Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now


Proclaim 17 Heads for Warmer Weather in Orlando

National Religious Broadcasters’ annual convention and exhibition switches location

Proclaim 17, the National Religious Broadcasters’ annual convention and exhibition, will be held Feb. 27–March 2 at the Orlando World Center Marriott in Orlando, Fla. The exposition will open Feb. 28 at 10 a.m.

“We thought attendees would enjoy the change of venue, accessibility of theme parks and the feel of something new,” NRB President/CEO Dr. Jerry A. Johnson wrote in an email explaining the decision hold the show in Orlando.

The convention had been held in Nashville, Tenn., from 2008–2016, and NRB says the convention will return to Music City for Proclaim 18.

A Proclaim 2016 attendee poses with a robot in Nashville.

Johnson highlighted the events that bookend Proclaim 17: “We begin early Monday morning with Sean Hannity and finish on Thursday night hearing from the pastor of the fastest-growing church in the world.”

The Proclaim 17 conference tracks are divided into seven categories: the Digital Media Summit, Radio Summit, TV Summit, Church Media Summit, Great Commission Summit, and Film & Entertainment Summit and Pastors Track.

Radio Summit sessions will be held Feb. 28 and March 2, exploring how to build bridges between stations and local churches, how the connected car will impact the listening habits, how to engage audiences through social media and more.

Session titles include “Why Listen?” presented by Finney Media President Chuck Finney; “The Taylor Swift Effect: How to Make Super Fans for Life” presented by Z88.3 Promotions Director Carol Baker Ellingson; the “A Movement, Not Just a Moment” panel featuring WDCX(FM) General Manager Brett Larson and Salem Media Group Senior Vice President of National Ministries Ron Walters; “You’re Not (Just) in the Radio Business Anymore” presented by Jacobs Media President Fred Jacobs; and “Christian Radio’s On-Air Tone: How A Kinder Sound Is Your Difference Maker” presented by social researcher, author and speaker Shaunti Feldhahn.

Proclaim 17 will be held the Orlando World Center Marriott.
Courtesy Marriott International, Inc.

Another session is “Radio Regulatory Framework in the Trump Administration,” featuring Hardy, Carey, Chautin & Balkin Managing Partner Joseph C. Chautin, III; Wilkinson, Barker & Knauer Partner David Oxenford; and moderator Advocace Senior Consultant for Research Paul Virts.

Chautin and Oxenford will tell attendees what they expect from the Ajig Pai-era FCC, covering issues ranging from implications of the administration change and a Republican majority, EEO online recruiting petition for rulemaking, radio online public file transition, FM translators, AM revitalization, noncommercial fundraising petition, removal of public comments from public file rule and SoundExchange station recordkeeping for noncom educational stations.

Also relevant to radio broadcasters may be sessions in the Digital Media Summit, which Johnson said “will be committed entirely to social media, Facebook, YouTube, blogging, podcasting, and other new forms of media.”

Its sessions include “Building Your Facebook Community: Tips, Tools, & Best Practices,” “The Marketer’s Blind Spot,” “How Digital Media Drove the Largest, One Day, Live Event,” “Podcasting and Effective Content Marketing,” “Getting Real About Digital Marketing” and “The Sure Way to Fail in a Digital World.”

Plus, “The Pastors Track will equip pastors with tools to get into radio, TV, web streaming, blogging and podcasting. It will also inspire them with a celebration of Martin Luther, the Reformation and the biblical truths that were distinctive to the movement, which was launched 500 years ago this year,” Johnson wrote.

If You Go

Who: The National Religious Broadcasters organization sponsors an annual international Christian media convention and exposition.

When: Feb. 27–March 2

Where: Orlando World Center Marriott, Orlando, Fla.


How Much:NRB members $600, non-members $700, first-times $400, day passes $300, expo-only pass $25; rates increase by $100 after Feb. 22


Many broadcasters anticipate a shift in tone and practice at the Federal Communications Commission under a Republican administration.

Upon the announcement of Ajit Pai as the new FCC chairman, Johnson described Pai as “winsome, fair and an expert in the field.” He said the new chairman “is also a tried and true friend of First Amendment freedom.”

Pai has addressed the convention before but is not slated to speak this year. In fact, no politicians or policymakers are on the schedule as speakers, a change from the 2016 conference, which featured a debate between Sen. Ted Cruz and Dr. Ben Carson.


A sampling of companies that will be represented on the show floor. The full list can be found

A-ware Software


Aberdeen Broadcast Services


Barbizon Lighting Co.




Bott Radio


Broadcast Electronics


Broadcast Software International


Broadcasters General Store


Christian FM Radio Networks


Comrex Corp.


ENCO Systems Inc.


Galcom International




Liftable Media




OMB America


Podfly Productions


Pro Podcast Solutions




RF Specialties Group




Shively Labs


Spreaker Inc.


StreamStation, Inc.




Johnson told Radio World that “FCC Chairman Ajit Pai understands broadcaster concerns and he is sensitive to issues that face many religious broadcasting ministries. I’m confident in his fairness and in his firm dedication to First Amendment freedom. We at NRB are looking forward to working with him on issues of liberty and electronic media in the months ahead.”

The association’s websitenrb.orglists policy priorities as federal election communications protections, internet freedom, performance tax opposition and spectrum rights. Johnson indicated NRB’s top broadcast policy concerns in 2017 are much the same as they were during the Obama administration.

“NRB is committed to defending principles of religious freedom and free speech on-air and online, and we’re particularly mindful of any attempts to censor communications based on dangerously nebulous and biased ‘hate speech’ allegations,” he said.

“Recognizing the importance of nonprofit ministries that produce or project religious content, we are also watchful in defense of sensible donor privacy concerns and in hopes of advancing efforts that could allow such broadcasting ministries to better partner with other charitable groups to meet significant community needs. We will, of course, continue our efforts to stand against a new performance tax on radio and to stand for religious TV ministries in the wrapup of the spectrum auction and any other relevant legislative or regulatory proceedings that arise.”

Additionally, Johnson said that NRB, which recently moved its main office to Washington from northern Virginia, has “increased our footprint on Capitol Hill. Our headquarters’ proximity to the Capitol, the White House and the FCC increases our visibility with decision-makers, as well as other influencers and media outlets in the city. When people seek to defend their freedoms of speech, religion and the press, I want them to know that NRB is here and ready to work with them.”