RAB and NAB detail new, closer relationship


Having announced a joint convention, “The Radio Show produced by RAB and NAB” this fall in Washington, DC, the National Association of Broadcasters and Radio Advertising Bureau are emphasizing that the new relationship is not about a once a year event, but to speak as one industry all year long.

“Beyond that show, what really made this happen was a commitment from both organizations to really think about a 12-month calendar of communications and events where the industry could be one industry when we speak,” said RAB President and CEO Jeff Haley in a telephone press conference.

NAB Joint board Chairman Steve Newberry agreed that redefining the relationship between the two organizations was one driver for the single Radio Show. “The other reality is that we have an industry that is saying very clearly be productive and efficient with our time and our dollars,” said Newberry, CEO of Commonwealth Broadcasting Corporation. He is, by the way, active in RAB as well as NAB.

The Radio show September 29-October 1 is not a co-located, show, they emphasized, but a single event. RAB and NAB members will pay the same registration price and be able to attend any sessions they chose. Asked about the revenue split, Haley said “we’re partners” and that’s already been worked out, but the details are proprietary.

Expectations are for attendance in the “low thousands.” The exact location has not yet been named, but Newberry and Haley indicated that negotiations are aimed at holding the Radio Show in a large hotel, not the DC Convention Center.

Newberry encouraged radio groups to schedule management meetings in conjunction with the fall Radio Show, which should be an even more appealing idea now that the NAB and RAB events are combined. “We will extend logistical support and do everything we can to make that as easy as possible,” he said. But even for companies who don’t want to do that, Newberry said that the joint RAB-NAB event will have a broad spectrum of offerings that should make it possible to justify sending employees to the Radio Show.

So, we asked, why not combine everything with the spring NAB Show in Las Vegas into a single, even bigger convention?

“I think that we had looked at that in the past. There is a sense from within the radio constituency that we want to have a strong presence in Las Vegas, but that there is a real desire that radio is highlighted outside that week in April. That we have time when radio can get its message across and that the industry is strong enough it warrants having a unique event, or events, in the course of the year,” Newberry answered.