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NAB Exhibitor Viewpoint: Chuck Kelly, Nautel

The move to the North Hall is good for radio exhibitors

The spring NAB Show is approaching. Between now and then Radio World will conduct several short Q&As with manufacturers about their plans and offerings, to help you get the most out of the big annual trade show. Chuck Kelly is director of sales for Nautel.

Radio World: How has business been for the company since last year’s NAB Show?
Chuck Kelly: Business is robust for Nautel, we believe driven by the increasing cost of electricity and the industry-leading efficiency of our newest AM and FM transmitters. Customers also tell us that they like the savings they get when including the Orban Inside audio processor in our FM transmitters.

RW: What are you hearing from your customers about their business outlook this year? In what areas should we expect growth or the most interesting projects?
Kelly: It looks like this will be a good year for political advertising revenue, and studies show that radio continues to dominate daily media consumption, particularly in mobile environments.

RW: You’ve been active in the transmitter market for a long time — what’s the biggest problem or challenge facing users in this segment right now?
Kelly: We continue to hear the theme of “do more with less.” Every year our industry asks more and more from broadcast engineers, and I’m always amazed at the creativity and determination shown in addressing the challenge. At Nautel we spend a lot of time thinking about these issues as well. How can advanced technologies be harnessed to create simple solutions that address the real world problems without adding extra work and complexity for engineers? We’re currently increasing the size of our design teams so that we can continue to bring new solutions to our broadcast customers and make sure our existing customers are getting the best support we can deliver.

RW: What new goodies will your company be showing? Why should attendees visit your booth?
Kelly: We’re very proud of the HD performance and innovative reputation that many customers have come to associate with Nautel. Our HD PowerBoost and the HD Efficiency Optimizer continues to offer customers the highest HD Radio performance and efficiency available today. We’ll be extending the power range of our digital FM and AM transmitters. We’ll also be talking about HD SFN’s, Nautel’s continued work on all-digital radio concepts and some very interesting demonstrations that Radio World readers will need to wait until opening hours at the show to learn about.

RW: What do you anticipate will be the most significant technology trend at the 2016 NAB Show?
Kelly: It’s got to be the continued innovative ways that customers and manufacturers are applying IP to make traditional broadcast solutions do more for broadcast engineers and hopefully simplify their broadcast chain.

RW: If you are in the North Hall, How do you like the new hall/floor layout?
Kelly: I think the move back to the North Hall is very good for radio. It tends to be a much more spacious open area that will make the show floor experience much better for attendees.

RW: Tell us about the NUG.
Kelly: In the past 20+ years, the Nautel User Group annual meeting on the Sunday morning before the NAB Show has grown to become a “can’t miss” event, with over 400+ attendees expected. It’s a fun, fast moving mix of hands-on information, detailed technical information from the Nautel engineers, as well as other companies in the radio/TV transmission field, and an opportunity to meet some of the best broadcast engineers in the industry from around the world, and it’s all topped off by an excellent lunch sponsored by Nautel. We’ve moved to the Flamingo this year, which is easily accessed via the Las Vegas Monorail system. Visit the Nautel website,, to register.

RW: How has IP technology affected your company (if they have relevant products/services)?
Kelly: IP has been a fundamental driver in how we offer transmission technology and how we help customers control and support their transmitters. We’ve now installed more than 6000 AUI-capable transmitters … That is vastly more IP-capable intelligent transmitters than any other vendor. We are going to continue investing in control, transport and self-diagnostic technologies like PhoneHome; we see even more potential for these technologies to reduce the complexity at the transmitter site and improve the operational experience for broadcast engineers and IT managers.

RW: Social media is the new marketing frontier these days. Is it affecting the way your company does marketing/business?
Kelly: Our philosophy is to talk to customers where and how they prefer. We want to be accessible but also very respectful. While we are very actively communicating on social media, we are very sensitive to the fact that many customers want social sites to be where they connect with colleagues, family and friends. It’s not necessarily where they want to get bombarded with vendor messages. We’re very conscious not to overcommunicate and you probably won’t see Nautel advertisements on Facebook anytime soon … trust, respect and long term relationships are a big part of our Nautel values.

NAB Show Booth: N2522

Radio World invites you to register for a free NAB Show Exhibits-Only pass using our VIP code: LV9443.

To see more show Q&As visit our NAB Show 2016 Web page.