Forecast 2019 Speakers & Panelists
Ben Arnold is senior director of innovation and trends at the Consumer Technology Association, the U.S. trade association that represents more than 2,200 consumer technology companies and owns and produces the Consumer Electronics Show. Arnold joined CTA in May 2018 with a decade of experience as a consumer technology analyst. Serving as CTA’s lead spokesman on industry trends, Arnold regularly authors reports, delivers presentations, and engages member companies in briefings on a variety of topics pertaining to the technology market. His work has been cited by international media outlets including the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and Wired, and he has written for CNET, TWICE (This Week in Consumer Electronics), and Black Enterprise. In 2014, Ben was named to Dealerscope Magazine’s “40 under 40” list of industry standouts. Before joining CTA, Arnold held analyst positions at the NPD Group and USA Today/Gannett.
Jason Barrett owns and operates Barrett Sports Media, a full-service sports media consulting company that helps brands and individuals enjoy success in the audio space. He is chief content officer and lead columnist of the sports radio format’s premier website, SportsRadiopd.com, which features industry news, expert opinions, analysis, and information for radio professionals and aspiring broadcasters. He also hosts the Barrett Sports Media podcast, featuring conversations with sports radio talent, program directors, and industry executives. Before launching BSM, Barrett spent two decades in the radio business. Half of that time was spent building and programming successful sports radio brands such as 95.7 The Game in San Francisco, 101 ESPN in St. Louis, and SportsTalk 950 (now known as 97.5 The Fanatic) in Philadelphia. Before moving into programming, Jason served as lead producer of The Dan Patrick Show and GameNight for ESPN Radio.
Caroline Beasley is CEO of Beasley Media, appointed in 2017 after earlier serving as interim CEO and before that as EVP/CFO, treasurer, and secretary. She has served as a director of Beasley Broadcast Group, Inc. since she joined the company in 1983. She currently serves as joint chair of the NAB Board and is a past chairman of the NAB Radio Board. In addition, Beasley is a member of the boards of directors of BMI and the Broadcasters Foundation of America. In 2017, she was honored by Radio Ink magazine as Radio Executive of the Year; the same publication named her one of the “40 Most Powerful People in Radio” in 2011, 2012, 2016, and 2017. Beasley received the 2016 Distinguished Service Award from the North Carolina Association of Broadcasters and was the 2012 recipient of the Frances Preston Trailblazer Award from the Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio Group.
John Bishop is head of media insights and research at MediaVillage, the media industry’s leading market intelligence, content marketing, and business connections firm. Bishop works closely with content providers, media agencies, and advertisers, providing tools and resources that empower more informed decisions and relationships. Bishop has two decades of experience providing B2B and consumer insights to companies across a range of industries, with a focus on media and technology. His consulting expertise includes applying behavioral science, including the consumer motivation and emotion behind decisionmaking, to help clients understand the whys behind behaviors and trends. Before joining MediaVillage, Bishop led strategy and analytics teams at media and advertising agencies (Ogilvy, Digitas, MediaCom) and market research firms (GfK, System1/BrainJuicer)
Tom Buono is the CEO and founder of BIA Advisory Services, LLC, (“BAS”) a research and consulting firm specializing in media. In addition to providing strategic consulting and appraisal services, the company has two data platforms used by broadcasters, lenders and investors. BIA ADVantageTM is a comprehensive dashboard that examines and forecasts local advertising in every market in the nation, profiles radio and TV competition, presents advertiser survey findings and reports and webinars BIA produces. Media Access ProTM is a searchable database on every radio, TV and newspaper in the country. In addition to running BIA, Tom is the co-founder and a principal of BIA Capital Strategies, LLC, (“Capital”), BIA’s registered broker-dealer investment bank and BIA Digital Partners, LLC (“DP”), the company’s $300 million mezzanine fund. Capital has completed more than $2 billion in transactions over its history. DP has invested in 46 portfolio companies in media, telecom and information services.
Zena Burns is SVP of strategic marketing and brand development at Futuri Media. She is also principal at Moxie Coalition, a strategy and marketing consultancy she launched in 2015 after leaving her position as SVP of programming partnerships for iHeartMedia. Having helped traditional media companies use digital to grow their businesses for 20-plus years, Burns in 2006 was recruited by then-Clear Channel from a senior executive role in Time Inc.’s People Magazine Group to be the radio industry’s first digital program director. After successfully transforming the company’s New York City stations into fully realized digital brands, she was a key part of the team that created the iHeartRadio brand and app, and oversaw original editorial, video, and social content for iHeartRadio and its 850-plus radio stations and personalities. Today, Burns uses her diverse professional experience to help Futuri Media’s broadcast partners in 20 countries worldwide capitalize on growth opportunities through creative uses of technology.
