John David, NAB EVP of Radio - The NAB (National Association of Broadcasters)
John David, NAB EVP of Radio By Joey Odorisio
The NAB (National Association of Broadcasters) is a key trade organization for both radio and television broadcasters throughout the U.S. The organization is closely involved in advocacy for a wide variety of issues facing the industry today, as well as aiding in broadcast innovation and educating broadcasters as well. NAB EVP of Radio John David has been a part of the organization since 1984, when he joined the NAB Board of Directors, representing Kansas and Missouri. He spent 17 years as EVP of J.R. Broadcasting Company, as an owner and GM of multiple stations. He officially joined the NAB in 1989, serving in a variety of roles over the years, and becoming EVP of Radio in 1998. In a new conversation with FMQB, David discusses the multiple priorities the NAB is focused on in 2014, from the ongoing battle over the Performance Royalty to FM radio chip activation in mobile devices.
What is your role at the NAB and how does it affect radio stations around the country? My responsibilities include liaison with the 35 member NAB Radio Board of Directors and the leadership of that board. I also oversee the convention programming for the NAB Show in Las Vegas and the Radio Show in the fall. Recognition for radio stations and personalities for NAB Member Radio Stations in the NAB Marconi Radio Awards and the NAB Crystal Radio Awards for exemplary community service also are administered by the Radio staff. My involvement also includes being a membership ambassador for service to NAB member stations and companies. Since I’m a believer in the mission of the NAB, I often communicate our agenda to non-member companies to seek their investment in becoming involved with our representation.
What are the NAB’s priorities for 2014? Included, but not limited to, a fairer streaming rate and working with the music industry for a continued productive relationship. It’s a long-standing partnership that recognizes the promotional value of Radio stations that play the music that the record labels and artists want Radio to play and what listeners want to hear. NAB endorses the activation of chips in cell phones so information and entertainment is available to people who want to have access to their radio stations. We’re also active on advertising deductibility in making sure that advertisers can deduct their company advertising investments in the year it was broadcast. This is top of mind this week. We follow many more issues at the NAB every month.
What does the organization see as the most important issues facing radio currently? In addition to what I mentioned in response to the previous question, we are also getting involved more in what’s in the vehicle dash. There’s also focus on AM revitalization from a technical and regulatory perspective.
Can you give some of your career background that led you to the NAB? I was an owner/operator of radio stations for many years and served on the NAB Radio Board of Directors. So I have the perspective of a hands-on broadcaster inside the NAB. I made payroll, carried an advertiser client list, programmed radio stations and can even produce a log. I worked my way through college as a rock and roll jock. I started with the NAB in the government relations division with responsibility for grass roots lobbying, the political action committee and the state association liaison.
What is the latest update to the state of the Performance Royalty issue? We have over 200 members of Congress who are with us on not imposing an over the air tax on radio broadcasters. We are very appreciative of the NAB member broadcasters all over the country who have communicated their personal perspective to their elected representatives.
What is the NAB’s position on royalty deals, a la Clear Channel’s agreements with Warner Bros., Glassnote, etc.? It’s proven that the market place can work if it makes sense for the labels and the individual companies.
What are your thoughts on the roll-out thus far of the NextRadio system for FM chips in smartphones? NAB was involved early on to assure that a standard was developed to allow companies to compete. There is no question that listeners should have access to their stations through the device that almost everyone has with them at all times. We hope that more broadcasters will continue to provide a more positive experience through digital delivery while helping listeners to not incur additional data charges by listening over the air.
What can the industry look forward to at the NAB Show in April and the NAB/RAB Radio Show in September? The NAB Show is in April in Las Vegas. Both the NAB and RAB are producing a number of informative sessions for the convention. Plus, you won’t see more equipment and software for Radio anywhere else, but Las Vegas. Dates are April 5-10 with the exhibits opening on April 7. The Radio Luncheon will be on Tuesday, April 8 where we’ll induct Steve Harvey in to the NAB Broadcasting Hall of Fame and present 10 NAB Crystal Radio Awards to stations for exemplary community service. The Radio Show, produced by RAB and NAB will be in Indianapolis this September. We have a Radio Show Steering Committee that will guide the programming and sessions for that annual event. The dates are September 10-12.