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Exhibitor Preview: NATE at the NAB Show

The former chairman talks supply chain shortages, must-see booths and technical trends

Planning for the 2023 NAB Show is ramping up, and Radio World is asking exhibitors about their plans and expectations. Don Doty is the former chairman of NATE: The Communications Infrastructure Contractors Association. He currently serves as NATE’s relations committee member to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Don Doty

Radio World: What’s the most important technical change, trend or issue that is affecting tower owners and operators, including broadcasters?
Don Doty: Broadcast contractors are experiencing several VHF to UHF frequency changes from some group owners. Given the power differences, most require tower modifications since the power levels require larger transmission lines. However, code changes are equally impactful to the tower structure itself.

RW: How would you characterize the tower economy right now — how is business, and what’s driving the trends? 
Doty: Capex has some support, but OpEx is down. We’re likely seeing a downturn due to non-election year advertising dollars being down.

RW: What impact, if any, are members of your organization facing from the supply chain issues and cost increases we’ve been reading about for so long?
Doty: NATE continues to hear that some suppliers are keeping inventories low, which delays project starts for what maintenance and repair projects are available. We’re also seeing a spike in big material costs, such as steel and guy wires and petroleum-based products.

RW: What news will your organization feature at the convention — any new products, services or other developments? Tell us about them.
Doty: NATE has a longstanding, collaborative partnership with NAB as many of our founding member companies came from the broadcast contractor sector. The 2023 NAB Show offers NATE the opportunity to promote the benefits of membership to prospective broadcast industry contractors and stakeholders.

RW: What else will you be watching for at NAB?
Doty: The NAB Show is annually a great opportunity for NATE to stay up to date on all of the developments associated with the broadcast industry. In particular, the association likes to monitor the legislative and regulatory policy issues, news and trends that could have an impact on broadcast contractors and their respective customers.

At the end of the day, Dielectric is still the bellwether for high-powered broadcast television. Some of NATE’s longtime, broadcast-centric member companies continue to maintain that the Dialectric exhibit hall booth is a must-stop and their annual breakfast is a must-attend event.

[For More News on the NAB Show See Our NAB Show News Page]