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Field: Radio Is Fundamentally a Team Sport

David Field accepted the NAB National Radio Award in Texas

Entercom President/CEO David Field is having a good year, what with the pending CBS Radio merger and all, and the National Association of Broadcasters topped it off this week, recognizing him with the National Radio Award. Field accepted the honor on stage in Austin as part of the Radio Show Luncheon.

Field is the son of Entercom founder Joe Field and has been working in the family business for more than three decades. According to a video montage that was shared at the luncheon, the younger Field has been enthusiastic about radio (and music and commercials!) since he was six years older — coinciding with the time period in which his father founded Entercom. In the presentation, he also was lauded by many colleagues for his business sense, groundedness and enthusiasm for radio, as well as his love for and loyalty to family and friends.

When Field took the stage, he echoed the remarks of Gordon Smith, Ajit Pai, Paul Brenner and others who had spoken before him: the destruction from Hurricane Harvey and heroic responses to its devastation were top of mind. But, Field said, “Time and time again … America’s broadcasters have never failed to answer the call in time of need.”

He also recognized FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, saying that his presence at the Radio Show speaks volumes, presumably about both the chairman and about the continued significance of radio, if the rest of his speech is any indication. Field expressed gratitude to have FCC leadership that he characterized as unusually in tune with the broadcast industry.

After thanking NAB President/CEO Sen. Gordon Smith and the rest of the NAB staff, Field turned to his own award, which he said he was not accepting alone. “Radio is fundamentally a team sport,” Field said, and went to on to recognize members of the Entercom senior leadership team, all of whom he said deserved credit for the award. 

Field then turned to the subject of the CBS Radio merger, announced in February but with many details still yet to be finalized and/or announced. He said, “We look forward to being outstanding local broadcasters and responsible corporate citizens” and touted the strengths of both broadcasters’ stations and brands. The deal, he said, is a testament to his confidence in radio’s present and its future.

Because he is bullish on radio, saying that radio broadcasters should not be content with flat revenues, or OK with missed goals as long as you’re beating your competitors. He went so far as to call naysayers who doubt radio’s viability “pathetic,” countering that radio’s competitive position has never been stronger, even on the verge of a potential industry renaissance.

But Field said radio needs to start acting like power house medium it is, rather than a “heavy weight medium that punches well below its weight class.”

Field challenged broadcasters to aim high every day and committed that the new entity of composed of CBS Radio and Entercom would be proud, confident and ready to help radio achieve its full potential through self-advocacy.