(By Mike McVay) A recent conversation with a well-known, highly successful and high-profile Major Market Program Director really troubled me. I was talking about programming in-general, what changes I’ve noticed this past year as we adjust to a media world turned upside down by a pandemic, and how all of the usual conventions and conferences we attend are virtual versus being in-person.
The latter is something that I’ve actually enjoyed, although I miss the social gatherings and the networking that are a part of every in-person conference. The ability to attend everything virtually, without missing a session and focus on learning, has been something that I’ve enjoyed. The programmer didn’t share my enthusiasm for learning and said “There hasn’t been anything new in radio since FM started playing rock music. That was the last new thing that radio did.” Seriously?
How can anyone pass on the opportunity to learn everything they can learn? Don’t you want to see what’s new, acknowledge that the audience’s desires and wants are changing and as such you need to react to those changes, and continually focus on perfecting your craft? I guess that I shouldn’t be surprised that someone who says radio has done nothing new since FM started playing rock music. This is a person who has stopped learning and their success may be more about their competitor’s weaknesses than their own strength.
Never stop learning. Never stop reading. Never lose your curiosity. Never ignore the opportunity to hear what others have done, or are doing, to be successful in our business. In a world where Google, and a dozen other search engines, deliver information to you on-demand, how can you not be continually curious? Never ignore the opportunity to attend a virtual conference.
This week Forecast 2021 will take place, for the first time ever, across two-days and presented virtually on December 8 and 9. You can continue your learning with this conference and at a fraction of the registration cost when in-person.
I am honored to join CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Sanjay Gupta with a pre-opening special interview that starts at 10:00am Eastern on the 8th. The title for our session is Media; Driven by Medicine. We will kick-off the conference by exploring the pandemic from many perspectives, including its medical, social, and economic implications. What kind of grade does our industry get in regard to the ways in which we’ve handled the dissemination of information and commentary around COVID-19? And how do we prepare for whatever is next?
My favorite highlights of what will be an enlightening conference include The Economic Future of Audio as it is examined in a panel moderated by Entercom COO Susan Larkin, and including Katz Radio Group President Christine Travaglini, the EVP/General Manager of Skyview Networks Jeanne-Marie Condo, Managing Director/Business lead of OMD, USA Danielle Atanda and the Global President/Business Intelligence of GroupM.
Juliet Huddy, co- host of WABC’s Curtis & Juliet, sits down with Megyn Kelly, host of the podcast The Megyn Kelly Show and well-known journalist, attorney, and best-selling author, to discuss the future of media. We’re under attack on many fronts. I’ve written in the past about the damage I fear is being done to the credibility of news in electronic media. That subject will be forefront with this session.
I’m also looking forward to the finale of Day #2 as the EVP/Publisher of Radio Ink, Deborah Parenti, moderates a session that includes CEO of Beasley Broadcast Group, Caroline Beasley, the President of Univision Radio, Jesus Lara, Hubbard Media Chair and CEO Ginny Morris, and Townsquare Media CEO Bill Wilson. If you want to know what’s keeping the C-Suite awake at night, it will be a part of this session, and as such you could consider the discussion a glimpse into our industry’s future.
Mike McVay is President of McVay Media and can be reached at [email protected]