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.
Gregory A Davis Sr. is CEO and president of Davis Broadcasting Inc., which has 10 stations in Columbus and Atlanta, Georgia. Davis began his 44-year broadcasting career in television, where he spent 12 years in marketing and sales management. Television broadcasting took him from Flint, Michigan, to Detroit, where he joined the ABC Television national sales team. He concluded his TV career in Cincinnati as GSM of Multimedia Broadcasting. Davis started Davis Broadcasting Inc. in June 1986, with Greg Davis serving as CEO and GM and his wife, Cheryl Davis, taking OM duties. They have worked side by side for 30 years with a mission for serving their community, with, among other things, annual events such as the Needy Children’s Christmas Party and the Family Day Music Festival.
David Field is chairman, president, and CEO of Entercom Communications. He has served as Entercom’s CEO since 2002 and president since 1998, and under his leadership, Entercom has grown from 15 stations with $35 million in revenues to over 235 stations with $1.6 billion in revenues and the nation’s number one creator of live, original, local audio content. Before becoming Entercom’s president, Field served in a number of positions with the company, including COO and CFO. Prior to that, he was an investment banker at Goldman, Sachs & Co. in New York. In addition to chairing the Entercom board, Field serves on the boards of the NAB, the National Constitution Center, and The Wilderness Society, and on the Madison Council at the Library of Congress. Between 2005 and 2007, Field was chairman of the NAB’s Radio Board. Field has received numerous civic and professional awards, including the NAB’s National Radio Award in 2017.
Major Garrett was named CBS News’ chief White House correspondent in November 2012. He reports for all CBS News broadcasts and platforms and also hosts The Takeout, a weekly podcast about politics, policy, and pop culture. While covering the White House for CBS News, Garrett reported extensively on presidential actions to confront ISIS, Ebola, nuclear negotiations with Iran, and U.S.-European efforts to confront Russia in the standoff over Ukraine. On domestic issues, Garrett reported on the administration’s handling of the health care website rollout, numerous policy failures at the Veterans Administration, and President Obama’s ongoing efforts in 2014 to address racial strife and criminal justice reform. Before joining CBS News, Garrett was a fixture during CBS News’ coverage of the 2012 campaign through a partnership with the National Journal, where he was chief White House correspondent. Before National Journal, Garrett was the chief White House correspondent for Fox News. Garrett is the author of three books: Common Cents, with former Rep. Tim Penny (D-Minn.); The 15 Biggest Lies in Politics; and The Enduring Revolution.
Bruce Gilbert is SVP of sports for Cumulus Media and Westwood One, overseeing all Westwood One Sports play-by-play and the NBC Sports Radio Network, collaborating on the CBS Sports Radio Network, and assisting programmers, talent, and management at the 50 plus Cumulus all sports stations across the country. Gilbert previously served as VP/sports for iHeartMedia, where he had oversight of the Fox Sports Radio Network and assisted the iHeartMedia sports radio stations across the country. With over 40 years of experience, Gilbert has received numerous awards, including being named Sports Radio Program Director of the Year on three different occasions during his tenure at KTCK and ESPN. He has been recognized in Radio Ink’s annual list of top programmers and was also the recipient of the coveted Andrew Ashwood Award, honoring the broadcaster who has made the most positive impact in the radio business, in 2010.
Mark Gray is CEO of Katz Media Group, the leading national expert in audio and television advertising solutions. Gray has been a leader in the media industry for more than 25 years, building a first-class media sales organization that delivers results for its broadcast partners and the nation’s top brands. As CEO, Gray oversees both Katz’s radio and television companies. His primary focus is to lead Katz’s team of industry experts to deliver innovative ideas for advertisers and agencies, driving revenue for Katz’s partners as well as developing Katz’s technology and digital offerings, including bringing Katz to the forefront of the programmatic buying arena. His tenure with Katz has included various management roles, including president of the Katz Radio division before being promoted to president of Katz Radio Group in 2006. Gray is a member of the board of the Broadcasters Foundation of America, a member of the RAB’s Executive Committee, and sits on the board of trustees for the Alliance for Women in Media.
