Times call for changes, author tells broadcasters

Broadcasters are losing ads due to the recession and audience share to the Internet.

And the economy is not getting better in the foreseeable future.

Not that it’s an entirely bad thing, author Richard Florida told an audience at the National Association of Broadcasters convention Monday.

Florida, author of “The Rise of the Creative Class,” and “Who’s Your City,” urged broadcasters gathered in the Las Vegas Hilton to view upheaval in the economy as an opportunity.

He referred to the current recession as, “the great reset,” which he said captures the roiling social, economic and technological currents that accompany sudden financial crises.

Speaking to an audience of several hundred, Florida said similar crises in the 1870s and 1930s birthed the rise of industrialization, the harnessing of electricity, invention of the telephone and advances in mass production and broadcasting.

And he urged broadcasters to forget about reviving business models that worked before the recession and start thinking about how to grow into the future.

“Resets take time,” said Florida, noting periods of upheaval he referenced lasted from 1873 to 1896 and 1929 to 1950. “We are going to be in this for the long haul, maybe if we are lucky we can shorten the time.”

The broadcasters show, held every year but one since 1923 and in Las Vegas since the mid-1970s, runs through Thursday at the Las Vegas Convention Center and the Hilton. Typically, the show draws about 100,000 attendees and is one of the largest annual events for Las Vegas.

Attendance figures aren’t available for 2009, but foot traffic appeared slower than usual and there were more empty seats for Florida’s address than at past keynote addresses.

The broadcast industry is suffering badly from the recession. Television industry revenue alone was down 7 percent in 2008 and the $20.1 billion stations made in revenue was the lowest since 2000, according to BIA Advisory Services, a media financial consultant.

“We are living through the greatest economic transformation in human history,” Florida said.

During previous upheavals, people spent the early years of tough times pining for a return to better days, he said.

“We wish so badly we can bring back the old way of life,” he said.

Instead, he called on broadcasters to think about how to modernize their businesses.

He said they should seek to serve a growing demographic of “creative class” people. The group isn’t identified by race, country of origin or a specific social background.

Instead, it is the increasing number of people who work with their minds to create technology, entertainment, art or anyone who uses their brain instead of their back to make a living.

Florida’s definition of the creative class is a group of people who were just 5 percent of workers in the early 1900s, 10 percent of the work force in 1950 and now represent 40 million Americans and more than half of all wages and salary earned in the country.

“If you are selling things, they are your audience,” Florida said.

How many television broadcasters — or for that matter radio stations and newspapers — will survive to mine Florida’s creative class remains to be seen.

Audiences are gathering more news and entertainment online, which is cheaper to produce in most cases but doesn’t fetch as much advertising revenue.

Longtime broadcasters are forced to adapt systems and equipment to chase after the audience. Some of the popular devices for the pursuit include digital broadcasting and, in the future, mobile television that would allow hand-held devices to receive radio and television broadcasts.

David Rehr, president and CEO of the National Association of Broadcasters, thinks lassoing customers with mobile devices could be worth $2 billion or more in revenue for broadcasters across the country in 2012 and beyond.

“There are great opportunities for radio and television,” Rehr said.

He cited the current dominance of broadcast as the nation’s mass medium as an advantage.

According to Rehr, 488 of the top 500 television programs come via broadcast and 99 percent of video viewing is on television.

“Using radio and television, we can drive consumers online,” he said.

In the meantime, though, broadcast is hurting. And newsrooms are bearing the brunt of the pain.

According to a survey distributed at the event by the Association of Electronic Journalists, television news jobs and salaries declined more than the job market as a whole in 2008.

The survey said television news lost 1,200 jobs in 2008, a 4.3 percent decline. The overall drop in U.S. employment was 3.8 percent during the same period, the results said.

Also, television news reporters saw salaries fall 13.3 percent, news anchors’ salaries were down 11.5 percent, weathercaster salaries were down 9.1 percent and sports anchor pay was down 8.9 percent.

“Television is clearly suffering from the same stress as the entire economy, but stations are by no means giving up on local news,” said Bob Papper, director of the survey and chairman of the journalism department at Hofstra University.

Contact reporter Benjamin Spillman at bspillman@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3861.

