NYSBA Conference Tuesday Morning Panels

A full house greeted panelists speaking at Tuesday morning panels.  During breakfast, attendees viewed an action packed video prepared by the NY Army National Guard

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski opened the conference with a video greeting fromWashington DC.   

Dennis Wharton (NAB) moderated the first panel of the morning, Broadcaster’s Future, A Reporters PerspectiveIn a reversal of roles, he questioned Mike Malone (Deputy Editor Broadcasting and Cable Magazine), Harry Jessell (Publisher, TV Newscheck) and Frank Saxe (Managing Editor Inside Radio).   In a wide-ranging discussion, the panel focused on the state of the industry.

 Mr. Saxe outlined the particular challenges confronting the radio industry including the deployment of digital radio, radio chips in cell phones and potential problems with performance fees. 

Mr. Jessell discussed the importance of new technologies.  He expressed some doubt whether mobile DTV would be deployed in a timely manner.  The statement prompted several questions and statements from the audience. 

Mr. Malone noted how the rise of social media significantly changed not only the broadcast business, but also the way trade magazines report on the industry.  All of the panelists agreed that broadcasters must increasingly focus attention on the digital side of the business.

 Gary Kelly of the NY State Police and the coordinator of the Amber Alert program updated the audience on the successes of the New York Amber Alert program.  He thanked radio and television stations that have worked closely with law enforcement to ensure the success of the Amber Alert program.  This year the program has been expanded to cover “vulnerable persons.” .

Tension in the room mounted as John Taylor, Sr. VP LG electronicsUSA drew the name of the lucky winner to receive the LG/Zenith 47” 3D Cinema TV.  (3-D glasses included)  You had to be present to win, and no one responded to the first number that was called.  Ultimately, Jay Barton of WBNG-TV Binghamton had the lucky number.

The second panel, Future Technology and Media Platforms, focused on the development of new radio and television platforms.





Paul Brenner, CTO of Emmis Communications, discussed the new technical challenges confronting radio including, digital radio, new digital services and the ability of radio to provide video over digital platforms.  He noted that stations must begin to look beyond traditional radio broadcasting and develop their digital businesses.

John Taylor S.VP LG Electronics North America noted the development of new television technologies and the need for stations to take part in the technical standards setting process.  He stated that the Advance Television Systems Committee (ATSC) is where we develop new technologies and that broadc asters need to participate. On a separate note, Mr. Taylor observed that a number of LG cell phones have activated chips that can receive FM radio.  He suggested that all parties work together to find some common ground.

 iBiquity’s Sr. VP Joe D’Angelo reported on the status of digital radio.  He discussed a number of advantages of deploying digital radio.  In addition, Mr. D’Angelo noted that there has been a steady increase in the availability of digital radio.  He noted that radio must now compete with other technologies for space on the automobile dashboard.

Anne Schelle, CEO of the Open Mobile Video Coalition, provided an in-depth analysis of the deployment of mobile video in the United States.  She described the results of a number of tests, including technical and marketing tests conducted in Washington DC.  For example, she noted that mobile TV was complimentary to traditional television models.  For example, data showed that the “prime-time” for mobile TV occurred during the day, not during the evening.  She disagreed with earlier skepticism about the roll out of mobile TV and noted that the television industry was moving forward.  Ms. Schelle stated that local stations need to become more involved in the development of new television technologies.

Sporting a holster (without the gun), Jack Myers of the Myers Business Report described his vision of the industry in his key note, “Managing (and Living) on the Other Side of the Digital Tipping Point.”   In an information-packed address, Mr. Myers outlined the eight major tipping points leading to the new digital age. 

He shared his views on the transformational resulting from the development of the Internet and the mind-altering advances that interconnectivity will lead to over the next few decades.

He noted that as Internet speeds accelerate exponentially over the next few years, online and mobile video viewing will become the norm, although traditional televisionnetwork programming will continue to dominate the viewing experience. All media will require applications and interactive two-way options for social interaction, commerce, and content enhancements. Marketers will require strategists, creative teams and media experts who are truly immersed in the digital world and who understand the challenges of digital marketing.

 For several years NYSBA has sponsored a “Digital Incubator” program.  The purpose of the program is to introduce new technologies to radio and television stations.  We enter into arrangements with a number of different new technologies and services, and offer radio and television stations the ability to use these technologies, for a limited time period. In effect, we give stations an opportunity to enjoy a risk-free trial run of the technology and service. If stations like the new technology or service, then individual stations can work directly with the new technologies or service.  This year OnRoute’s BreadKrum is one of the new technologies we are exploring.  Shane Bogardus co founder of BreadKrum explained the new technology and how it can help stations.

 Advertising and new digital advertising strategies were debated during the panel titled “Advertising’s Future: Across All Platforms.”   Moderated by NYSBA’s own Dick Novik, the panel featured Steve Lanzano (CEO TVB), Erica Farber (CEO RAB) and Gordon Borrell (Borrell and Associates).
  The panel focused on the importance of digital advertising to broadcasting’s future.  Gordon Borrell noted that broadcasters must move forward with greater digital sales.  In this respect, the television industry had made some progress.  He urged that radio and television stations develop a separate broadcast and digital sales staffs.

 Steve Lanzano noted that contrary to some predictions, television was not dead and that there was still a great distance between television and digital sales.  Nonetheless, he recognized that digital sales was an important growth area for stations.  In one of here first appearances and the new RAB chief, Erica Faber noted that radio sales remain solid.  She recognized the growing importance of digital sales as an important area for growth in radio.  The panel triggered a number of questions from the audience regarding digital sales.

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