Washington, DC - Sep 29-2010 - NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith gave opening remarks during The 2010 Radio Show produced by RAB and NAB. The show runs until Oct. 1, 2010, in Washington, DC. This year's show brings radio broadcasters and industry colleagues together to share knowledge, discover the latest innovations, network with industry leaders and explore creative business strategies to help radio flourish in the digital age.
The full text of Smith's prepared remarks:
I want to thank Jeff and the RAB for their great partnership in hosting this year's Radio Show.
And I want to thank all of you for being here. It is vitally important that we come together to focus on the issues that impact the future of radio.
One year ago, I spoke to you as the incoming president and CEO of NAB. At that time, I was meeting many of you for the first time and learning more about the challenges and opportunities facing radio.
Looking back, I was struck by the innovation, passion and dedication among the broadcasters I met. One year later, my first impression of this business has grown tenfold. It's been an honor to work alongside you this past year.
Right here, at the Radio Show, we are demonstrating that radio is strong and thriving in the digital age.
Take a look at what's on display at this show. It's evident that radio is reaching new heights, increasing its relevance and growing its share of voice in the media marketplace.
Let's face it, there is a lot of technology competing for consumers' attention these days. And yet, radio has prevailed and endured. Radio is the ultimate survivor.
Many of you know I'm from Oregon. Out West, we are all too familiar with another kind of ultimate survivor -- the coyote. From the prairies to the mountains, both in urban and suburban environments, the coyote has found ways to survive in different -- and often challenging -- habitats. Like the coyote, radio, is clever, inventive and adaptive - always adjusting to the changing media landscape.
Since its early days, radio has adapted to new technology, inventing new ways to thrive, grow and succeed. Throughout the years, critics have predicted radio's demise with the rise in popularity of LPs, tape cassettes and CDs … and now with the rise of MP3s, iPods, smartphones and the Internet.
And yet, radio endures and continues to grow its listener base. And how has radio endured? Through innovation and responding to consumers' needs.
Radio offers more choices than ever before -- all for free. Through HD Radio and other delivery platforms, we're continually improving the quality and diversity of our content.
Radio is reaching more listeners every day. In fact, 239 million people listen to radio each week -- an increase of four million listeners in just one year. And we're working to ensure free, local radio is available for Americans anytime and anywhere -- on their cell phones.
Nearly everyone has a mobile phone, making it ideal for radio's emergency alerting capabilities. Yet carriers have not prioritized making free, local radio a standard feature on their phones in this country. By contrast, in Latin America and Asia, nearly half of all users list radio as one of their top three choices in choosing a mobile phone -- making it even more popular than mobile Internet access or even texting.
Radio could reach 257 million American cell phone subscribers if included in all phones - that's an incredible reach. From the Microsoft Zune to the Apple iPod Nano, mobile devices like these are making radio new again, creating a new base of radio fans.
But we have some work to do to increase radio's availability in mobile phones. Broadcasting is not only the most efficient medium -- reaching thousands with a single transmission - but it's the most dependable.
While phones and the Internet can be unreliable during disasters -- radio stations stay on the air, fulfilling the role of lifeline providers and first informers.
We saw this during 9/11, Hurricane Katrina and the earthquake in Haiti, just to name a few examples. What most people learned about the tragic events of those days was provided by America's broadcasters.
Even when cell phone and wireless networks go down, radio is always on … radio is always there.
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