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The Fall Radio Show Is No More

NAB, RAB pull the plug, will integrate annual event with spring show

Radio Show 2019, Stephanie Ruhle, Mary Berner, David Field, Bob Pittman
In 2019, leaders from major radio groups discussed the state of the industry at the Radio Show. From left: Moderator Stephanie Ruhle of NBC News. Mary Berner, president and CEO, Cumulus Media; David Field, president and CEO, Entercom; Bob Pittman, chairman and CEO, iHeartMedia. Photo: Paul McLane.

There will be no more fall Radio Show conventions.

The National Association of Broadcasters and the Radio Advertising Bureau have announced that beginning in April, the fall Radio Show, which has been a staple of the U.S. commercial radio industry for decades, will be integrated into the NAB Show.

“This change provides more opportunities in one location for radio professionals and elevates radio in the larger media ecosystem represented at NAB Show,” NAB stated.

“The integrated event in Las Vegas will feature signature awards, networking events and a comprehensive conference program, including popular sales and marketing sessions presented by the Radio Advertising Bureau.”

The organizations had already planned a temporary integration of sorts for this year’s show, when they planned to collocate the Radio Show with the rescheduled NAB Show. But both ultimately were canceled because of the ongoing health crisis.

As to whether the name Radio Show will go away and how future registration might work, NAB Senior VP of Communications Ann Marie Cumming told Radio World, “We are fully integrating Radio Show into NAB Show to provide more opportunities in one place for the audio community to access all that NAB Show offers – technology, networking and world class education content. We’re still determining the details around registration package options and hope to have more details soon.”

It turns out that the final in-person fall Radio Show was in Dallas in 2019. A virtual version was held last year. The pre-pandemic schedule had called for the show to be in Nashville in 2020, New Orleans and 2021 and Nashville again in 2022. Cities that have hosted the event in the recent past also include Philadelphia, Orlando, Indianapolis, Chicago and Washington.

The Radio Show in recent years drew about 2,100 reported attendees. Its agenda traditionally emphasized radio management and sales content, though there was always a technical component and exhibit floor. In recent years the event has been held in hotel conference settings rather than larger convention venues.

Longtimers will also recall that in the 1990s the show was part of an umbrella event called the World Media Expo that also encompassed SBE and SMPTE conferences.

NAB also announced that the presentation of the 2021 NAB Marconi Radio Awards and the State of the Industry Address by NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith will take place virtually on Nov. 10.

This will be Smith’s final State of the Industry address; he steps down at the end of the year, to be succeeded by Curtis LeGeyt.