Industry optimism at NAB Show 2024

Pat Bryson reports from the 2024 NAB Show in Las Vegas for radioinfo.


I attended the National Association of Broadcasters’ convention last week. The 5 days were filled with sessions on a multitude of topics: engineering, programming, sales, podcasting, the future of radio and, of course, AI.

Artificial Intelligence has been a leading topic for the last couple of years. Daniel Anstandig of Futuri Media did the opening keynote with Ameca, an AI-powered humanoid robot as his co-host.

They “talked” about a new study that examined AI’s role in media. Guess what? It seems the public is ready to accept AI used to give them better content. They also think that AI is currently being used in more stations than it actually is. Maybe that’s because they can’t readily distinguish between AI and human content.

I spoke at the Broadcast Educator’s Association session for students who are looking to join our industry. I was pleased to see the room filled with eager young people. These students are the future of radio and television.

The Broadcast Leadership Training alumni held their reception Sunday evening. I was honored to be a graduate of that program in 2005. The program will celebrate its 25th year in 2025. It boasts over 400 graduates, many of whom have gone on to start their own companies, to manages groups. The program was the brainchild of Diane Sutter and was created to help minorities progress in their dreams. It certainly helped me with mine. I started BBI the next year.

Mentoring and Inspiring Women held their annual dinner on Monday evening. It was a sold-out crowd of 120 high-powered women in our industry. The “buzz” was deafening. These women mentor other women in broadcasting, helping them to progress in their careers.

Vendor rooms were full of innovative technology. For engineers, it was like kids in a candy store. Old ways are being replaced with better and better options for delivering and creating our programming.


But this article isn’t about a listing of sessions or offerings. It’s about the spirit that filled the hallways of the Las Vegas Convention Center, the restaurants and bars of hotels where broadcasters gathered to share ideas, do deals, and meet colleagues.

EXCITEMENT is a good word for the spirit I felt.

There was a current of electricity surrounding the group (no pun intended). Over 61,000 broadcasters assembled from 163 countries. Over half were first-time attendees. They came to learn, to look at new technology, to meet people, to do deals. In our business, it’s as important whom you know as what you know. The NAB provided a good space to increase your network.

Not since 2019 have I felt this level of optimism. Weaving through the halls (there were so many people that “weaving” is what you had to do), I noticed smiles on faces. And I could see the smiles because there were very few masks. Old friends were greeted with handshakes and hugs. Forget the elbow bump! Fear was replaced with confidence.

I remember my first NAB years ago when I was a newly promoted sales manager. My GM took me to Vegas. Wow! My first look at the tens of thousands of broadcasters assembled there sparked this thought: “If this many broadcasters are here, the rest of their staffs are back home manning the stations. How BIG IS this industry?” I realized for the first time how powerful broadcasting is. How vital we are to business. How important we are to our listeners. And I felt proud to be a part of it.

I felt that same pride at the NAB this year.

Someone described radio as the cockroach of media. I’m not sure how pleased I am to be compared to the big black bugs I regularly try to squash, but I must admit they are persistent, fast and you can’t get rid of them! They’ve been around 320 million years. So, maybe the comparison is solid. Radio continues to survive, to evolve and to grow.


NAB 2025 will be April 5-9. Do yourselves a favor and add it to your calendar.

See you there!


About: Pat Bryson

Pat Bryson has worked in the radio industry for over 30 years. During that time, she was one of the highest billing sales people in the radio industry in her market. Her career advanced to General Manager, where Pat created a culture of over-achievement for her stations. Since founding BBI, Pat has worked with broadcasters around the world and has been a featured speaker at many conferences.

Pat is a regular contributor to radioinfo (see here at the Brisbane ACRAs with Peter Saxon and Wendy Whalley)



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