Debut Event Is Right-Sized for Small and Medium Market Radio Broadcasters

It should come as no surprise that working in radio in Bangor, Maine, is a different game than operating a station in Los Angeles. Aside from the obvious geographic and cultural differences, market size plays a significant factor in how broadcasters make decisions that will ensure success and growth for years to come.

With that in mind, this year’s NAB Show will debut an event for radio broadcasters who work in the small and midsize markets to network with and learn from their colleagues.

“We’re excited to provide a new forum for education and collaboration for our radio members at NAB Show,” said NAB Executive Vice President of Industry Affairs Steve Newberry, who partnered with the committee to create the forum.

Scheduled for Sunday, April 7 from 2–5 p.m., the Small and Medium Market Radio Forum is an NAB member exclusive event that also requires pre-registration. If you’ve bought a registration package, this event is included gratis, but members can also reserve a spot for $199 via using code “SMMRF.”

The forum will kick off with a brief introduction from NAB Small/Medium Market Radio Committee Chair Julie Koehn.

“The needs of small and medium market stations are different than those in larger markets,” Koehn said.

Koehn has credibility on this subject. She is owner and president of Lenawee Broadcasting Co. in Adrian, Mich., located about an hour’s drive from Ann Arbor and 45 minutes from Toledo, Ohio. The town’s population is just shy of 21,000 according to 2017 data.

The event will dive into issues ranging from regulation to technology to creating new revenue streams. NAB Executive Vice President of Government Relations Curtis LeGeyt and General Counsel/Executive Vice President of Legal and Regulatory Affairs Rick Kaplan will provide expert updates, and Chief Technology Officer Sam Matheny will report on key technology news.

The forum will focus on practical issues broadcasters face daily, such as finding the right software to provide solutions (within your budget) and how to generate new revenue, whether from digital or other nontraditional streams, and best practices for recruiting both off-air and on-air talent.

“This program was specially created by NAB’s Small and Medium Market Radio Station Committee to address issues impacting radio and discuss solutions to advance the business,” Newberry said.

“NAB Show is a great space to inform smaller broadcasters of unique products, services and solutions,” Koehn said. Therefore, participants will also get insider tips for how to maximize their time on and off the show floor. The forum will highlight sessions, events and exhibits of particular interest to small and medium market radio pros.

“Radio owners and managers don’t often get the opportunity to meet with one another and share ideas. During the forum, we hope participants will openly discuss problems and concerns in this peer-to-peer setting and leave with many new ideas to implement,” said Koehn.

The schedule concludes with a 45-minute block for attendees to do just that. Broadcasters are encouraged to “come with one idea to share and leave with many to implement.”

Ultimately, Koehn said, “We want participants to leave being better broadcasters who can operate their stations more efficiently, and have a more comprehensive understanding of the innovations currently transforming the industry.”

Can’t make the forum this year? Don’t fret. The association plans to make it an annual event.