These days, that’s a good question. That’s because more and more broadcasters are realizing that we’re in the media content business and not just “doing radio.” But the attachment to towers and transmitters is is a hard one to break, as is the long-held notion that “We’re in the radio business.”
As analog moves full-scale into digital, traditional media outlets are grappling with their missions and the nomenclature they use to describe them.
That’s why we’ve devoted an entire session at Summit 15 (December 9th in Baltimore) to tackling this issue with some of the best and brightest media mavens.
Bonneville-owned WTOP is a case in point. It is a monster in the D.C. market and the primary voice for many movers, shakers, and real folks in the nation’s capital area who need news and perspective when they want it. Led by their Senior Regional VP, Joel Oxley, and operations whiz Jim Farley, WTOP decided early this year to drop the “R-word” from its media definition. In the process, they made headlines in all the radio trades, generating lots of board room discussions.
WTOP is radio in the traditional sense, but it is so much more. The station’s web and digital content is its future, and Joel Oxley will be one of the key players on this panel. We’ll hear directly from him the thought process behind their decision – and what it means to you.
In addition, we also have Michael Yoch, NPR’s Senior Director of Product Development. Like WTOP, NPR went through its own branding change in 2010. No longer called “National Public Radio,” one of the nation’s most credible news, information, and entertainment outlets is now just known as NPR.
NPR has played the digital game exceptionally well, and has amped up its efforts during the past couple of years with the addition of Kinsey Wilson to its management team. As you may recall, NPR has led the way in podcasting, while being one of the first media outlets to develop a dynamic app for the iPad. We are looking forward to hearing Michael's views and window into the NPR world.
And to round out our panel, none other than the Radio Advertising Bureau’s CEO, Jeff Haley, to provide us with the perspective that only comes from interfacing with sales and management teams from all over the U.S., markets big and small. Jeff is on the front lines of the debates and conversations about the marriage of old and new media. And he will talk about monetizing, packaging, and platforms as part of our panel discussion.
This is a conversation that is long overdue in radio, and where else but the Summit for it to take place. These last few years have presented unique challenges to our business, and this is yet another area that requires difficult, smart decision-making.
Crovitz talks about the Beatles/iTunes marriage, seeing the music business as a “test case” for the transition from analog to digital. He notes that the Beatles have launched tech-orientedl initiatives before, including their Rock Band videogame. And he firmly believes that the key to success in the digital age is providing consumers with more choice and when and where they wish to enjoy their content.
And here’s Crovitz's key quote – the one that should get you thinking and is part of the impetus for our “What IS Radio?” panel at Summit 15:
“If the music industry can learn new tricks, there’s hope for all the other industries that are being transformed as technology continues to give consumers more choices. The best alternative for smart industries is to take the advice of the Beatles song 'Let It Be' – make the most of technological progress, and recognize that certain things are beyond anyone’s control.”
It’s about new tricks and we've got panelists who are walking that walk. We’ll get the conversation going in a big room filled with engaged media professionals next week.
There’s still time to be a part of it, while furthering your career and bettering your company. Join us for a couple of days of learning in Baltimore at the Summit and Arbitron’s famous Client Conference. Click here to register.
See you at The Summit.