Last July, David Rehr made headlines with his now infamous Conclave comment: “I’d rather slit my throat than negotiate” with the music industry. The in-your-face lobbyist, then head of the National Assn. of Broadcasters, was responding to a question about proposed legislation that would require radio stations to pay a fee to artists and labels to air their music. This year, it’s the head of radio’s other advocacy group, Jeff Haley, president and CEO of the Radio Advertising Bureau, in the leadoff Conclave keynote position.
Don’t look for anything quite as inflammatory from Haley. His Friday morning (July 17) keynote will focus on radio’s position on the current audio programming canvas. Jeff’s one of radio’s most vocal proponents of platform-agnostic delivery, so expect a good portion of his speech to focus on opportunities for radio content in a digital and interactive world.
Right after Haley’s keynote, consultant Fred Jacobs will help plot a roadmap for radio’s digital future with the latest results from the annual Jacobs Media Tech Survey of rock listeners. The results are striking, Jacobs says, because they illustrate how tech habits are rapidly changing, how new technologies and gadgets are gaining in importance and how radio can participate in this revolution. An enormous piece of the digital revolution is mobile. Developers from Flycast, Kwingo and Localtone Interactive will present an overview of the mobile marketplace Friday afternoon. Sessions devoted to social networking and online video, fast becoming an important element not only for air talent but also the sales department, are also on the Conclave agenda.
Despite its “We Hear You” PR campaign, Arbitron continues to take body blows for alleged shortcomings in its PPM electronic measurement service, a topic likely to surface during the Ratings Roundup Thursday (July 16). The session is designed to bring attendees up to speed on radio’s changing ratings landscape with executives from Arbitron and Nielsen presenting programming tactics gleaned from the PPM that can be applied in all markets and how Nielsen’s new sticker diary service works. But it’s doubtful that Arbitron VP of research policy and communication Dr. Ed Cohen will escape the session without having to address the mounting criticism.
Corporate downsizings and payola compliance officers have changed the ways labels and radio interact, even as radio’s digital platforms have created additional outlets for the two industries to work together to expose artists. Top programmers and promo execs will discuss how the radio-label relationship has evolved in a session dubbed “No Hits Barred.” Later in a Friday afternoon keynote, Brian Jennings, former VP of talk programming for Citadel and author of “Censorship: The Threat to Silence Talk Radio,” will offer an historic view of the Fairness Doctrine and explain why equal time restrictions are unconstitutional.
I’ll be reporting on the action July 16-18 from the Conclave – as I have for more than a decade, for leading industry publications such as Radio & Records, Billboard Radio Monitor and FMQB. Visit Heine-Sight (http://paulheine.blogspot.com/) for the latest Conclave updates.