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Here’s a Taste of What Austin Has in Store

A highlight sampler for this month’s Radio Show in the Lone Star State

September brings the fall Radio Show to Austin, Texas Below are highlights and a sampler of sessions; for the full program and for session times, see

Courtesy Geoff Duncan of Visit Austin


Let’s Put This in Gear — Three industry experts will discuss radio’s outlook in the digital dash at a late afternoon session called “The Connected Car Listener Experience.”

Scott Deaver is executive vice president and chief marketing officer for Avis Budget Group. Joe D’Angelo is senior vice president of broadcast radio for Xperi Inc. And John Ellis is founder and managing director for Ellis & Associates; as global technologist of Ford’s connected car business unit, he was involved in developing its connected car+cloud service and SmartDeviceLink, an API system for integrating mobile into the car.

Welcome, Y’All — The conference kicks off with an opening reception in the Marriott’s Lone Star Ballroom featuring music of funk-rock-blues band The Peterson Brothers.


Ready for a New Deal? — Radio executives and financial experts talk about business and regulatory changes in a fast-moving business environment in the breakfast session “Pillsbury’s Broadcast Finance 2017: Is Radio Ready for a New Deal?” Opening remarks by J. Davis Hebert, director of high yield media cable and telecom research at Wells Fargo Securities.

Attendees talk about career path advancement stories at the 2016 conference.
Credit: © NAB

Hot Talk — Is the main studio rule dead? What will “media rule modernization” really look like? And what are we gonna do with all these FM translators? “Radio Regulation Under the FCC” is the subject when NAB’s Larry Walke hosts Mike Cooney of Beasley, Peter Doyle of the Media Bureau and J. Scott Enright of Emmis.

Warm Welcome for Chairman Pai — It’s likely to be a full and hearty room when FCC Chairman Ajit Pai keynotes the Radio Luncheon.

Already popular with commercial radio broadcasters for his attention to issues like AM revitalization and pirate radio, Pai has found even more favor since taking up the chairman’s gavel, thanks to his interest in easing or killing what he deems unnecessary burdensome regulations. Asked to grade Pai’s tenure so far, new NAB Radio Board Chair Randy Gravley responded with an A+.

Pai has a history of using the fall show to make notable radio announcements. Some have speculated he’ll lay out next steps for AM technical rule changes.

David Field of Entercom will be honored on Wednesday.

Oh, Not Much, Just a Little Pending Merger … — Receiving the National Radio Award will be David Field, president and chief executive officer of Entercom Communications Corp. What might he talk about? In case you missed it, his company announced a little merger this year with CBS Radio that will make it the second-largest U.S. radio broadcaster.

“Since the industry’s partial deregulation in the mid-1990s, Entercom has grown from 15 stations with roughly $35 million in revenues into one of the industry’s largest and consistently best-performing companies,” NAB stated. “Post-merger, Entercom will have over 240 stations and roughly $1.6 billion in revenues.”

Before his Entercom career, Field was an investment banker at Goldman, Sachs & Co. in New York.

Alexa, I Like This Song … — Doesn’t it seem just months ago that most radio people truly started paying attention to voice-control platforms like Amazon Echo, Google Home, Microsoft Cortana and Apple HomePod?

Oh wait, it was only months ago. Skip Pizzi of NAB moderates a panel on “Radio and Voice-Control, Living Together” that includes speakers from Beasley Broadcast Group, XAPPmedia and Futuri Media. In a separate session on the Innovation Stage, Steven Radley of iHeart Radio will discuss optimizing for voice platforms.

The Fred and Steve Show — Jacobs Media/Jacapps President Fred Jacobs and Amplifi Media Founder/CEO Steven Goldstein will participate in a two-part afternoon session about “Radio’s New Strategies and New Platforms.”

First, Jacobs will reveal findings from an NAB study about connected cars and discuss strategies. Goldstein will then lay out seven strategies for success in podcasting. Also featuring podcaster Kirk Minihane of Entercom’s WEEI(FM). Robert Earl Keen will entertain.

Those Guys With Six Rotors — Matthew Clark of Hogan Lovells, John Kean of Cavell Mertz and Sam Wallington of K Love Air 1 will talk about “Drones: Applications and Implications for Radio” in a half-hour chat on the Innovation Stage in the Marketplace exhibit area.


Repack, Reschmack! — Nah, seriously, the TV repack will have consequences for many radio stations, so a morning session on the Innovation Stage in the exhibit area explores this. Look for “The Repack’s Impact on Radio” on the agenda. Opening remarks are by Holly Saurer, associate bureau chief of the FCC Media Bureau. Speakers are from NAB, Cox Media Group and American Tower.

Tech Talk — The National Radio Systems Committee holds three subcommittee meetings in the afternoon: AFAB, RBDS and DRB.

Get a Job — The NAB Education Foundation, in partnership with the Broadcast Education Association, will host a three-hour Career Fair Thursday afternoon. Suitable for industry veterans as well as entry-level job seekers hoping to network with radio companies. Job seekers can register at using code CF17 to obtain free entry to the Career Fair and show exhibits. Recruiters receive EEO credit for participation.

Recipients of the Marconi Award pose in 2016.
Credit: © NAB

Rickey Doesn’t Stick to the Script — The NAB Marconi Radio Awards Dinner and Show will be hosted by host Rickey Smiley, heard in 60 markets and syndicated by Reach Media Inc., part of Urban One. Announcing this, NAB Executive Vice President of Radio John David said, “Rickey Smiley doesn’t stick to the script, so we’re not sure what he’ll do as host, but be assured that it will be very, very funny.”

The Marconis are given to stations and air personalities to recognize excellence in radio. For example, finalists for Network/Syndicated Personality of the Year are Kim Komando; Elvis Duran; Raul Molina, Sylvia del Valle and Andres Maldonado; Sean Hannity; and Smiley himself.

Take Us Back to Tulsa — Country band Asleep at the Wheel will perform at the Marconis. Ray Benson founded the group in Paw Paw, W.Va., in 1970; it is now based in Austin, and recently put out its third full-length Bob Wills tribute album.


Beyond Camp Rock — Singer/songwriter/actress Demi Lovato headlines this year’s Music & Mimosas event, traditionally held on the show’s last morning. The Grammy nominated and multi-platinum singer is an advocate for mental health and a Time 100 honoree. Entertainment will include My Jerusalem, Temecula Road and Drake White.