What’s new

Radio Ink’s Countdown To NAB Show 2024: Quu’s Steve Newberry

Apr 5, 2024 | Commentary, News

Radio Ink is counting down to NAB Show 2024 at the Las Vegas Convention Center by having conversations with some of radio’s biggest innovators in the weeks leading up to April 13-17.

Today we talk 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: With all the focus the AM for Every Vehicle Act has put on AM’s place in the dashboard, do you see a general sense of increased interest in radio’s overall dashboard presence? Will we see any of that at NAB Show?

Steve Newberry: I think there’s definitely an increased interest in the presence. I’m not sure how much of it is related to the AM radio issue; I think that’s more of a public safety issue than anything. But I do believe that radio has recognized that with all the competition that is evolving, Spotify, CarPlay, Android, Pandora, SiriusXM – any of these different companies that are out there – radio has to put our best foot forward. We can’t just stand back.

Because of growing screen real estate, whether it was because of the backup cameras or because of the entertainment systems, radio has a much stronger opportunity to look good and to present. I think the industry is really putting an emphasis on that right now.

Radio Ink: At NAB Show, you’re going to be leading a panel at the Small and Medium Market Radio Forum on Saturday dealing with radio’s economic outlook. We’ve heard plenty about “economic headwinds” from all the largest broadcasters in their earnings report. How do you see that outlook shifting as you get into smaller markets?

Steve Newberry: Small markets historically depend on the consumer confidence level. Raleigh Johnson, who’s a great broadcaster, used to talk about how his company focuses on Main Street, not Wall Street. That’s a pretty good statement for how the economics work as well.

If the general consumer confidence is high, if the stock market’s in pretty good shape, and if people feel like they’re able to pay their bills, then they start spending money at their local retailers and those local retailers feel like things are better in their advertising. Coming out of COVID when we saw that spike in consumer prices, especially grocery prices, consumer confidence took a real hit. And so radio in general, small and large markets took a real hit.

But I have seen in smaller markets, as I’ve talked to broadcasters across the country, that it’s not a utopia and people are having to be smarter and work harder. But we’re not just dependent on national business. It’s more, “Can you go out and find a solution to help bring customers in the front door of a local retailer with an effective advertising plan on the local radio station?” Yeah, we can do that. And we make that happen every day. And I think that the optimism in small markets is really good right now because of that.

Radio Ink: So outside of that SMMRF panel, what other sessions are on your radar this year?

Steve Newberry: It’s not as much for me sessions this year as much as is the technology. Being involved with Quu, I want to see what delivery platforms there are, where are people listening to radio, and what screen opportunities are there on those devices. Whether it’s in-car, out-of-car, in-home, mobile, or whatever it might be, I want to make sure that we are creating a path for broadcasters to look good, regardless of what delivery platform they may be on.

Radio Ink: You’re back on Radio Ink‘s Top 20 Leaders list for 2024 after gracing the cover of that edition last year. What’s the best mindset or path to follow for radio’s current leaders and aspiring leaders headed to the NAB Show?

Steve Newberry: Think about your future in 2024 and 2025 and your particular place in the industry, whether it’s at a station or as a service provider. Think about what your objective is and then find what sessions will help you accomplish those goals. If you’re in sales, if you’re in programming, if you’re in technology, if you’re in digital, if you’re in video, whatever you might be doing, you’re going to find content that will help you be successful. It’s going to be at the NAB Show. So know what you’re going for.

For my first few NAB Shows, I was like Gomer Pyle in the big city. It was me just roaming around, hoping to get my bearings. The technology and the ability of NAB to help attendees zero in on what’s most beneficial for them is much better. So plan your show, think about what you want to do and enjoy. Get ready for some eye-opening experiences.

Radio Ink: And I know there’s going to be plenty of leaders at Cocktails and Conversation coming up on that Sunday. What are you looking forward to most about this year’s event?

Steve Newberry: I love seeing folks in the industry. The whole point of that event is to give the radio community a place where they can pretty much be guaranteed that they’ll find folks that they know, they can make dinner plans for later in the week, or say, “Let’s go look at this piece of technology,” or “can you stop by our suite,” or “can you stop by our booth?” It’s just a great opportunity to get people together for the most effective show.

Radio Ink: Of course, before the show, Quu has a webinar planned for the 2024 In-Vehicle Visuals Report. It’s a first-of-its-kind study that’s certainly worth checking out before getting on the plane to Vegas.

Steve Newberry: Well, I hope it’s information that people find helpful to inform them and educate them before they get to NAB. But it’s a very comprehensive report. There’s a lot of information about the 100 bestselling vehicles and the trends that we’re seeing in the industry – both the good news and the challenges that are presented.

This will be a database not just for our clients, but for the industry as a whole. Somebody needed to provide that baseline. As I’ve told people, I think I’ve looked at more radio dashboards than anybody else in America in the past couple of years. So it felt like, okay, we’ll do that. So yes, that is coming up on Wednesday, and I hope everybody will join us.

Share This Post

Latest News

QUU Releases Inaugural 2024 “In-Vehicle Visuals Report”

Real Data on Radio’s Place in America’s 100 Top-Selling New Vehicles Features a Dashboard Scoreboard, Six Key Findings, and Recommendations from Fred Jacobs, Paul Jacobs, Joe D'Angelo, and Mike McVay   Washington D.C. — 4/9/24 — Quu Inc., the trusted industry...

The InFOCUS Podcast: Steve Newberry

Listen to the Infocus Podcast at RBR »By Adam Jacobson March 5, 2024 Making radio a more visual media has been the talk of the industry since CES 2024, and with the 2024 NAB Show coming in just weeks, that conversation continues with QUU CEO Steve Newberry. At QUU,...

Radio Returns To CES 2024 For ‘Cocktails and Conversation’

Read the original story from Radio Ink.  Radio and audio leaders gathered at the Capitol Grille in Las Vegas for what has become an annual CES tradition: Cocktails and Conversation, hosted by Jacobs Media Strategies, Beasley Media Group, Benztown, Quu, Skyview...

Dashboard Tactitional

Read the original story from Jacobs Media. You programmers are either going to love me or curse me for today's post.  For everyone else in and out around the world of broadcast radio, I hope it's an eye-opener about how radio's relationship to the car in general, and...

Reach, Reliability, and New Tech: Positioning Radio For A Crisis

Read the original article at Radio Ink. As Congress prepares to reconvene for fall, they’ll be addressing the AM For Every Vehicle Act. At the heart of the legislation is radio’s role as a safety feature, but as we’ve seen in the Maui wildfires and early start to...