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Radio Show Takes a Turn in the Sun

Fall conference explores impact of voice AI, data trends, podcasting and dashboard apps

It’s time for the fall Radio Show in Orlando. Here are highlights and a session sampler. Several sessions feature musical performances as part of the BMI Songwriters Spotlight Series. Next year’s show will be in Dallas.

For the full program see


Student Scholars Kickoff Featuring Kevin Harlan (1:30 p.m.) — The Student Scholars Program offers college undergraduate and grad students registration scholarships to attend the Career Fair and a Student Scholars Orientation. They’ll get to meet with Westwood One’s Kevin Harlan, voice of “Monday Night Football.”

Suddenly Silent — Now What? (1:30 p.m.) — If your facility were to experience a catastrophic disruption, would you know what to do? Is there a plan for “a sudden loss of key personnel, the immediate loss or impairment of your facilities and production capability, a devastating reputational threat, the loss of a key partner or supplier?” Howard Price probably knows as much about emergency planning for broadcasters than anyone in the industry; he is principal of

Welcome and Orientation for First-Time Attendees (3 p.m.)

“Data U — A 101 on Data and What’s Ahead for Radio” (4 p.m.) — We noted earlier this year that the topic of data and analytics seems to have leapt suddenly into the consciousness of many radio executives. This is a two-part session during which show organizers promise to “take some of the mystery out of the term ‘data,’ demonstrate what tools are available for you and your stations and reveal the vast opportunities for radio and its clients.” RAB’s Erica Farber and NAB’s Steve Newberry will explore opportunities in analytics. The second part of the session will feature a discussion with CEOs Bob Pittman of iHeartMedia and David Field of Entercom, moderated by Stephanie Ruhle, NBC News correspondent. Entertainment by recording artist Cassadee Pope.

Opening Reception (5:15 p.m.) — Entertainment by the country group Soul Circus Cowboys.


Pillsbury’s Broadcast Finance 2018 (8:30 a.m.) — This session has the subtitle “Radio’s Debt Cloud Finally Lifts.” Scott Flick, a partner at Pillsbury, leads about radio’s economic outlook including prospects for media ownership deregulation and the extent to which debt reductions by major groups may affect investor interest. Speakers include Caroline Beasley of Beasley Media Group, Ginny Morris of Hubbard Radio, Dhruv Prasad of Townsquare Media and Marci Ryvicker of Wells Fargo Securities.

Coffee Break in the Marketplace (10 a.m.)

Exploring Radio’s Evolution to an All-Digital Technology (10:45 a.m.) — What role might all-digital FM HD Radio play in U.S. radio’s future? What lessons are being learned in the experimental operation of all-digital AM radio WWFD in Frederick, Md.? David Layer of NAB presents.

Radio Show Luncheon (11:45 a.m.) — Including the presentation of the NAB Radio Award to John David, and music by Lance Carpenter.

Discover How Voice AI Will Boost Your Revenue (1:30 p.m.) — Stas Tushinsky of Instreamatic says conversational computing has the potential to open up market opportunities where listeners can engage and interact with brands and products.

Enable Office Translator: Improving Your Intergenerational Communications (1:30 p.m.) — John Dimick, VP of Cumulus Media programming operations, moderates a panel that features a pair of multi-generational manager/employee tandems talking about interaction styles.

Reduce Radio Distribution Costs: Leverage Your IP Network (2:30 p.m.) — Speakers from NPR and GatesAir talk about how IP codec technology helped NPR’s Distribution Services create a reliable “first-mile” solution for radio distribution. “This session will cover the overall network topology with special focus on the technology that allowed this solution to leverage public IP networks to transport main and HD Radio signals along with associated meta-data and triggers.”

The Podcast Boom (4 p.m.) — Man, doesn’t it seem like every company suddenly has 15 podcasts? Of course the popular audio format is well into the second chapter of a story that dates back at least 15 years; but its proponents believe podcasting’s best days are still ahead of it. Norm Pattiz, chairman/CEO of PodcastOne, will moderate a panel with speakers from his company as well as iHeartMedia, Westwood One and Premiere Networks. Entertainment by recording artist Terry Sylvester.


Advertiser Breakfast (7:30 a.m) — Featuring Futurist and Chief Growth Officer of Publicis Groupe Rishad Tobaccowala.

Bringing Radio to Apps in the Car (9:45 a.m.) — Pilot has been exploring the possibilities of auto apps by participating in auto app hackathons and investigating a more in-depth development approach, “in part to make sure that these auto app spaces are as radio-friendly as possible.” This session talks about how apps work in the car and what broadcasters need to know. John Clark of Pilot and David Layer of NAB.

Will the Connected Car Revolutionize Radio? (10:30 a.m.) — By 2025, all new cars will be connected to the internet. Show organizers say the radio industry has a huge opportunity to transform itself and reinforce radio’s position as the most listened to format in the car. Speakers are from iHeartMedia, Ford and Gracenote in a conversation led by Radio World Managing Director of Content Paul McLane.

Career Fair (Noon to 3 p.m.) — Job seekers can register at using code “CF18” to obtain free entry to the Career Fair and Radio Show Exhibit Hall. Recruiters can obtain a booth for $200 by completing an online recruiter registration form. Recruiters receive EEO credit for participation.

Everything You Need to Know When Switching to a Station Automation System (1:30 p.m.) — WideOrbit’s William “Dub” Irvin says that with the end of the main studio rule, many stations and groups are thinking about upgrading or replacing their station automation software. What do you need to know?

FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly Discusses Radio Policy (1:30 p.m.) — As NAB describes it, “O’Rielly has worked tirelessly during his five years at the FCC to ensure that radio and other industries are not saddled with needless regulation and that the FCC decision-making processes are transparent.” Media ownership and pirate radio are likely to come up.

Alexa Let’s Listen to the Radio: Best Practices for Smart Speakers (3:15 p.m.) — In this session, several smart speakers — from NAB, Jacobs Media, Westwood One and Hubbard Interactive — explore what the power of voice is doing to the tech world.

Marketplace Happy Hour (4 to 5 p.m.)

NAB Marconi Radio Awards, Dinner & Show (7 p.m.) — Established in 1989, the awards are named after Nobel Prize winner and “Father of Wireless Telegraphy” Guglielmo Marconi. 


Making Magic for Consumers — How Disney’s Animal Kingdom Does It and You Can, Too (8:30 a.m.) — Produced by ABC Radio, this panel features several representatives of Disney who will talk about its Animal Kingdom theme park “to illustrate how ideas are conceived, designed, developed and delivered” and share lessons learned in their work that can apply to radio.


Where: Orlando, Fla.

When: Sept. 25–28

Who: Produced by the National Association of Broadcasters and Radio Advertising Bureau. “This year’s show brings radio broadcasters and industry colleagues together to share knowledge, discover the latest innovations, network with industry leaders and explore creative business strategies for the digital age.”


How Much: Members $499, others $824 for advance registration; see website for on-site rates and for discounts for groups, spouses, students and young professionals

Exhibit Hours: Wednesday 10 to 7, Thursday 9 to 5