NAB, RAB Cancel 2020 Radio Show Set For Music City


Call it an “update.” Call it a scrub.

What’s clear is that the 2020 Radio Show, scheduled for Sept. 13-16 in Nashville, has become the latest large gathering to fall victim to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Official word regarding the convention came midday Wednesday (6/3) in a joint statement from RAB President/CEO Erica Farber and NAB President/CEO Gordon Smith.

“Just as you put your listeners’ interests first, your well being is our top priority,” they said. “With that in mind and considering the circumstances of the ongoing pandemic, we have decided not to move forward with the 2020 Radio Show in Nashville as previously scheduled for September 13-16. Instead, we will produce a digital event incorporating the best of what the Radio Show has to offer.”

This falls in line with the virtual staging of the 2020 NAB Show, in lieu of the Las Vegas conference that had been in the works for late April.

“Together with the Radio Show Steering Committee, we are committed to providing an alternative solution that will provide meaningful engagement, thought leadership, networking opportunities and insights to drive our industry forward,” Farber and Smith said.

Now, with IBC 2020 in Amsterdam already scrubbed, all eyes are on early 2021, with CES and NATPE Miami now the big events that could, or could not, be staged.

In their statement, the RAB and NAB leaders commended radio broadcasters for their dedication to serving local communities and advertisers “while enduring considerable hardship.”

Regarding what’s in store for a virtual Radio Show, the leaders said the annual event “is as much yours as it is ours,” and looked forward to industry input, collaboration and participation in developing the online event.

The dates of the virtual Radio Show are yet to be announced.

And, despite the disappointment in not returning to Nashville for the first time since 2016, the NAB and RAB confirmed its dates for the next two years:

The 2021 Radio Show is scheduled for Sept. 21-24 in New Orleans.

The 2022 Radio Show will make up for the nixed 2020 affair, with a return to Nashville planned for October 5-7.