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TAB Event Attracts Beyond Lone Star State

Highlights include radio’s foray into smart-home technology, regulatory changes and ever-present AM revitalization

Note that this version was edited on Aug. 1 to reflect changes in the TAB speaker schedule.

When it comes to over-the-top broadcast trade shows, the NAB’s annual event in Las Vegas wins hands down. Conventional wisdom holds that if you can’t find it at NAB Show, you’re probably far better off without it. That said, some find the scale of the event to be a bit intimidating, and getting any amount of face time with the exhibitors can be difficult.

Photos by Mike Wenglar

Wayne Pecena shares his IT knowledge during a 2016 session.

And that’s where state and regional trade shows enter the picture. The smaller setting and relaxed atmosphere is more conducive to focus on the sessions and to find opportunities for complete conversations with the vendors.

It should be no surprise that the Texas Association of Broadcasters hosts the largest state broadcast association convention in the nation. RW spoke with TAB President Oscar Rodriguez about what to expect at this year’s gathering.

According to Rodriguez, the event will host around 1,300 attendees, including station owners, managers, engineers and sales executives. He adds that there is a growing out-of-state contingent.

“We don’t track numbers, but we’re seeing a larger number of registrations from outside Texas, particularly among engineers. Many are with groups who have stations in the state,” said Rodriguez.

The one-and-a-half-day event will take place Aug. 9 and 10 at the Renaissance Austin Hotel, and will feature 40 sessions and 45 speakers divided among three tracks: engineering, management, and sales and marketing. “We pack a lot into a day and a half,” said Rodriguez. “It’s pretty intense and fast-paced, but people tend to enjoy it.”

Wendell Mayes Jr.

Brian Purdy


Among the sessions of interest to radio is “Putting Amazon’s Alexa to Work for Your Station.” Robert Meisse, president and general manager of Mid-State Multimedia Group in Mansfield, Ohio, will share his stations as a case study for employing Amazon’s Echo and Alexa devices to serve viewers and listeners. Meisse will explain how to do it, what it costs and how it’s helping this local broadcaster bring their programming to the latest in-home and in-car media platforms.

“It’s Your Turn Now: Radio’s Transition to all Online Public File” will explain the steps that radio stations in markets 51+ need take to be ready for the new all-online era. The session will be hosted by legal counsel Scott Flick.

Patrick McFadden, associate general counsel at the National Association of Broadcasters; Martyn Horspool at GatesAir; and Dielectric’s Jay Martin will co-host “Navigating the Spectrum Repack.” Radio and TV stations alike must prepare for the biggest technical challenge of this century. This session will bring attendees up to speed on the latest in this still-unfolding plan, and what it means for coordinating with other stations, the wireless industry, vendors, engineers and, of course, securing federal reimbursements for related costs.

The session “Next Steps for AM Revitalization” will be led by Rick Greenhut and Gregg Skall. With initial work on AM revitalization already underway, learn what’s next and what might be possible, from transferring AM daytimers to translators, to possibly going all-digital and beyond.

For sales executives, there’s “Why do Clients Buy From Us?” Pat Bryson looks at the motivations buyers have for advertising on stations. This session examines the “buy cycle” of the buyer, as well as how to recognize what part of the cycle prospects are in, and how to move them through the marketing channel to reach a positive conclusion.


What: Texas Association of Broadcasters 64th Annual Convention & Trade Show

Where: Renaissance Austin Hotel

When: Aug. 9––10

How Much: $115 for TAB members for full conference. See website for exhibits-only, educational and other packages.


The trade show portion of the event will include 124 vendors — read the full list in the sidebar.

The event will wind down with the awards gala, which includes presentations of Texas broadcasting’s leadership honors.

“They have helped shape 21st Century Texas by practicing lifesaving journalism, holding public officials accountable, inspiring future leaders and enhancing the technology infrastructure that undergirds all that radio and TV stations do. Each has earned the respect and admiration of legions of fellow broadcasters, community leaders and everyday Texans,” said Rodriguez.

Wendell Mayes, Jr. will be recognized with the association’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Bob White of Corpus Christi has been chosen as the TAB Pioneer of the Year. Brian Purdy of CBS Radio Dallas has been selected as Broadcaster of the Year. Errol Coker of KHCB Radio Network was named George Marti Award for Engineering Excellence. Dan Sessler of RF Specialties was also tapped as Associate of the Year.

Rodriguez emphasizes the advantages a state show — like TAB’s — has over larger conventions.

“Because this is a smaller event, there are greater opportunities for meaningful interactions with session presenters and vendors. We have organized the event so that the trade show is the central focus, and we try and make it easy for people to do everything that they need to. We also keep it affordable for members.”

He adds that the member registration fee for the full conference is $115; the early bird discount period closed in June.

A testament to the popularity of TAB’s annual Convention and Trade Show comes from the many attendees, who have requested that a third day be added.

“It wasn’t something we had been thinking about,” said Rodriguez. “But now that the suggestion has been made, we’ll be giving it serious consideration.”


These are TAB exhibitors as of press time; see on-site program materials for full final list.

360 Systems Inc.
Accelerated Media Technologies Inc.
AccuWeather Inc.
AJA Video Systems
Alive Telecommunications Inc.
Beck TV
Bitcentral Inc.
Broadcast Electronics / Commotion
Broadcast Pix
Broadcast Supply Worldwide (BSW)
Broadcast Works
Broadcasters General Store
Burst Communications Inc.
Cineo Lighting
Cobalt Digital Inc.
Comrex Corporation
Continental Electronics Corporation
Dalet Digital Media Systems USA Inc.
DeSisti Lighting

Dialight Corporation
Dielectric LLC
Digital Resources Inc.
DoubleRadius Inc.
DPA Microphones
ENCO Systems
ERI — Electronics Research Inc.
Florical Systems
Frontline Communications
Fujifilm North America Corporation, Optical Devices Division
G&D North America Inc.
GBS — Giesler Broadcasting Supply Inc.
Grass Valley, a Belden Brand
Harmonic Inc.
Heartland Video Systems
Hitachi Kokusai Electric Comark
ikan Corporation
Ikegami Electronics
Imagine Communications
JAMPRO Antennas Inc.
Joseph Electronics
Lectrosonics, Inc.
LiveU Inc.
Lubbock Audio Visual Inc.
Marshall Electronics

Middle Atlantic Products Inc.
Miller Camera Support LLC
Mobile Power
Myat Inc.
Nemal Electronics Intl. Inc.
Octopus Newsroom Americas Inc.
Omega Broadcast Group
Orbital Media Networks Inc. (OMNi)
Osee Americas Ltd.
Pebble Broadcast Systems
Persistent Systems LLC
Precision Camera and Video
RF Specialties of Texas
Riedel Communications Inc.
Rio Steel & Tower Ltd.
Rohde & Schwarz USA Inc.
Ross Video Limited
RTS Intercom Systems
Sabre Industries
SAM — Snell Advanced Media
Satellite Engineering Group
Sencore Inc.
Shively Labs
Software Generation Limited
Solid State Logic
Sony Electronics Inc.
SWIT Electronics USA LLC
Telescript West Inc.
Texas Media Systems
Texas State Networks
Tieline Technology
TitanTV Inc
TM Television
Total Channel Media Inc.
Triveni Digital Inc.
TVU Networks
Utah Scientific Inc.
Vizrt Inc.
Weather Metrics
Wheatstone Corporation