Tuesday, September 26, 2006

"Content that people are interested in watching is always valuable, no matter how the delivery technology changes." John Malone

"In the twenty-first century, change is discontinuous, abrupt, seditious...In this new age, a company that is evolving slowly is already on its way to extinction." Gary Hamel

Data exhibit courtesy Edison Media Research.

Words of wisdom from Messrs Malone and Hamel.

If you have not yet reviewed the Edison Media Research findings on 12-34 listening please do so; read the first installment of the findings here

Mixed reviews on the co-located NAB and R&R events of last week. David Rehr, John David and Erica Farber each deserve praise for intent. The attendance should prompt a serious discussion. Why were so many sessions attended by so few? The low session attendance should, at once, serve as a significant embarrassment and a wake-up call. My sense is the format of panels filled with talking heads is shopworn. What's missing? Involvement and active participation, learning and practical take away should become key measures of performance. NAB and R&R should study what's happening at events like BloggerCon, Foo Camp, et al - meetings using the so-called "unconference" model, a gathering of like-minded professionals creating a unique series of interactive discussions in real time. My suggestion is the "sage from the stage" format is, perhaps, no longer able to attract a sizable audience.

Then again. Let us stipulate that Rick Cummings and his planning group delivered a strong agenda with strong presenters and give Erica's planning team the same benefit. So if it was not the agenda, nor the format of the sessions, not the star studded panels, what was the problem? If there actually were 3,000 in attendance, as reported, the only reasonable conclusion is the majority in attendance elected not to attend those well planned sessions. Why? (Hint: it was the almost perfect captive audience, the north Texas summer temps slimming the prospects of any outside diversions)

The Marconi Awards dinner said to have attracted about 850 to 1,000 may have been the single biggest draw of the combined events.

As to the total attendance. Perhaps it is time to consider several regional events rather than the single annual fall meet. And in addition to a change in number of events, we also need to consider a change of format. Did you attend the NAB or R&R? Your thoughts are welcome.

Beasley gets it: Here's a wonderful opportunity for the forward thinking leader. Beasley is looking for a Director of Internet/Digital Sales. Smart, very smart. The exec will lead internet sales teams located at each of the company's ten markets. Have always had a high regard for George, his family, his team and his outfit. This latest news simply serves to confirm what is already widely known - Beasley gets it.

Thank you very much: My thanks to the many who extended to me the precious gift of their time during the show. To mention a few - more to come - Kirk Stirland, Bobby Rich, Robert Michelson, Stephen Baldacci, Gary Lee, Denise Oliver, Sherman Kizart, Danno Wolkoff, Todd Fowler, Michael Fischer, Jo Interrante, Bob Hamilton, Marv Dyson, Brad Bedford, Dick Rakovan, Ed Salamon, Alex Gould, Dan Mason, Jim Bohannon, Drew Horowitz, Jerry Bobo, Zemira Jones, J.D. Freeman, Ginny Morris and Jeffrey Myers.

Best dressed by a landslide: Marv Dyson

On the run:
Folks seen for the first time in too long included Jay Meyers, Clark Smidt, JT Anderton, Chet Tart, Barry Drake, Bill Lytle, Jaye Albright, the legendary Frank Boyle (looking GREAT Frank!) and the award winning (long overdue and very well deserved as EVERYONE agrees) programming ace Mark Edwards.

One word: Sparky (again, he owned another show).

Food as performance art: Avner Samuel is a rock star chef. His Dallas restaurant, Aurora, is that most rare of gems, a truly wonderful experience. Our dinner party during the Dallas trip might best be characterized as the perfect illustration of unforgettable food porn. John David Ishmael did an outstanding job conducting the amazing virtuoso performances at our table. If you have but one night in Dallas get thyself to one of the very few tables at this remarkable place (which masquerades as your friendly neighborhood Turtle Creek five star restaurant but it is so much more).

Thank you NASBA. My sincere thanks to the state association chief executives who allowed me the honor of presenting during their closed session. A very bright and engaging bunch!