Tips For Bigger, And Better, Thinking For Media’s C-Suite


What Every Radio Group Can Learn from These Big Thinkers​

Small but mighty is not just a cliché. Independent and small group broadcasters actually own the majority of stations in the U.S., competing against the major players for ratings and revenue in small, medium, and large markets every day across the country.

Like David facing Goliath, they can beat the bigger guy.

Large companies have the advantage of economy of scale to keep costs manageable and ensure high-quality talent reaches more audience. With more stations, they have a larger influence on buyers and agencies.

Smaller operators with local teams and hands-on management, however, can be more flexible and react more quickly to market demands. How do they leverage this advantage?

At Forecast 2019, we’ve gathered a unique panel of successful radio entrepreneurs, broadcasters who found their niche and then grew their footprint and reach, to discuss “Why Smaller Can Be Better — and More Profitable.”

What are their plans and strategies as they look to 2019 and beyond?

How do they maintain the level of talent and creative resources needed to compete?  How do they develop managers and sellers – and keep them?  What can they offer buyers and agencies to counter the national or regional resources of the major operators?  How important are local relationships and community involvement on increasing – or protecting – revenue streams?

There are lessons they can teach us all on running a successful operation, developing and keeping talent, and staying in the game against competitors the with deeper pockets in a world of new technology and platforms — lessons can that apply to every market.


Steve Newberry is the founder of Commonwealth Broadcasting, a radio broadcast group with facilities throughout his home state of Kentucky. He is currently the NAB’s EVP of Strategic Planning and Special Projects. Newberry is a past president of the Kentucky Broadcasters Association and a member of the organization’s Hall of Fame. He received the KBA’s prestigious Distinguished Kentuckian Award in 2009. As an NAB board member he served as Radio Board chair and NABPAC Chair and was twice elected chair of the NAB’s Joint Board, and he has also served on the board of BMI and been a member of the RAB executive committee.


​Gregory A Davis Sr. is CEO and president of Davis Broadcasting Inc., which has 10 stations in Columbus and Atlanta, Georgia. Davis began his 44-year broadcasting career in television, where he spent 12 years in marketing and sales management.Television broadcasting took him from Flint, Michigan to Detroit, where he joined the ABC Television national sales team, and finally to Cincinnati as GSM of Multimedia Broadcasting. Davis started Davis Broadcasting Inc. in June 1986, serving as CEO and GM while his wife, Cheryl Davis, assumed the OM duties. They have now worked side-by-side for 30 years with a shared corporate mission of public service. Davis Broadcasting Inc. serves the community through annual events such as the Needy Children’s Christmas Party and the Family Day Music Festival.

Randy D. Gravley is president and CEO of Tri-State Communications, Inc., which owns and operates radio stations in small markets north of Atlanta. Gravley got his start in radio as a part-time board operator while attending college and purchased his first radio station at the age of 25.  Gravley is currently serving his second term as chairman of the NAB Radio Board and as a NABPAC Trustee member. He is very passionate about the radio broadcasting industry and its future, saying, “We have a very good story to tell about radio.”  Gravley was inducted into the Georgia Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2016.

Shawn Neathery Marhefka, CFO of Ozark Radio Network, is a third-generation broadcast owner. She started her own career at an early age, recording her first spot at age 3 and giving live weather forecasts at age 5.  In the early 1990s, she and her husband, Tom, purchased KKDY-FM in her hometown of West Plains, Missouri, eventually building it into the Ozark Radio Network of six radio stations and Ozark Digital Marketing. Marhefka believes strongly in keeping alive the Ozark Radio Network’s 1947 founding mission of “Serving the Public.”  She has served on the boards of various civic organizations and currently is on the board of directors for the Ozarks Medical Center.

Forecast brings together the best and brightest talent in broadcasting and advertising to forecast the coming year, and to discuss the trends and momentums that will affect ratings and revenue.

From Washington to Wall Street, automobiles to mobile devices, Forecast focuses on what’s ahead in the broadcast community’s future and how to prepare for its opportunities and challenges.

This is the industry’s only forum that allows radio owners, CFOs, group executives, managers, and Wall Street analysts to gather for an open exchange on conditions and expectations for the coming year.

The conference concludes with the networking event of the year, the annual “Top 40” cocktail reception, honoring The 40 Most Powerful People in Radio.

Seating at the event is limited. You can save $200 if you register now at the discount early bird price. Click here.

A block of rooms have been secured at the Mansfield Hotel, directly across the street from the Harvard Club. Please click here to book your room today.


Forecast 2019
November 14, 2018
Harvard Club
New York