now called Nielsen Audio.

But there are bigger challenges than that. Today, managers want to be able to measure the use of all their media, all the time — and advertisers certainly want that information too.

A Tuesday panel of the Broadcast Management Conference, “Local Measurement: All Media/All Users/All the Time” will explore how to make the most of existing ratings systems and what might be ahead in regards to new audience measurement practices.

The session will be keynoted by David Poltrack, president of CBS Vision and chief research officer of CBS Corp.; he designed and oversees CBS Television City in Las Vegas, CBS’ research center.

Also in the discussion will be Matt O’Grady, executive vice president and managing director of Nielsen; Steve Lanzano, president of the Television Bureau of Advertising; and Erica Farber, president/CEO of the Radio Advertising Bureau.

Fnd more on pages 18–20; and see the full conference agenda at

Follow @radioworld_news on Twitter for live show developments and observations from management sessions at the NAB Show.