We’re Back from Austin! — Our NAB Radio Report

Last week, six UNI Digital Media students and Professor Torre had a great time at the NAB Radio Show in Austin, Texas, where we heard from leaders in the radio industry, and even the FCC chairman. When not in conference sessions, we enjoyed spending time in downtown Austin, taking in the local culture of Tex-Mex food and live music.

NAB RadioWe attended sessions on a variety of topics and issues facing the radio industry today and going into the future. One of the sessions was titled The New Digital Remote, presented by Second Street Marketing, a company that creates digital content for radio stations.

Session panelists included Tucker Young and Tim Hall, senior sales and program directors at Bryan Broadcasting and Radio One respectively. Representing Second Street was Emily Thousand, and Affiliate Success manager.

Digital Media Leadership major Nick Langel attended this session and said, “What I found was most intriguing about this session was advertising digitally through online quizzes and using different formats of media. They discussed the idea of not using radio just as radio, but also as digital.”

NAB RadioSeveral students attended a session on Content Cross Training that covered taking radio from beyond on-air and into the digital space. Taylor Lien, a Digital Media Leadership and English major, attended this session and observed, “It was fascinating the way that an older form of media has found a way to bridge the gap between radio, which is a more traditional form of media, and social media in 2017.” She learned from the session that the radio industry is using social media as a way to extend an on-air personality’s branding beyond just what is on the air.

Growing Your Talent, Growing Your Revenue was a session presented by the radio industry trade group Mentoring Inspiring Women in Radio. The session focused on breaking the glass ceiling in radio, and the ways in which women are able to move into executive leadership positions. The panel was composed of a group of high-powered female executives in the radio industry who had a lot to say to young professionals.

Marielle Gaiser-Gonzalez a senior Digital Media Production student got a lot of inspiration for a future career in the industry, noting that, “The women on the panel have persuaded managers in their companies to have faith in their employees, and allow them to work at their capabilities without micromanaging.”

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“A lot of these women had a recurring theme: be bold!” Gaiser-Gonzalez said. “Riding the fine line between confident and cocky is a delicate balance, but with the right attitude and a fair mentality, breaking the convention and becoming an innovator is imperative for each new generation starting in the industry.”

One session, Communicating Across Generation, Gender and Culture dealt less with the radio industry directly, and more with public, and human relations that come with working in the business. Clara Tosi, a double major Digital Media Leadership and Production found this topic an unexpected choice.

“I found the inclusion of this topic to be thought-provoking, since I have studied about this throughout my education, and I wonder if this is something that people in the industry are just now starting to think about.” This Communicating Across… session explored the possibilities of radio station apps on devices on smart TVs, car connections, smart speakers, and many more.

NAB RadioChase Danielson, a Digital Media Production major attended a session titled, Apps: Beyond the Smartphone: “I was enthralled by this topic because I never really thought about how many smart devices are all around us, and how radio stations can get themselves onto many of them. Some people in the industry think that these smart devices are “killing radio” but some of these smart devices might actually be the key to saving radio, by bringing radio back into the home via smart televisions and smart speakers.”

Jaelyn Hogue, a senior Digital Media Production major had this to say about the Radio Show and other opportunities given to students. “I thought going to the NAB Radio show was a great opportunity to learn about different job experiences. I didn’t really know what I wanted to do after graduation, but now I have a better idea about my different options. In the sessions I learned that finding your dream job takes time and effort along with growth. I am ready to experience the radio industry for all it has to offer.”

Paul Torre, a professor in Digital Media Leadership, noted that, “the NAB Radio Show is one of many opportunities offered at the University of Northern Iowa, where students can learn about media industry best practices and network with professionals in a wide array of media fields.”

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We are all grateful to the Iowa Broadcasters Association for making this trip possible! Trips like these are a great opportunity for students to gain professional perspective before getting into the workplace. Watch here for a highlights video of our trip very soon!

-Taylor Lien and the 2017 Radio Show Team

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