October 2006
Keeping It Real in the New Reality
By: Lee Rickwood
Canada's broadcasters are a Canadian success story.

CAB President and CEO Glenn O'Farrell's thought-provoking presentation on the future of Canadian media (portions are re-printed in this issue of Broadcaster Magazine) can be seen as lighting the fuse on explosive box of fireworks, set to go off at the 80th Annual CAB Convention.

As the fuse burns down, one thought might be added to his comprehensive starting point: Canada's broadcast people are a Canadian success story.

Often left in the shadow of the on-going impact of new technology, changes in landscape brought about by corporate mergers, and rules & regulations set forth by government agencies and commissions, creative people are sometimes last in the list of industry influences.

Of course, the CAB in fact acknowledges the importance of individual input with its Gold Award presentations and Hall of Fame inductions. Many other organizations do so, as well: also in this special issue of Broadcaster Magazine, a report on the Telecom Hall of Fame, and the overlap of vision, accomplishment and talent that sometimes bridges the two Halls.

In this issue, as well, we begin to make our own Hall, with the launch of a new column called Canadian Achievers. Author and industry personality Dick Drew helps us remember the important contributions of many individuals to a still-growing industry through this series.

And, in our newly re-configured online initiative, Broadcaster has launched its special WEDNESDAY PODCAST series, hosted and conducted by another well-known industry figure, David Bray. His interviews with key figures in broadcast and music industry are also designed to shine a light on the dynamic personalities shaping this business.

As one example, you may have heard popular radio personality Erin Davis describe how, even when she was temporarily off the air, a community of interest developed online around her public persona and professional personality.

These are all ways of saying that people matter. It sounds obvious, but if one were to define bottom-line success determinants in the broadcast industry, would talent rank at the top? Illuminated by the exploding opportunities and challenges in this business, can we see another way to define, market and exploit value?

New technologies, new business influences and new regulations are always at hand - and just around the corner. Talent should rule in any new reality we face.

-- Lee Rickwood


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