Randy D. Gravley is president and CEO of Tri-State Communications, Inc. Tri-State owns and operates radio stations in small markets north of Atlanta. Gravley got his start in radio as a part-time board operator while attending college. He then went on to purchase his first radio station at the age of 25. Gravley is currently serving his second term as chairman of the NAB Radio Board and as a NABPAC Trustee member. He is very passionate about the radio broadcasting industry and its future, saying, “We have a very good story to tell about radio.” Gravley was inducted into the Georgia Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2016.
Owen Grover is CEO of Pocket Casts, a leading podcast platform recognized by WIRED Magazine as “the podcast app every iPhone user needs” and by The Verge as “The best podcast app for Android.” Grover has spent the last 20 years at the crossroads of media, technology, and content. His extensive product development, marketing, and business development experience spans the worlds of broadcasting, digital music, live events, and beyond. A founding member of the iHeartRadio team, Grover also helped to establish iHeartMedia’s Entertainment Enterprises division, where he was instrumental in the success of the inaugural iHeartRadio Music Awards show. His areas of expertise include digital product and content strategy, strategic partnerships, and integrated marketing. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and son, and is a passionate Radiolab listener.
Davis Hebert is a director and senior high-yield analyst at Wells Fargo Securities, covering the media, cable, and telecommunications sectors. Hebert joined the High Yield Research team in 2007 and is a member of the Institutional Investor All-America Fixed Income Research Team, most recently placing No. 1 in the Broadcasting & Publishing sector, No. 2 in Telecom Services, and No. 3 in Cable & Satellite in the 2018 survey. Before joining the group, Hebert spent time in leveraged finance on loan underwriting and portfolio management functions for the media and telecom sectors; he also has commercial banking experience. Hebert received a BSBA in finance from Appalachian State University and an MBA from Virginia Tech. He holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation and is a member of the CFA North Carolina Society.
ESPN Senior VP Traug Keller leads ESPN Audio and the ESPN Talent Office. For ESPN Audio, Keller oversees all aspects of the business including talent, staffing, national programming content, scheduling, and event production. ESPN Audio is comprised of ESPN Radio, the country’s largest sports radio network, ESPN Deportes Radio, ESPNRadio.com, and ESPN Audio On Demand. Under Keller’s leadership, ESPNRadio.com became the most listened-to live stream of any terrestrial broadcaster in the world, reaching more than 700,000 unique listeners per month. He has also led the expansion of the ESPN Audio brand to ESPN apps, SiriusXM, Apple Music, Slacker Radio, TuneIn. Keller has shepherded the growth of ESPN Deportes Radio, the only all-sports Spanish radio network, which has grown to include 47 affiliates across the nation, reaching close to 80 percent of the U.S. Hispanic market. In May 2016, Keller added oversight of the ESPN Talent Office. Before joining ESPN, Keller was president of ABC Radio Networks.
Colin Kinsella is CEO of Havas Group Media North America. Regarded as a visionary leader, Kinsella has gained a reputation over his career for client-first thinking that increases innovation and sustainable success. He has held positions of increasing authority at some of advertising’s most admired and respected companies. Before joining Havas, Kinsella served as CEO of Mindshare North America, a division of WPP’s GroupM. During his tenure, he managed client relationships across a diverse portfolio including Volvo, American Express, Unilever, and Nordstrom and orchestrated the global launch of The Loop, a data-infused “war room” that monitors data from over 100 sources in real time to drive strategy and track campaign success. In 2014, the innovative work produced by the company’s North American offices captured 34 industry awards and, in 2015, won the MMA Mobile Agency of the Year award. Kinsella was also recognized as a Digital All Star by Media Post in 2015. Under his leadership, Havas Media also won Adweek’s 2016 U.S. Media Agency of the Year award.
Buzz Knight is EVP/Strategy & Innovation for Beasley Broadcast Group. Before joining Beasley he served for 14 years as SVP of program development for Greater Media, where he was responsible for overseeing content and brand strategies for the company. Before joining Greater Media, the radio veteran worked as a program director at several stations, including CBS Radio’s WZLX/Boston, Saga Communications’ WNOR/Norfolk, and Great American’s WLVQ/Columbus. In addition, he was a member of the on air talent team at WNEW-FM. Knight currently serves on several audience-measurement advisory boards including the Nielsen Audio Advisory Council and the National Association of Broadcasting Committee on Local Audience Radio Measurement (COLRAM). He recently launched a new podcast series called Healthy Paranoia where he talks with innovators and thought leaders about the pace of change in technology.
