NABA Considers the “Future of Radio & Audio” in DC

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai will deliver the keynote address at the symposium
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Paul Brenner

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WASHINGTON� �The North American Association of Broadcasters will hold its Future of Radio & Audio Symposium Feb. 16 at NAB headquarters in Washington. It is the third edition of the event; previous FRASs were held in Toronto and Mexico City.

�The goal of NABA in general is to bring a unified voice to broadcasters across North America. It�s the only organization that does that,� NextRadio and Broadcaster Traffic Consortium President Paul Brenner said in a phone interview. Brenner is also the vice chair of NABA�s radio committee. �The point of the symposium is to find topics that cross the borders, that are the same for all of us, and try to talk about how, if we work together, we can solve them more effectively than operating independently.��

The symposium opens with a continental breakfast at 8:30 a.m. and shifts at 9 a.m. to a full schedule that ends around 5:30 p.m. NABA Director General Michael McEwen and Brenner will deliver opening remarks, following by keynote speaker Ajit Pai.

�The illustrious chairman of the FCC will be our keynote speaker,� Brenner said. �He accepted that invitation before he became the chairman of the FCC. We were happy to see that. Pai has been a long supporter of broadcasters and NABA. He�s attended some of our events and spoke at them before. So that�s big. I think they�ll be a strong message from him. I hope people come to hear that.�

Jeff Detweiler of DTS, where he is executive director of broadcast engineering for HD Radio, will follow Pai. He will present a NABA position paper on �A Voluntary North American Digital Radio Standard.� �

FRAS covers a lot of ground in one day. Brenner explains, �Radio must adapt, and what we are trying to showcase is the evolution of those distribution points that we have to adapt with.�

Panel discussions center on FM chips, the connected car, �multi-platform audio,� podcasting, data analysis and upcoming industry trends.

Brenner created and will moderate the �Data Analysis and Attribution� panel. He says, �What we�re trying to bring to this audience is some insights that they probably don�t hear everyday and why better measurement and better data analytics is the way to fight for share.� Brenner argues that �the people that have money to invest in marketing are choosing to move away from radio because of our inability to provide addressable reporting.��

�The event is intended to create a network across the borders. That�s the part I really enjoy about working with NABA. Most people just maybe think of their own country as their challenge or their business to solve for, when in fact you�re more effective than any of the three when the three work together,� Brenner said. �When you can show respect to each other and share ideas across the region, then you can all benefit.�

Emmis Communications joined NABA in 2014, at which point Brenner also helped to create the radio committee at McEwen�s request. Brenner says that the committee has worked to set �goals that looked outwardly at what it is that, as North America, we can do to make the biggest difference.�

Attendees are not required to be NABA members but must register ahead of the event because space is limited. To register, visitEventbrite.The password is AGMFRAS2017.