The Loss Of The Radio Show Felt Greatly At NAB Las Vegas

NAB RAB Radio ShowI went to Las Vegas last week for the 2022 NAB Show hoping to see a greater radio industry integration following the announcement last fall that the Radio Show would be permanently consolidated into it.

Actions spoke louder than words. While there was an slightly increased push for their sales panels and small and medium market radio forum, the loss of a centralized convention for radio was felt. Many executives, brokers, and syndicators were having their usual meetings in their suites at the Wynn and Encore. On the show floor, the amount of booths dedicated to radio companies were fewer and further between as they were split between the three open halls and unlike past years no dedicated area with an audio focus. It left the show completely disjointed for someone trying to find certain vendors.

There are still a number of conferences dedicated to a portion of the industry, but not one where the entire broadcast radio community can come together for a common purpose. Where station owners can see the future transmission technology or on-air talent can learn sales practices to potentially make them more valuable to their stations or to learn a new side of the business. Plus what radio person doesn’t want a reason to travel to Las Vegas?

In inquiring to the NAB’s SVP/Communications Ann Marie Cumming at the show, she stated that they had no plans to have any increased radio presence at the October NAB New York show outside of holding the Marconi Awards ceremony. There could be potential for adding more panels for other facets of the industry in Las Vegas next year, but unless they find a way to bring everyone together under one roof

Is there another show out there capable of picking up that mantle to bring the entire industry together? Perhaps one of the bigger state organizations like Texas or Michigan? We need a venue that can speak to all of radio and raise it up together. A place to own the brand of “radio” for what it means in 2022 and beyond.

Speaking of owning your brand, the under-the-radar rebranding of Christian AC 95.1 WRBS-FM from “Shine-FM” to “Bright-FM” is a perfect example of a radio station making a short-term loss for long-term gain.

WRBS-FM General Manager Steve Lawhon was upfront with listeners telling them that they were using the “Shine” name under license from Olivet Nazarene University’s network in Illinois, which decided to require all others to rebrand due to the digital confusion being caused to listeners in Illinois.

Now both stations have names that they own completely with trademarked brands. All too often in commercial radio we see the trademarks come from syndicators who license it out such as “Jack-FM“, “Fresh“, or “The Edge” rather than a single station lay claim to a brand to own on all platforms as radio becomes much more than just its AM or FM signal. Try being a station named “Z100” not in New York trying to get good SEO or social media accounts. iHeartMedia controls the brand in Portland and Eau Claire, but good luck trying to get the Country station in Southern Illinois or the Classic Rocker in Missoula to come up if you are a listener unaware of the massive national brand or just searching for “Kiss-FM” or “The Bull“.

Sometimes a good idea shines brightly.

This story first appeared on