I attended the NAB Radio Show last month. Because the exhibit floor was smaller (that’s not a slam), I had more time to attend some sessions. I noticed something interesting between the engineering and the management/programming sessions.
For the most part, the two tracks covered very different views of radio. The management/programming sessions were full of forward-looking ideas. How to embrace online marketing and distribution. Where the future revenue will come from. Then in the engineering sessions, the topics covered existing ideas. AM transmission systems. The digital power level debate for IBOC.
I’m not saying the engineering sessions were not important. Indeed, some very good information was presented. But while the managers and programmers are looking ahead, the engineers are staying in place or looking back. I understand there are practical issues involved, but after the convention, I can see a manager approaching the engineer to discuss some of the ideas he picked up at the convention, and the engineer looks at the manager with a blank stare.
I encourage engineers to attend non-engineering sessions all the time. We include many of the management session descriptions in our convention preview. And while keeping the current state of the station up and running is important, are you as an engineer doing all you can to help the station prepare for tomorrow?