What I saw and learned at Annual 4A’s conference was excellent and lived up to their theme of ‘Digital changes everything’ but if you snooze you lose. Put your thinking helmet on it is time to do battle. Time to take it to the streets.
Digital changes everything – We all are into the buzz word but the key to making digital work is three words I have been saying for 25 years – ‘Content is King.’ Your Presentation of your content is the pair of Aces needed in this digital poker play. If you have both you win if you snooze you lose. There is very little room for print in today’s forward moving digital word that is why I put to rest all of RBR/TVBR print publications. You will not survive by analog alone. TV is preparing for the digital age faster than Radio. Key to be competitive in 2009 – Develop a clean user friendly website.
Magazine/Print – On the exhibit floor were many in the biz still pushing print exhibiting and sitting at their booths with all their print pubs. Guess what, nobody was picking up this crap to take home. I didn’t even see any of these trades on the floor in the men’s room library. Bell captains were still dropping trades, AdAge, TVWeek etc at my room door. I tossed them and felt sorry for the maid who had to carry this trash away. Shook my head on the chumps that bought ad space in those trades, the advertisers would have been better off printing their ads on the TP in the rooms at least that way they would have an ROI. Attendees were not reading print they were on their hand devices.
Digital means embracing technology – Question, ‘Would you give up for 1 week your cell phone, blackberry, iPhone or any device used to communicate? I didn’t think so. To prove this point re-read the overview learned at 4As, Everything is changing Digital; Example was YouTube, brought up two years ago. Who had heard of the company? Out of 1,000 media executives only 12 raised their hands.
Digital reality check – Consumers habits at work, yep they do shopping, viewing, listening in the work space, get over it and now use it to your advantage. The agencies are figuring ways to capitalize on this with short eight to ten second bites. Radio has a better opportunity here with audio and I’m not talking a stream of your on-air. Develop new in-office formats with cross-platform brands. Do not sell spots I encourage stations to sell sponsorships (more on this later). Stations are going to need to have focused selling/marketing teams. Again review Nancy Hill, Marc Goldstein open AAAAs.
Who’s prepared for digital – For 2009 is when our radio and television media business will change dramatically. The 4A’s conference is one of the most important to attend because this is where the ideas and ad money is.
Television – Credit to TVB’s Chris Rohrs, the staff and the key executives on the various committees leading the TVB. Two years ago Rohrs and key committee members instituted their annual committee meetings in conjunction with the 4A’s conference. They meet the day before to outline their goals then they attack the issues collectively by interfacing with all the ad agency executives. They speak with one voice. Rohr’s is not shy as he stated what is working now, what TV needs to do now to accomplish by 2009 and what TV is doing to accomplish the digital goals when analog is turned off. TVB has done an excellent job for their members and not waiting for 2010 or 2020.
Who was there: From TVB – Chris Rohrs, Abby Auerbach, Gary Belis, Susan Cuccinello, Hope Etheridge, Janice Garjian, Carrie Hart, Jack Poor, Peter Schmid, Joe Tirinato, Claire Walter and David Friedman.
Gary Belis, spokesman for TVB told RBR/TVBR – "We were very proud of the television broadcast community’s show of force. We put boots on the ground in Orlando."
TV executives – TVB’s Sales Advisory Committee chairman Scott Heath, GSM, KSWB-TV, San Diego and National Sales Advisory Committee chairman Val Napolitano, President & CEO, Petry Television.
Among other key TVB members were:
Jim Beloyianis, Katz Media Group
Craig Broitman, Millennium Sales
Frank Comerford, WNBC-TV
Charlie Compagnone, KXAS-TV
John DeWan, Telerep
David Duncan, WGCL-TV
Michelle Harper, WTVD-TV
Scott Heath, KSWB-TV
Roger Hess, WTNH-TV
Michael Hugger, Eagle TV Sales
Tom Kane, CBS
Paul Karpowicz, Meredith Broadcasting
Kathleen Keefe, Hearst-Argyle TV
Mike Kelly, Lin TV
Bill LeBlanc, NBC TV
Leo MacCourtney, Katz Media Group
Julio Marenghi, CBS Station Sales,
Jeff Miller, KPTM-TM
Jim Monahan, Telerep
Pete Monfre, WISN-TM
Ed Munson, Lin TV
Mike Murri, WXYZ-TM
Val Napolitano, Petry TV
Debra O’Connell, ABC TV Sales
Thom Porterfield, KTNV-TV
Nathan Price, News/Press & Gazette
Bill Shaw, WGN-TV
Robert Sliva, EW Scripps
Larry Strumwasser, MMT Sales
Jim Sullivan, CBS Sales
Marion Taormina, WNBC-TV
John Thorne, Continental Sales
Nick Ulmer, WAVE-TV
Jeffrey Walkes, WJAR-TV
John Watkins, ABC TV Sales
Jane Williams, Cox TV
Each of these executives worked for the best interest for Television and the TVB.
Radio – Trying for the past four years for RAB to do same as TVB by getting top radio groups to attend and interact with these top agency executives. I get calls from CEO’s after the conference is over and they always say, "Yep I have to do this next year." It has yet to happen and again snooze you lose. But I will congratulate these radio execs that were there working, learning and representing the radio medium.
Shelia Kirby, Interep
Bob McCurdy, Clear Channel Radio Sales
Mary Bennett, Renee Cassis, Wendy Frech, Jeff Haley from RAB
David Field, CEO Entercom
Pierre Bouvard and Thom Mocarsky, Arbitron
Jim Carnegie, Publisher/Editor RBR.com/TVBR.com and Carl Marcucci, Sr. Editor RBR.com/TVBR.com covered this conference on behalf of all our readers and members world wide.
If you have a comment drop me mail at [email protected] or I encourage to post it below.