NAB Radio Show Takeaways


A snapshot of the epic AT&T “Batman Building” taken during a stroll down Second Street and Broadway, downtown Nashville.

If there’s any group of individuals who can put together a show, you can definitely count on radio broadcasters to create an award worthy event. Music City, better known as Nashville, Tennessee was host to the Radio Show produced by the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) and the Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB). Hundreds of advertisers, radio professionals, students, and vendors converged at the Omni Hotel in Downtown Nashville, right next door to the Country Music Hall of Fame. Over 20 information packed seminars, a dozen live entertainment events, and nearly 100 vendors filled the agenda across only 4 days. As a Young Professional attendee, here are my top 10 takeaways from the 2016 Radio Show:

  1. “Embrace the rulebook, but focus on the product”, was preached by Ralph Cipolla of Cumulus Media. This stand-out one liner served as a message to radio programmers and on-air personalities to remain truly connected to the core audience and not allow the product to get lost in an endless sea of PPM metric manipulations.
  2. Many were eager to learn and connect with some of the industry’s top professionals during an invite only”S’mores and Storytelling” event around the fire pit overlooking the downtown skyline. During this intimate event, on-air radio legend Dawson McCalister shared his approach to his syndicated show by reminding radio personalities to shift the focus off themselves, instead work to be a daily service to the listener who depends on radio and its personalities for an escape from the grind of life.
  3. Young Professionals were able to take advantage of many exclusive seminars including: “Moving Up: Leadership Skills for Young Professionals”. During this information session, attendees were warned that it’s not an easy task moving up in today’s multi-media world. One speaker advised young professionals to “march forward and remain positive” despite challenges, disappointments, and setbacks that will likely arise along the way. The panel also encouraged radio’s young generation to make sure they align themselves with great leaders who inspire them to improve. Beware of bad managers, instead strive to work with proven leaders when given the opportunity.
  4. In the upper management realm, there was a seminar on revenue generation and cost containment, which provided an excellent peep into the daily realities of operating a radio station/group from reputable General Mangers and Market Managers in the United States. Fellow leaders were urged by the panelists to physically review payable contracts annually, aggressively chase digital dollars, and handle personnel changes with extreme care and caution.
  5. Speaking of digital, there were many sessions surrounding social media and its power to serve as an extension to any radio brand. When dealing with digital in house it’s important to remember the 4 P’s of Digital 
    People…staff dedicated to digital.
    Process…what tools do you use.
    Policy …is there a digital policy for programming and sales. are you distributing digital content.
  6. Digital sales: ‘NO proposal leaves the radio station, without a digital buy in attached to it’, is the brilliant policy in place at Cromwell Radio Group. The digital mandate to account executives works to ensure that the group increases its share of digital revenue year to year at a satisfactory pace.
  7. Lori Lewis, social media guru with Cumulus Media explained how to use social media to show listeners that they are the BEST part of the brand by creating “holy crap” moments for the audience! Lori recommends that stations regularly monitor their tweets, monitor event tweets before, after and during events (look out for retweet opportunities and fish for ways to surprise people on site, just by monitoring tweets).
  8. “Creating Your Brand Empire” was an exciting conversation hosted by Cumulus Media Senior Vice President of Programming, Mike McVay. Teachable moments were high during this session, with a mission to show attendees the importance of cutting through the clutter and standing out in the crowded marketplace. One panelists advised that Radio needs to constantly look ahead the game because its audience is now fragmented across multiple media.
  9. “Feeding Quarter Hour” session hosted by top radio consultant Randy Lane was packed with easy to execute advice to help personalities and programmers make the most of every quarter hour and to ensure that they are doing everything in their creative powers to move the listener from one quarter hour to the next. Randy Lane emphasized the art of effective teasing to on-air talent and show producers. Randy’s stand out tip about teasing is that every tease should be written, have a plan and be SPECIFIC. He warned against generic teases like “entertainment news is coming up in 10 mins.” The best rule of thumb for radio/tv teases: Use the the 80-20 rule. 80 percent of the content in the tease, leave out 20 percent (the bait and switch designed to keep the listener around for the next quarter hour).
  10. Stephanie Ramierz introduced several creative sponsorship opportunities that are often overlooked when handling video content. Beyond pre-roll sponsorships, video endorsements from influencers (as known as radio personalities) are becoming poplar and profitable for client brands.

The relationships that were formed and information gained at the Radio Show created a career experience that I’ll remember for a long time or at least until we meet again in Austin, Texas next year. For video highlights from the Radio Show or to find out more information regarding the upcoming Radio Show visit The Radio Show Web. Thanks for taking the time to read this blog entry, my hope is that it has enriched you in some way.

By: Chris Malone


About Chris Malone radio

Over 15 year Radio and Digital Consultant, Major Market Program Director, On-Air Personality (Urban AC, Urban Hip Hop, Smooth Jazz & Rhythmic format background). Additionally, Promotions Coordinator, TV News Audio Engineer and Commercial Voice-Over Artist. Sounds like a lot? It is!! A lot of fun and I wouldn't have it any other way. This is the blog space for broadcast media's best kept secret, Chris Malone. Enjoy!

Posted on October 4, 2016, in Music, Radio and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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