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Radio Show Wrap-Up

| September 23, 2013

By Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant


ORLANDO – It sure WAS worth the trip, for both reasons.

  • The NAB/RAB Radio Show passed the convention agenda litmus test: agonizing choices among concurrent sessions.  And…
  • The crowd, which was up from last year, and fairly chipper…NOT the funereal 2009 vibe.  And, after all, isn’t the principal value in any convention the convening?  Make new contacts, tag-up with old amigos, swap ideas?  2013: Mission accomplished.

If you couldn’t be with us in Orlando – or even if you could, because those concurrent sessions posed tough choices – you can peruse and, for my day-by-day notes, and other Talkers/RadioInfo reports.  “It’s Team Coverage you can count on!”

And here are notes-N-quotes from Friday’s half-day Radio Show wrap-up:

“Adventures in Copyrightland” 

Anyone attending this session came-away chastened.  In-a-nutshell – and the words of attorney and panelist David Oxenford – “Everything on the Internet is not there for your use.”

I know of stations which learned, the hard way, that just because you can right-click-and-Save an image, doesn’t mean you may.  They got The Letter.  The hear-ye-hear-ye from Getty Images or some other copyright holder comes with an invoice enclosed, and it’s not for pocket change.  By the time you hear from ‘em, they’ve already got you.

If these sound bites from this session challenge business-as-usual at your place, it’s time for a meeting:

  • Your station’s ASCAP/BMI deal doesn’t cover use of songs in commercials you produce.
  • Parody songs don’t infringe IF the parody makes-fun-of THE SONG.
  • Want to show a video on your web site?  If you embed the YouTube player, it’s not infringement.
  • Many companies’ Social Media policies run afoul of National Labor Relations Board rules.

“What if local radio didn’t exist?” 

Hubbard Radio Chair Ginny Morris asked, as she accepted the 2013 National Radio Award, and two standing ovations.

In many markets, it’s hard to find much local radio at all.  Ironically, some of the bigger markets are conspicuous “localism deserts,” while smaller market stations either never stopped, or recently rediscovered, how delivering what-listeners-can’t-get-anywhere-else is good for business.  Witness the candor of group heads’ comments at the Radio Show Leadership Breakfast (among my Thursday notes you’ll find at

As FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai quipped in his Radio Show remarks, there’s plenty of anywhere-else these days: “Some people only say the word ‘broad’ if its followed by ‘band.’”  Shame on us if a dearth of local broadcast content chased listeners away.

“Localism,” the Commish added, “is not an abstraction.  It’s your business plan.”


Follow @HollandCooke on Twitter, and at; and meet Holland at Talkers Los Angeles on Thursday, October 10.

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Category: Analysis