Garret Komjathy is SVP/Media & Communications Division at U.S. Bank. He has 30 years of corporate banking experience including 20-plus years in media and communications new-deal origination, structuring, and relationship management. Before joining U.S. bank, he was responsible for managing the New Jersey Department of Banking as part of Gov. Chris Christie’s administration. Before that, he served as managing director and originator in GE Capital’s Media, Entertainment & Communications Group in New York City. Komjathy has been a frequent panelist/speaker on SNL Kagan Broadcast Finance and Dickstein Shapiro Radio Show finance panels, among others. He has also been a regular speaker/panelist at the NAB BLT Program and Minority Lending Seminar. Before joining GE Capital, he was an originator in Bank of America’s (formerly FleetBoston Financial) Media, Communications & Entertainment Group in New York City; prior to that, he was a relationship manager in a number of different industry specialty groups within corporate banking for HSBC in Hong Kong and New York City.
Susan Larkin serves as regional president for Entercom. She is the market manager for New York, which includes award-winning brands WFAN, 1010 WINS, CBS 880, WNEW, WCBS-FM, and the all-new Alt 92.3. In addition, Larkin has regional oversight of the San Francisco and Sacramento markets. She joined the company in July 2017. Prior to joining Entercom, Larkin served as regional vice president at Cox Media Group, overseeing the Orlando and Jacksonville cluster of radio stations. Larkin joined Entercom with nearly 25 years of experience in radio. Her roles have included VP/GM at Cox Media Group in Orlando, general sales manager for ABC-Disney Radio in Minneapolis, and as a national sales manager and account manager in Columbus, Tampa, and Syracuse. Larkin is currently serving as chairman of the board of the RAB as well as member of the board of NYMRAD.
Vincent Létang is EVP/global market intelligence for MAGNA, the market research and investment unit of IPG Mediabrands, a leading media agency organization. Based in IPG Mediabrands global headquarters in New York City, Létang oversees the organization’s market research, forecasting, strategy, and advisory services. Among the regular publications of Létang and his team are the Global Advertising Forecasts (a bi-annual report on advertising spending in 70+ countries, with 5-years forecasts), the quarterly US Advertising Forecasts, and the new Programmatic Report. MAGNA has been the reference for monitoring and forecasting U.S. ad market trends for more than 60 years. MAGNA’s advertising forecasts are regularly used and quoted by Wall Street financial analysts. Before MAGNA, Létang Vincent led the media/advertising practices in boutique market research and consultancy firms: IHS Screen Digest in London, and BIPE in Paris. Létang has been invited to speak on industry trends in more than 20 international conferences on media and advertising, and is a regular panelist at the UBS Global Media Conference in New York. He is frequently interviewed and quoted in the trade press and the financial press.
Andrew (Drew) Marcus is a senior advisor to Guggenheim Partners in its Media/Technology Investment Banking Group. He has focused on media and technology during his entire career, which has included roles as an analyst, banker, portfolio manager, and venture capitalist. He also currently serves as a venture partner at Walden Venture Capital. Marcus was portfolio manager and managing partner of SLRC Media Opportunities Fund from 2009-2016; the fund focused on long-term investing in public equity and debt securities in the technology, media, and telecommunications sectors. He was vice chairman of global banking at Deutsche Bank, focusing on media and telecommunications, from 2005-2008, and before that was managing director, global head of media research, and senior media analyst at Deutsche Bank and its predecessor, Alex Brown. Marcus has been involved in media and technology transactions valued at over $100 billion, including companies such as Beasley, CBS, Clear Channel, Gray TV, Sinclair, Urban One, and Univision. As an analyst, Marcus ranked as the number one broadcasting analyst in surveys conducted by Institutional Investor and The Wall Street Journal.
