NAB's Gordon Smith Talks Kidd Kraddick & More In Radio Show Keynote
September 19, 2013
NAB President/CEO Gordon Smith spoke on Wednesday at the NAB/RAB Radio Show in Orlando, giving one of the event's keynote speeches. In Smith's prepared opening remarks, he remembered the late Kidd Kraddick and discussed the future of radio on mobile devices.
Smith said, "I want to mention David Peter Cradick - who touched millions of lives through his nationally-syndicated morning show, Kidd Kraddick in the Morning. Sadly, we mourned Kidd's loss in July... he was a man who had a special connection to Orlando. Each year, his charity, Kidd's Kids, sent terminally and chronically ill children to Disney World with their families. Kidd's listeners supported his charity, donating the funds to make these trips possible. The passing of Kidd, and sadly many other good friends in radio this year, reminds us of the power of this great medium… its connection to listeners… and its impact on communities "
Smith then segued into discussing radio's power and reach during tragedies. "Every day seems to bring a new story of broadcasters serving the public in times of crisis. Sadly, we experienced this earlier this week when a terrible tragedy occurred at the Navy Yard, not far from NAB headquarters in Washington, D.C. At times like this, we know we can turn to broadcast radio and television to help keep us safe. As broadcasters, we share the mission of serving our local communities - providing them with the news, emergency updates, and entertainment that they rely on each day. This mission keeps us focused on adapting to consumers' changing needs…so that radio will always be there when listeners need us…on any platform…anytime and anywhere."
Smith also touched on the royalty issue, noting, "Increasingly, webcasters are facing challenges as the music industry is pushing for more royalties for streaming music. It is my hope that both the streaming and broadcast platforms can have a business model that advances the interests of everyone with a stake in the music industry. Recent direct deals between broadcasters, record labels and artists demonstrate that there are market-based solutions."
He also discussed FM radio's accessibility on mobile devices, saying, "NAB is continuing to work with the wireless industry and the government to promote a particular innovation that would greatly serve the public - the inclusion and activation of radio receivers in mobile devices. Nearly a year ago, Hurricane Sandy struck the U.S., devastating communities along the Eastern seaboard. When cell networks and broadband connections went down for days - even weeks - radio remained on the air. And just recently, when pounding rains caused devastating flooding in Colorado, broadcasters remained on the air around the clock to provide continuous updates and information to their communities to help keep them safe. This was a reminder that radio is an indispensable and irreplaceable lifeline to listeners. This technology greatly benefits consumers and also provides many opportunities for broadcasters and manufacturers. NAB Labs - our innovation team - has been at the forefront of developing 'hybrid FM radio' and bringing it to smartphones and other platforms." Smith mentioned the efforts of Jeff Smulyan, Sprint and others on this front.
He concluded, "When the power goes out…when disaster strikes… when they seek entertainment, comfort or important news… your listeners know they can always count on you to be there. My hope for this great business is that as you picture your future and consider the different revenue opportunities that may lie ahead, this vision includes a way to sustain the localism that you so uniquely and critically provide to your listeners. Woodrow Wilson once said, 'You are not here merely to make a living. You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement.' Together, we can make our vision of radio's bright future a reality."