The usual opening keynote for the NAB Show Broadcast Engineering and Information Technology Conference was anything but.
Instead of the efforts of one speaker, this year’s keynote address was a series of very short mini keynote speeches — delivered with a two-minute downtimer, visible to the audience — seeking to answer this question, “What is the biggest challenge or opportunity facing broadcasting today?”
Answering that question were past recipients of NAB Engineering Achievement awards. The answers were as variegated as the panel.
A few of the presenters suggested that radio needed to evolve into an all-digital medium.
The 2004 Radio Achievement recipient, Glynn Walden, suggested that radio needed to offer more choice and maintain “ear share” by going digital.
Benjamin Dawson of Hatfield and Dawson said that the allocation standards for broadcasting need to change, as the medium becomes more digital.
Others, like Tom King of Kintronic Labs, said that radio needed to be live, local, entertaining, engaging and free to survive in the future. He also said that the FCC should step up interference enforcement to help reduce noise across the spectrum.
Frank Foti of the Telos Alliance suggested that manufacturers needed to embrace digital technology in order to stay relevant. “We, as an industry, must always enable broadcasters to create amazing and engaging experiences for listeners and viewers.”