Tuesday, March 23, 2010

IBS 2010 Conference Recap - Guest Post by Michael Nevradakis

To wrap up Spinning Indie's coverage of the 70th annual Intercollegiate Broadcasting System's conference, I'm happy to present a guest blog post from one of the conference organizers: Michael Nevradakis. In addition to being a college radio veteran and enthusiast, he's also a graduate student in the Radio-TV-Film program at University of Texas, Austin. Thanks to Michael for giving us the inside scoop on what went down at the March conference in New York City!

IBS Conference Round-Up by Michael Nevradakis

This year, the Intercollegiate Broadcasting System (IBS) is celebrating its 70th anniversary. Since its foundation in 1940, IBS has been at the forefront of representing the interests of college and high school radio stations throughout the United States and beyond. This mission continues to this day through such efforts as the organization’s political and legal support for college radio stations and webcasters regarding copyrights and royalties, and through the guidance IBS provides to schools, colleges and universities who are looking to start their own radio station.

Not only is 2010 the 70th anniversary of the foundation of IBS, but it is also the 70th anniversary of the organization’s National College Radio & Webcasting Conference. From March 5th to 7th, over a thousand representatives from college, high school and other non-commercial and community radio outlets congregated at the Hotel Pennsylvania in New York City for a conference featuring over 200 speakers and panelists, including some important names in music and broadcasting, and sat in on over 115 different sessions, panels, workshops and tours.

And, most significantly, this year’s conference included the awarding of the first annual IBS College Radio Awards (click here to read Amber Wilmot’s post on the awards). Students who attended represented college radio stations from as far away as California and Hawaii.

Johnny "Juice" Rosado, Michael Nevradakis, and Chuck D

This year’s conference kickoff session featured Chuck D and Johnny "Juice" Rosado of Public Enemy, who spoke to a packed house for over an hour about their music and careers and more, and who graciously stayed for quite a while after the end of the session to speak with the students in the audience individually, answering questions, taking photos and signing autographs.

Chuck D and Johnny “Juice” Rosado were not the only famous names who spoke at this year’s conference, however. Well-known radio personalities such as Dr. Joy Browne, Broadway Bill Lee, Jonathan Clarke, Marc “The Cope” Coppola, Maria Milito, Joey Reynolds and Jimmy Fink were joined by the likes of Josh Silver (Executive Director of Free Press), Valerie Geller (author of “Creating Powerful Radio”), Alec Foege (author of “Right of the Dial: The Rise of Clear Channel and the Fall of Commercial Radio), and Larry Miller (the legendary pioneer of the “underground” FM radio movement of the 1960s).

In addition, representatives from CMJ, Democracy Now!, Sirius XM Satellite Radio, the Society of Broadcast Engineers (SBE), Arbitron, the Radio Research Consortium (RRC), the Digital Media Association, Pacifica Radio, the Long Island Music Hall of Fame, the Columbia Journalism Review, and vTuner, as well as numerous record labels, also spoke at the conference.

Many interesting new session topics comprised this year’s conference program. “Globalization: Virtual Study Abroad” featured the efforts of Simmons College in Boston, which has teamed up with the African University College of Communications in Ghana to develop a “virtual study abroad” program, utilizing new media platforms such as social networking sites and the internet radio stations at both schools.

“Building a Locally-Based Radio and Music Network” focused on a new effort that has been undertaken by Artists 4 Music Diversity to link local stations and venues with new and established artists, and to share artist-donated music with local stations for programming collaborations and mutual fundraising. Another new initiative, College Newsnet International, an exciting new online effort that aims to serve as the “Youtube” for college journalism students from around the world, was also introduced at this year’s conference.

Finally, Larry Miller’s session, “The 60s and the Birth of Underground Radio,” looked at the radio revolution that took place in the 1960s which led to the birth of underground radio. These sessions were accompanied by a large assortment of more practical panel discussions and workshops focusing on such topics as finding a job in a difficult economy, morning show production and preparation, the future of music and the music industry, show prep, music
licensing/copyright/royalty issues, social networking, remote broadcasts, streaming, podcasting, publicity and marketing, FCC licensing, automation, voiceovers, a résumé workshop, aircheck critiques, and more.

Students who attended this year’s conference also had the opportunity to take part in several tours of such venues as the Paley Center for Media (the former Museum of Television and Radio), the new studios of Clear Channel radio in New York City, and the broadcast facilities atop the Empire State Building. In addition to these tours, two “Backpack Journalism Excursions” were also organized, offering students the opportunity to learn to shoot great video right on the streets of New York City, and how to edit and post their work online for a worldwide audience.

Finally, students had the opportunity to win tickets to live shows featuring RJD2 and Titus Andronicus in New York City, and to take home lots of free “swag,” ranging from magazines to CDs, but perhaps most importantly of all, a plethora of new knowledge and a lot of new contacts resulting from a weekend’s worth of networking.

While the next IBS national conference will be next March 4th-6th, once again at the Hotel Pennsylvania in New York City, IBS coast-to-coast regional conferences are coming up this fall in Boston (Saturday, October 9th), Chicago (Saturday, October 23rd) and Los Angeles (Saturday, December 4th).

I personally would like to thank all of the speakers, panelists, and all the great and talented students and their advisers who attended the conference and who made this year’s event one of the best in the 70 year history of the Intercollegiate Broadcasting System! A special congratulations goes out as well to all the winners of this year’s IBS College Radio Awards. The IBS Board, staff and volunteers thank everyone who attended for a great conference!

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