Forecast 2020 Speakers & Panelists
Conal Byrne is president of the iHeartPodcast Network for iHeartMedia. iHeartRadio carries more than 250,000 podcasts, from its own to other major podcast publishers, and Byrne oversees the iHeartPodcast Network of more than 750 original shows that amass more than 127 million downloads a month, making iHeartPodcast the No. 1 commercial podcast publisher globally. He also oversees a team of over 50 podcast producers throughout Atlanta, New York, and Los Angeles. Byrne led the launch of the HowStuffWorks (HSW) podcast program 10 years ago as CEO, making it the central focus of the company. Byrne joined iHeartMedia when the company acquired HSW in October 2018. He also previously served as senior vice president of digital media for Discovery Communications, where he ran digital for all of Discovery’s U.S. networks and led the launch of Discovery VR.
Kristin Cantrell is owner and CEO of Cap Cities Communications/7 Mountains Media. Born in Annapolis, Maryland, to a TV dance show host and his wife, she lived in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Arkansas, and Georgia before landing in Kentucky. Frankfort is the final stop on a whirlwind tour through a fulfilling radio career, spanning 32 years and roles from DJ to corporate trainer and everything in between. Cantrell is currently the owner and operator of five radio stations in Central Kentucky and 42 radio stations in Pennsylvania and New York, broadcasting over 20 uniquely handcrafted formats, with live and local programming and content.
John David transitioned to senior advisor to the National Association of Broadcasters in February 2018 after serving as NAB executive vice president of radio. In his EVP role, he was responsible for service to NAB member radio stations and liaison with the NAB Radio Board. David joined NAB in 1989 as vice president of Broadcaster Congressional Relations. His broadcast career includes programming and management positions at radio stations in Oklahoma, Missouri, and Kansas. David represented Kansas and Missouri as a member of the NAB Radio Board of Directors from 1984-1988. He is a past president of the Missouri Broadcasters Association, and the recipient of the MBA Distinguished Broadcaster Award. He is also a member of the Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame and was one of the first inductees into the Missouri Broadcasters Association’s Hall of Fame. In 2018, David received the NAB National Radio Award and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Illinois Broadcasters Association.
Darren Davis is president of the iHeartMedia Networks Group, overseeing a number of businesses inside iHeartMedia, including iHeartRadio and all iHeartMedia Digital businesses, Premiere Networks, Total Traffic + Weather Network, NBC News Radio Network, iHeartMedia’s in-house commercial creative agency, and iHeartMedia’s in-house graphic design team. Davis began his career as an intern at iHeartMedia’s WASH-FM/Washington, DC, 26 years ago. He grew into the program director role at WASH-FM when he was just 23 years old and has since worked as regional vice president of programming for iHeartMedia Detroit and Chicago. He worked his way up through the company as SVP of programming, to his previous role as EVP/GM of national programming. Davis serves on the boards of the RAB, the New Jersey Broadcasters Association, the NAB’s Digital Officers’ Committee, and the National Radio Hall of Fame.
Erica Farber is president and CEO of the Radio Advertising Bureau, leading radio’s advocacy efforts by helping to drive business, grow advertising revenue, and communicate radio’s digital transition. Farber joined the organization in January 2012 as executive vice president, responsible for membership, services, and professional development. Before that she was the CEO of the radio consulting and Internet service provider The Farber Connection LLC. During her 15-year tenure at Radio & Records, Farber held positions including COO, president, publisher, and CEO. She has held nearly every position in radio sales & management, including rising through the ranks at the Interep companies to EVP/radio development director. During the early years of her career she held positions at KRTH-FM, KABC-TV, and KIIS-AM in Los Angeles; her radio management career grew quickly when she was appointed GSM and GM at WROR-FM/Boston in the same year. Her success led to an appointment as VP/GM of WXLO-FM/New York.
