Radio World: Please explain what the Local Media Association is.
Nancy Cawley Lane: Local Media Association is an umbrella organization that brings together more than 2,500 newspapers, TV stations, radio stations, digital news sites and R&D partners for the purpose of collaborating, networking and learning. LMA is intensely focused on helping local media companies discover sustainable business models. We work in partnership with the other industry trade organizations that represent different portions of the local media ecosystem along with key partners, such as Google, Facebook and Amazon.
RW: Why should radio broadcasters be aware of your organization?
Lane: LMA is solely focused on future business models. Radio broadcasters are being disrupted like the rest of the local media ecosystem, so it’s important to engage with an organization that is future-focused. By joining forces with LMA and other media, radio executives will be exposed to new ideas, research and best practices. We are stronger together than apart.
RW: What trends or issues are top of mind for your membership in 2018?
Lane: Consumer revenue models, digital marketing services, OTT, podcasts and attracting top digital talent.
RW: How did LMA come to team up with the National Association of Broadcasters to host the Voice Summit? What do you hope to achieve?
Lane: NAB is a valued partner; this will be the third event that we have hosted together (OTT Summit and Video Summit). Voice is a natural topic for us to tackle. There is a lot of experimentation going on with podcasts, smart speakers, search and more. Our goal is to figure out the monetization strategies and learn what is working. I’m especially excited for the local media case studies featuring executives from Hubbard Radio, E.W. Scripps Co. and The Washington Post.
RW: Can you give us a preview of the event by sharing an example of how radio broadcasters have taken advantage of new voice platforms?
Lane: Radio broadcasters are doing great work with new voice platforms. NPR, iHeartRadio and Hubbard Radio are all ahead in this space. We’ll hear about their success with podcasts, smart speakers, apps and more.
RW: Who should attend the summit?
Lane: This summit is perfect for anyone charged with growing voice initiatives at their company. For large media companies, this could be the director of audio. For most, it will be the chief digital officer or VP of digital. Product directors will also find great value in attending this summit. We also have station GMs signed up for this event and sales managers. It really depends on the size of the company.
RW: Anything else readers should know?
Lane: We are about to embark on a new strategic plan at LMA. Our board and staff spent the last 14 months working on a strategy that would help local media companies go beyond discovering new business models to helping them vet, test and execute new business models. Soon we will be announcing the creation of a local media business model accelerator. We want and need radio broadcasters to be involved with this effort. Stay tuned for more details.