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NAB Annual State Leadership Conference Will Host Key Industry Leaders And Legislators



The 2017 National Association of Broadcaster’s annual State Leadership Conference will be held in Washington, DC on February 28. The conference will feature some of the key leaders in the broadcast industry as well as national politicians who will speak to many of the issues concerning the industry. This annual event features a robust program where broadcasters hear from prominent federal policymakers and industry leaders, and where broadcasters meet with their legislators to discuss current issues affecting the industry. The conference is also a great opportunity to network with fellow broadcasters from across the country.

One of the legislative leaders to be speaking at the conference will be United States Senator Dick Durbin (D-Illinois). Durbin, a Democrat from Springfield, is the 47th U.S. Senator from the State of Illinois, the state’s senior senator, and the convener of Illinois’ bipartisan congressional delegation. Durbin also serves as the Democrat Whip, the second highest ranking position among the Senate Democrats. Senator Durbin has been elected to this leadership post by his Democrat colleagues every two years since 2005. Durbin also sits on the Senate Judiciary, Appropriations, and Rules Committees. He is the Ranking Member of the Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on the Constitution and the Appropriations Committee’s Defense Subcommittee.

Also appearing at the NAB State Leadership Conference will be Matthew Berry. For the past four years, Berry has served as FCC Commissioner Pai’s Chief of Staff. He previously served as the Commission’s General Counsel and Deputy General Counsel. Prior to joining Commissioner Pai’s office, he was a Partner at Patton Boggs LLP. Berry has also worked at the United States Department of Justice, serving as Counselor to the Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Policy and an Attorney-Adviser in the Office of Legal Counsel. Earlier in his career, Berry clerked for United States Supreme Court Associate Justice Clarence Thomas and Judge Laurence Silberman of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Additionally, he worked as a staff attorney at the Institute for Justice.


In addition, Jeffrey Smulyan will also be a featured speaker at the conference. Smulyan serves as CEO and Chairman of the Board of Emmis Communications Corporation, an Indianapolis–based radio and publishing company. Smulyan formed and became principal shareholder of Emmis in 1980. A public company since 1994 (Nasdaq: EMMS), Emmis owns and operates 16 FM and 3 AM radio stations in the nation’s largest markets. Emmis owns the two top hip-hop brands in the world, KPWR Power 106 in Los Angeles and HOT 97 in New York City.

Smulyan, is the leading advocate of getting FM-enabled wireless devices in smartphones. He shepherded the unification of the radio industry behind the installation of the Emmis-created NextRadio application in a broad array of FM-enabled wireless devices, allowing consumers to listen to their local radio stations without data charges.

Smulyan is a former director of the National Association of Broadcasters and former Chairman of the Radio Advertising Bureau. He has served as past chair of the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership, a consortium of CEOs from central Indiana’s largest corporations. Smulyan currently is a Trustee at his alma mater, the University of Southern California. He is a member of numerous civic boards and committees. As principal shareholder, he led a group that purchased the Seattle Mariners baseball team in 1989, selling the club three years later. During that time, Smulyan served on the Major League Baseball’s Ownership and Television committees.

Smulyan’s leadership has been recognized by the American Women in Radio and Television’s Silver Satellite Award, the National Association of Broadcasters’ National Radio Award, Radio Ink’s “Radio Executive of the Year,”, Sagamore of the Wabash, and the Entrepreneur of the Year Award from Ernst & Young.

Kevin Sawyer
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