What happens in Vegas is broadcasting’s takeaway from Vegas


Clark-SmidtMy first Las Vegas NAB was in 1972.  Naturally, I ran into Group W’s big boss Marv Shapiro and quickly offered the disclaimer of being on vacation and not on the company dime.  Amazement from that first look at the new Trinitron has been surpassed in light years by 4x and 8x HDTV.  Technology now connects a few thousand dollar home or remote studio to anywhere in the world on virtually every channel.  HD TV is hot.  HD Radio, right now, is not.  Lots of promo talk but few show stoppers.  Is this the Content Cross Roads or Confusing Cross Hairs?  What is the financial answer to Digital Evolution?

We go to movies in much the same way as our Grandparents did.  Today, we have incredible picture, effects, sound, nice seating and refreshments….but, it’s still going to the movies.  Great shows bounce the box office.  Bad ones close quickly.  It’s still all about content.

While broadcasters are in the content business, paying the bills remains essential.  So, is the magic key to digital new money?  We now have excellent delivery but what’s being delivered?  And, that’s the value proposition:  Content remains king of our Game of Thrones, Boardwalk Empires and Vote for Me.  The audience still gets turned on by the right stuff and advertisers follow.  How, where, when we see and hear it offers options, except when there’s weak product and “nuttin’ honey.”  That’s sad.

Perhaps, this was the best convention, yet:  Enormous but Intimate, Huge Variety but Specific Focus, and More Positive Communication than ever before.  Accessibility to the Broadcast Heads of State was unprecedented. I asked Hubbard Chairman Stanley Hubbard * what broadcasters should be focused on.  The immediate replay was “Exactly what we’re doing, serving the public.”

Erwin Krasnow, Esq., Dean of Broadcast Attorneys, sees new potential through changing regulations.  RAIN makers Kurt Hanson and John Gehron keep followers ahead of the curve spotlighting virtual opportunities.  Nielsen’s Farshad Family and Company bring a new era to audio measurement.  Iconic inventor Bob Orban keeps introducing newer and better ways to strengthen audio.


Radio is in the spotlight with the leadership of NAB CEO Gordon Smith and RAB CEO Erica Farber’s compelling message. Representatives from every sized market and company shared ideas.  Hopefully, it’s the start of Radio’s Renaissance, leaving the recent Dark Ages in the dust.  From small market operators and journalists to major company game changers the passion for new growth is on the rise.  Advanced Communication by Beasley’s VP Denyse Mesnik, state of the art technology explained by Nor’easters Steve Vanni & Bill Gould and State Broadcast organizations, Jordan Walton & Anne Everitt from both Massachusetts & New Hampshire, are catalysts for moving forward.

Strong, connecting content will revitalize radio influence and income.  Strategic synergy, positive political messaging, stimulating Boomer Dollars with today’s Millennial style and the frequency of “short, sponsored local info hits” creates an excellent new story.  Wired or wireless, broadcasters bring credibility that’s good for business and our country.

–Clark Smidt has been a hands-on broadcaster since 1966.  His focus is ascertainment and practical application to add audience and service that sells. He most recently launched New Hampshire 1 news service for Binnie Media.


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