Shawn Neathery Marhefka, CFO of Ozark Radio Network, was born into a broadcast family and is a third-generation owner. She started her broadcast career at an early age; she recorded her first spot at age 3 and gave live weather forecasts at age 5! In the early 1990s, she and her husband, Tom, purchased KKDY-FM in her hometown of West Plains, Missouri. They moved to West Plains to manage that station and eventually the family’s Ozark Radio Network of six radio stations and Ozark Digital Marketing. Marhefka believes strongly in keeping alive the Ozark Radio Network’s 1947 founding mission of “Serving the Public.” She has served on the boards of various civic organizations and currently serves on the board of directors for the Ozarks Medical Center.
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.
Harvey Nagler is a media consultant and former VP of CBS Radio News, a post he held from January 1998 through January 2017. He was responsible for CBS News radio operations worldwide, including news gathering and programming, and relationships with thousands of affiliated stations. Under his leadership, CBS Radio News captured dozens of awards, including seven coveted Edward R. Murrow “Overall Excellence Awards” from the Radio Television News Directors Association. In addition, Nagler has been personally honored over the years by numerous professional organizations; among other awards, he has been the recipient of the Radio Television Digital News John F. Hogan Distinguished Service Award and the RTNDF First Amendment Service Award. Before joining CBS Radio News, Nagler was director/news and programming for WCBS-AM Newsradio 88 (1987-97). He joined the station following a stint at United Stations Radio Networks, where he was VP/news and sports and director of news operations. Before that, Nagler worked for the ABC Radio Network in a variety of capacities (1968-79). He began his career in 1966 as a reporter for WCTC-AM/New Brunswick, NJ.
Steve Newberry is EVP of strategic planning and special projects at the NAB and the founder of Commonwealth Broadcasting, a radio broadcast group with facilities throughout his home state of Kentucky. Newberry is a past president of the Kentucky Broadcasters Association and a member of the organization’s Hall of Fame. He received the KBA’s prestigious Distinguished Kentuckian Award in 2009. As an NAB board member, he served as Radio Board chair and NABPAC Chair, and was twice elected chair of the NAB’s Joint Board, and he has also served on the board of BMI and been a member of the RAB executive committee.
Marci Ryvicker is managing director, equity research at Wolfe Research, with specific focus on diversified entertainment, broadcast, outdoor, and cable/satellite. Ryvicker began her career as a certified public accountant at PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLC. She earned her MBA degree from Harvard Business School and holds a BS in economics with a concentration in accounting from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Ryvicker is a certified public accountant and a CFA charterholder. She is also a member of the CFA Institute, the New York Society of Security Analysts, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, and the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants.
Rob Walch is VP of podcaster relations at Libsyn. He joined Libsyn in 2007 and before that founded Podcast411 Inc. He is co-author of the book Tricks of the Podcasting Masters and has consulted on podcasting for Jack Welch, Sen. John Edwards, Gov. Bill Richardson, Noah Shanok of Stitcher, Tim Ferriss, Dr. Mark Hyman, and the Sacramento Kings/Monarchs, among others. He is also a monthly columnist for Podertainment The Podcast Magazine and a member of the IAB Podcasting Working Groups. Walch has been podcasting since 2004 and hosts the award-winning Podcast411, where he has interviewed such prominent podcasters as Quincy Jones, Walt Mossberg, Colin Ferguson (Eureka), Ronald Moore (executive producer of Battlestar Galactica), Phil Gordon (World Series of Poker), Larry Kudlow, and Leo Laporte (TechTV, G4 TV). Additionally Walch is host of the Today in iOS (iPhone) Podcast, the first and largest podcast about the iPhone. Walch was inducted into the Podcasters Hall of Fame in 2016.
Chris Williams is chief product officer for iHeartMedia, overseeing all digital content programming, station curation, marketing, and product strategies for iHeartRadio. Williams previously served as senior vice president of iHeartRadio Programming and, before that, led the programming efforts for stations such as 102.7 WEBN, Project 9-6-1 (WKLS), and 99X (WNNX) in Atlanta. Williams most recently led the product initiative to launch iHeartRadio’s two new on-demand services, iHeartRadio Plus and iHeartRadio All Access, and celebrated iHeartRadio’s eclipsing 100 million registered users. He works closely with the national sales, marketing, and partnership team, the digital team, the product team, and the editorial and marketing teams to coordinate digital contesting and live streaming events like the iHeartRadio Music Festival, iHeartRadio Music Awards, and iHeartRadio Album Release Parties. He also focuses on identifying new and strategic programming opportunities for the iHeartRadio Original stations, and playlists, podcast features and content as well as social marketing strategies.