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(SALES) Highlights From NAB 2014


Wednesday night 6:00 p.m.:
I was invited to dinner at Sinatras inside the Encore Hotel headquarters of NAB 2014. Side note: If youve never been to Sinatras in Vegas, then youre missing out. Its an experience. The food is great and the service is extraordinary.

As I sat down in the bar before we took our seats in the dining room, my dinner host asked me what I thought the best thing about NAB 2014 was, as this was Wednesday night and I was leaving after dinner. It had been a long day (long week) of early breakfasts, seminars, checking out of my hotel that day, and more meetings in the afternoon before dinner. It was an easy question to answer, even after all the great seminars, and some of the people I met for the first time and old acquaintances I reconnected with.

My answer: The awards breakfast I was invited to and attended that morning at 7 a.m. It was the Broadcasters Foundation of America awards breakfast. As many of you know, Im a night owl and a 7 a.m. breakfast can be challenging for me, especially coming from another hotel. Sometimes I feel like the sales version of Anthony Bordains Parts Unknown series on CNN. When you travel 40 weeks a year doing sales training and consulting, you can live a pretty insulated life, believe it or not. I should be more dialed in, especially to those that give back to people in broadcasting TV and radio. I will admit

I didnt know much about the Broadcasters Foundation of America. I do know the president of the Foundation, Jim Thompson, who is the former Group W and Liberty Broadcasting head, though Id never spent much time with him personally. Ive missed out maybe you have too.

What does happen to people in broadcasting people who dedicate their lives to TV and radio and whose families super support them, including those who get up at 4 a.m. to do their live morning show? I know many broadcasters who just love to bring the news to people. Or school reports or the local weather where it matters in their rural communities. These people give up so much of their lives to their career in broadcasting. (One professional that comes to mind is Gerry Elam in West Plains, Missouri. He is truly a great man and broadcaster whom Ive become friends with over the years.) What happens when tragedy strikes or a serious medical condition hits these professionals and members of their family?

The Broadcasters Foundation of America steps in, thats what happens. Last year alone, they gave back upwards to $800,000 to needy families in broadcasting where, in some cases, their only money came from BFA (from the donations it receives) for food, rent, clothing, and sustenance.

Once we were seated, Jim Thompson joined our dinner party for a short time. I was honored and privileged to be able to have a conversation with him for a couple of hours. Im a better person for getting to know Jim on a personal basis. Hes truly a great American and sincerely cares about people and broadcasters. If, as Joel Hartstone, the managing director of StoneGate Capital, says, you can measure your success by the people you leave in your wake, then Broadcasters of America and Jim Thompson have a seat at the head of the table, in my opinion. Here is the Broadcasters of America mission statement:

The mission of the Broadcasters Foundation of America is to improve the quality of life and maintain the personal dignity of men and women in the radio and television broadcast profession who find themselves in acute need. The Foundation reaches out across the country to identify and provide an anonymous safety net in cases of critical illness, advanced age, death of a spouse, accident, and other serious misfortune.

Im sure Jim would love to hear from you or anybody you know in broadcasting in need of help and assistance. Go to

Odds and Ends

Gary Shorman of Eagle Communications should be Gary Showman, judging by the way he worked he room with a mic in RABs Rapid Fire Revenue Generators session. You might have missed your calling Gary.

Last September in Orlando, I met Vince Benedetto of Bold Gold Media Group, Northeast PA markets. Paul Rotella, President of New Jersey Broadcasters Association had introduced me to Vince at NAB/RAB Show. I was impressed with how his stations have used the digital platform and especially with their mobile apps. Good work Vince! Your rapid fire ideas were very well thought out. I enjoyed your presentation along with the whole panel that brought their A game ideas to the session.

40 Secrets Session:
I was also impressed with how Bud Walters, President of The Cromwell Group, handled a tough subject: Practical Ways to Cut Costs at Your Radio Station. Thats a hard one that not many people can speak to an audience about. I had to leave you, Matt Sunshine, in the middle of your part for a 4 p.m. meeting. But you had it well under control. Good work!

Digital Agencies:
On Wednesday night, after dinner at Sinatras, I ran into John Zimmer, head of Zimmer Broadcasting, and had a few drinks with him. Very rarely do you see the head of a company attend all the sessions at the NAB that had anything to do with digital. John filled me in. I saw him attend the digital agencies seminar that morning during The Players session. Radio and TV have a huge street sales force that, in my opinion, can be used to help provide a digital solution for advertisers in your local market through these third-party companies. Its not that hard. Good work John! Where is Price, Utah?

Sean Luce is the Head National Instructor for the Luce Performance Group International and can be reached at or Seans new book The Liquid Fire can be found on

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Thank you George! You're a big part of the solution. You and Vendasta are breaking some great ground and I think broadcasters with the huge sales force-can take advantage now! Thanks again George.

- Sean Luce
(4/15/2014 8:46:37 AM)
Awesome week at NAB for sure Mr. Luce. The one thing I would like to hi light was the marked increase in digital sales solution at this years show compared to last. Look for this trend to continue into this falls RAB and NAB events.

- George Leith

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