Meg Goldthwaite brings 25 years of experience in branding, visual storytelling, digital communications, and media for a variety of major brands and nonprofits to her role as chief marketing officer of NPR. Before joining NPR, she served as CMO for Conservation International; as its chief storyteller, she oversaw brand marketing, digital, social media, partner marketing, analytics, and communications. There, she launched the award-winning Nature Is Speaking campaign and engaged new audiences with innovative communications tools, including virtual reality. Her portfolio of mission-focused work also includes leadership positions at Women for Women International and the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund, a non-partisan organization focused on fostering economic opportunities in Haiti. During her time at the World Wildlife Fund, she brought Earth Hour — WWF’s signature climate change initiative — to the United States. Goldthwaite’s corporate background includes 15 years in the telecom industry, where she led teams in marketing, operations, and strategic partnerships.
Randy Michaels, CEO of Radioactive LLC, describes himself as a “mediocre broadcast technician who has dabbled in programming, management, and station ownership. He has been attributable in more U.S. broadcast licenses that anyone else and therefore has extensive experience in guessing what stations might be worth.” That self-deprecating attitude may also partly explain some of the legend behind one of the most-well known broadcasting executives, who has been involved in the industry since the early 1970s. As CEO of Jacor Communications, he led one of the nation’s most successful radio groups, selling the company to Clear Channel in 1999; he remained as CEO until 2002. He later served as EVP of the Chicago-based Tribune Company and CEO of interactive and broadcasting operations as part of the management restructuring following the consummation of the Tribune Company privatization transaction. Michaels is now the sole proprietor of Radioactive, LLC, a holding company for radio broadcast licenses.
Dick Morris is one of the best-known and most highly regarded political consultants in America. With his wife, Eileen McGann, he’s written 20 books — including 13 New York Times best-sellers — and he writes a nearly daily column that reaches half a million people via e-mail and hundreds of thousands more at dickmorris.com. Morris famously provided the strategy that brought about Bill Clinton’s re-election in 1996, after Clinton’s party had lost control of Congress. He’s handled winning campaigns for more than 30 U.S. senators and governors and has led successful campaigns in a dozen other countries, including Mexico and Japan. He currently tapes a daily short video on current events that he posts on dickmorris.com and e-mails to his 300,000 subscribers. He also records a 10-minute Facebook show, Deep 6 the Deep State, that draws over 150,000 views per day.
Kevin Perry is president and CEO of Perry Publishing & Broadcasting Company. Perry Publishing & Broadcasting comprises a a statewide Oklahoma newspaper, The Black Chronicle, and 20 radio stations throughout the United States. He is a native of Oklahoma City, a proud graduate of Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia, and an equally proud second generation of the family broadcasting/media business. Perry has served on many corporate and civic boards, but his true passion and commitment is to the communities the media company serves.
Oren Rosenbaum is a digital media agent at leading talent and entertainment company United Tal-ent Agency, where he spearheads the agency’s emerging platforms division, focusing on podcasts and other interactive entertainment platforms. Rosenbaum represents a variety of podcast net-works, creators, and early stage companies, including Wondery, Wattpad, Tenderfoot, iHeartMe-dia/HowStuffWorks, The Boston Globe, Guy Raz (TED Radio Hour / How I Built This), Marc Smerling (Crimetown, The Jinx), Aaron Mahnke, American Public Media, Anna Faris (Unqualified), Karen Kil-gariff and Georgia Hardstark (My Favorite Murder), and DJ Khaled. He was instrumental in brokering Ron Burgundy’s landmark podcast deal with iHeartMedia. Previously, Rosenbaum was an agent at Paradigm, where he started the digital department, and prior to that, started PTONES, a national nonprofit after-school program.
Matthew Sacks is president and CEO and a co-founder of the Luminary, leading all strategic and operational aspects of the firm. Before co-founding Luminary, Sacks was a principal at NEA, a global venture capital fund with $20 billion in assets under management. At NEA, Sacks focused on consumer internet investments in the content and commerce sectors, working on 40 investments over four years. Prior to joining NEA, he was a member of the technology, media, and telecom investment banking team at Goldman Sachs, where he focused on the consumer internet sector and private company coverage. Prior to Goldman Sachs, Sacks interned at First Round Capital and was on the launch team at Splash.fm, a social network for music sharing and discovery.