Bellagio, MGM Resorts International’s luxury hotel turns 20
The more than 3,000-room Bellagio hotel is situated on the site of the former Dunes Hotel. The Dunes was imploded in 1993, and construction of the Bellagio started in 1996. It cost $1.6 billion to build, making it the most expensive hotel in the world at the time. The Bellagio was former Wynn Resorts Ltd. Chairman and CEO Steve Wynn’s second major casino on the Strip after The Mirage. MGM Resorts International acquired the property from Steve Wynn in 2000. (Tara Mack/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Facial recognition software at G2E – Todd Prince
Shing Tao, CEO of Las Vegas-based Remark Holdings, talks about his facial recognition product. (Todd Prince/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former NBA player, Shaquille O'Neal, speaks about his new Las Vegas chicken restaurant
Former NBA player, Shaquille O'Neal, speaks about his new Las Vegas chicken restaurant. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Bobby Baldwin to leave MGM
MGM Resorts International executive and professional poker player Bobby Baldwin is set to leave MGM.
Caesars has new armed emergency response teams
Caesars Entertainment Corp. has created armed emergency response teams. They are composed of former military and law enforcement officials. "These teams provide valuable additional security capabilities,” Caesars spokeswoman Jennifer Forkish said. Caesars is hiring Security Saturation Team supervisors, managers and officers, according to LinkedIn. The company did not say how many people it plans to hire for the units. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas, airlines prepare for CES
CES in January is expected to attract more than 180,000 attendees. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
AGS partners with Vegas Golden Knights
AGS is the nation’s second-largest manufacturer of Class II slot machines used primarily in tribal jurisdictions. It announced a marketing partnership with the Vegas Golden Knights NHL team. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Lehman Brothers bet big on Las Vegas
Lehman Brothers collapsed 10 years ago, helping send the country into the Great Recession.
Fremont9 opens downtown
Fremont9 apartment complex has opened in downtown Las Vegas. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Ross & Snow launches in Las Vegas
Luxury shoe brand Ross & Snow has opened in Las Vegas, featuring "functional luxury" with premium shearling footwear. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Remote Identification and Drones
DJI vice president of policy and public affairs discusses using remote identification on drones. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Drones and public safety in Nevada
Two representatives in the drone industry discuss UAV's impact on public safety. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Frontier Airlines to launch flights from Las Vegas to Mexico
Frontier, a Denver-based ultra-low-cost carrier, will become the first airline in more than a decade to offer international service to Canada and Mexico from Las Vegas when flights to Cancun and Los Cabos begin Dec. 15. (Rick Velotta/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International CEO Jim Murren addresses Oct. 1 lawsuits
MGM Resorts International Chairman and CEO Jim Murren addresses criticism his company has received for filing a lawsuit against the survivors of the Oct. 1 shooting. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International opens the doors on MGM Springfield
Massachusetts’ first hotel-casino opens in downtown Springfield. The $960 million MGM Springfield has 252 rooms and 125,000-square-feet of casino. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International prepares to open MGM Springfield
Las Vegas-based MGM Resorts International gave news media and invited guests a preview of the $960 million MGM Springfield casino in Massachusetts. The commonwealth's first resort casino will open Friday, Aug. 24. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
A Walk Through Circus Circus
It only takes a short walk through Circus Circus to realize it attracts a demographic like no other casino on the Strip: families with young children. (Todd Prince/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Morphy Auctions, a vintage slot machines seller, wants gaming license
Vice president Don Grimmer talks about Morphy Auctions at the company's warehouse located at 4520 Arville Street in Las Vegas on Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018. (Rick Velotta/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada's venture capital money doesn't stay in state
Zach Miles, associate vice president for economic development for UNLV, said there’s venture money in Southern Nevada, “but trying to find the right groups to tap into for that money is different.” According to a 2017 report from the Kauffman Foundation, Las Vegas ranked number 34 out of 40 metropolitan areas for growth entrepreneurship, a metric of how much startups grow. With a lack of growing startups in Las Vegas, investment money is being sent outside of state borders. The southwest region of the U.S. received $386 million in funding in the second quarter, with about $25.2 million in Nevada. The San Francisco area alone received about $5.6 billion. (source: CB Insights)
Neon wraps can light up the night for advertising
Vinyl wrap company 5150 Wraps talks about neon wraps, a new technology that the company believes can boost advertising at night. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Nevada on the forefront of drone safety
Dr. Chris Walach, senior director of Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems, talks to a reporter at NIAS's new Nevada Drone Center for Excellence of Public Safety, located inside the Switch Innevation Center in Las Vegas. K.M. Cannon Las Vegas Review-Journal @KMCannonPhoto
News Headlines
Local Spotlight
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like