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This year’s NAB Show at the Las Vegas Convention Center is celebrating 100 years of innovation in the broadcast industry. In the weeks leading up to April 15-19, Radio Ink is talking with some of radio’s biggest innovators about what has them excited about NAB Show 2023.
Today we sit down with Steve Newberry, CEO of Quu, President of Commonwealth Broadcasting, and former NAB Joint Board Chairman and EVP for Industry Affairs and Strategic Planning.
Radio Ink: During your years at NAB, you worked on many past Shows. From an insider perspective, what advice do you have for any first-time attendees?
Don’t be overwhelmed. It is a huge show. But you will find your community, you’ll find the area of the vendors and exhibits and education programs that are most pertinent to what you’re wanting to accomplish. And the way to do that is to book some visits with your vendors beforehand and study the education components so you know which sessions you make sure you attend.
Radio Ink: So where will we find you in the Las Vegas Convention Center?
I always make sure that I’m at the opening session because that is the one that sets the tone for the industry. You will have the state of the industry session with comments from [NAB President] Curtis [LeGeyt] and you know there’s always a very forward-looking keynoter associated with that. I’ll do that, and then certainly anything that’s where the radio community gathers.
Radio Ink: Is there a topic you’re specifically seeking out this year?
I think for radio, it continues to be the evolution of our content and how we present our content. What do we do with Quu? What do we do with the technologies that are associated with visual displays? That’s certainly an important part of it, but it’s also all of the newer technology, the AI technology, the new opportunities that broadcasters have. Just seeing what technology is in the toolbox for radio stations going forward.
Radio Ink: You’re on the cover of our upcoming April issue for your work across the industry and with Quu, which is working on the next generation of car connectivity – what do you expect to see in terms of radio’s next steps in auto at NAB?
No, I think it continues to evolve, it continues to expand. Xperi’s Auto Stage is a great example of an expanding platform that we as broadcasters need to be prepared to take advantage of. But there’s also how easy is it for a broadcaster to even get into RDS and improve their basic service. I try to stay informed on all ends of the spectrum. I need to know what a simple configuration is for a station all the way up to the most state-of-the-art and how stations can be a part of any and all of those.
Radio Ink: Since the discontinuation of the NAB Radio Show, how important is it that radio broadcasters make the trip to Vegas?
It’s always been important for radio broadcasters to make the trip, and it’s even more so now. I always felt like the radio show, in and of itself, was a social recognition event, whereas the big show was more technological. Now you have the ability to accomplish all of that at one time. I think the NAB is working very hard to make sure radio has a place where the community can gather.
Radio Ink: So would you say connectivity is the true spirit of NAB?
I think connectivity and perspective. So, certainly connecting with fellow broadcasters and vendors and other companies that broadcasters work at is huge. But also staying abreast of the latest trends and educational opportunities. It’s not just looking at radio in isolation, but understanding how radio is part of broadcasting and broadcasting is part of a larger content delivery industry and how radio can fit in and accelerate through all those different opportunities.
Radio Ink: This NAB Show is all about celebrating 100 years of broadcasting – what do you think that NAB Show 2123 will look like?
Probably a lot more virtual. We may be able to travel there, but we probably won’t need an airplane. I think – I hope it’s still about people serving local communities with great content, regardless of what the technologies are. I hope broadcasting continues to serve its communities regardless of how we get the content, signal, or programming from point A to point B. I hope it’s all about service.
Radio Ink: Bonus question, what’s your favorite Vegas movie?
Radio Ink: The original or the remake?
The original one, actually. Sinatra and Dean and Peter Lawford and Sammy Davis.
For more with Steve Newberry, look for the print edition of Radio Ink out April 10.