NAB: Who Goes, Who Stays Home

Are you going to NAB? Why or why not? We picked names from our lists of readers and suppliers and called to ask. Here's an unscientific sampling.
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Are you going to NAB? Why or why not? We picked names from our lists of readers and suppliers and called to ask. Here's an unscientific sampling.

"Ah, no," said Scott Stevens, operations manager for Cumulus Broadcasting in Van Buren, Ark., when asked if he'll attend, although he said he'd like to.

"If anyone goes from the Fort Smith area, it's probably our general manager Del Williams." Stevens learns about equipment through catalogs sent to the station.

Also not attending is Integrity Media Chief Engineer Dave Wooten in Albany, Ore.

"We're a small-market station, and NAB is not in the budget." He learns about equipment from friends who attend and by reading Radio World.

Pete Schartel, president of KCXL(AM) in Liberty, Mo., is the station's technical expert as well. He has attended for 10 years but is considering not going this year.

"I honestly didn't see a whole lot from the seminars that intrigued me, things I couldn't live without."

Supplier Joe Klinger is the "JK" in J.K. Audio. He'll be exhibiting.

"I'm not really sure what to expect from this year's show," he said. "We're excited about the three new products that we're putting out, so we're really kind of biased towards showing up, despite whatever the expectations of attendance are."

Regional staff

Radio's biggest group is Clear Channel. As reported elsewhere in this issue, senior vice president for engineering services Jeff Littlejohn will be there with a group.

"We've probably got 20 or 30 people we're sending this year," he said. "It's going to be lighter than past years. ... We've got our engineering organized as a corporate staff that's regionally based, and those regionally-based engineers will all be at that meeting. But the chief engineers and that sort of thing won't be at that meeting."

Paul Cameron is executive director and general manager for several Christian radio stations in Appleton, Wis. He normally attends the National Religious Broadcasters convention rather than NAB and won't be in Las Vegas.

Steve Denemark is planning to launch an LPFM station in Quincy, Ill., and will attend.

"There are a few manufacturers who are there I need to talk to," he said. "I need to get the whole package together for low-power FM, transmitter manufacturers, tower, the basic stuff."

Aaron Read, staff engineer with Broadcast Signal Lab, can't afford to go on his own dime and anyway he's "too busy at work and (there's) not enough value since my focus is on non-commercial."

However, his boss David Maxson expects to be there "due to his deep involvement with the data services side of IBOC/digital radio."

Busy schedule

Conrad Trautmann, senior vice president of engineering for Westwood One, says NAB is an "excellent opportunity" to meet with vendors and customers. He'll be in Las Vegas.

"I am on the SBE Board and Executive Committee, plus chairman of the Finance Committee and on a few other committees; so it's important for me to attend. SBE holds its board meeting at the NAB." Trautmann says his appointment calendar gets pretty booked up before he even gets to the show.

"I plan to learn what I can about the latest technology and how it may apply to our operations at Westwood One and Metro Traffic."

All the cluster chief engineers for Greater Media will be there, according to Milford Smith, vice president of engineering.

"The opportunities available to become more conversant with new technologies - especially in this the 'year of HD Radio rollout' - get hands-on orientation to new products and renew and improve our relationships with both equipment vendors and fellow broadcast engineers are simply too valuable to pass up."

Smith is a big fan of the convention.

"I don't believe there another forum in the world, let alone the U.S., where broadcast professionals, especially technical broadcast professionals, can profit more from attendance than at the annual NAB convention. I have never left a show without bringing home knowledge and ideas that were immediately valuable to our company's ongoing technical operation."

And Mark Humphrey, chief engineer for Radio One stations WPLY(FM)/WPHI(FM) in Philadelphia, said, "Yes, I will be there, along with the CEs from most of Radio One's other markets."

He plans to spend a day in meetings and workshops with company management and engineers; participate in the SBE Board Meeting; walk the show floor; attend a few engineering papers; and talk with key vendors over dinner.

"I'll be taking pictures and notes, too, for an 'NAB Review' presentation at our local SBE chapter meeting in late April."

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