Branding, Affils On Tap For Station Summit

The third annual PromaxBDA gathering will feature Publicis digital ad guru Rishad Tobaccowala and a host of other speakers and panels designed to boost local television marketing, promotion and design.

PromaxBDA’s third Station Summit with keynote speaker Rishad Tobaccowala in June at Planet Hollywood Las Vegas is tightening its focus this year on helping TV stations to build brands in an era when viewers are in control of when they watch TV and where they watch it, with technologies like streaming service Aereo and Dish’s ad-skipping Hopper.

“This Summit is fundamentally about driving the bottom line and empowering folks to lead their business through this tumultuous time into a period of success,” says Jonathan Block-Verk, president-CEO of PromaxBDA. “That’s what marketers do. They create brands and sustain brands. The television business is all about the brand now. That’s what this conference is about.”

Keynote speaker Tobaccowala is chief strategy and innovation officer at ­­unit VivaKi. Tobaccowala and his team build brands using strategies like data-driven marketing, story telling and brand rethinking, where companies think about their branding from scratch.

“He is remarkable,” says Block-Verk. “He is a world-renowned expert in disruption, reinvention and charting out the digital course for marketers. He works with Fortune 50 companies — the biggest advertisers in the world who advertise on a local level — to navigate the new media landscape. He understands what big brands are looking for from their local partners. He also provides unbelievable insight into how local TV stations can be disrupters and take themselves into the next phase of the TV industry.”

Other speakers at Station Summit will include Ted Harbert, chairman of NBC Broadcasting, and Deborah McDermott, president-CEO of Young Broadcasting.

McDermott is on the forefront of reshaping TV stations into multiplatform brands. She has overseen a two-year, $25 million overhaul of Young’s content workflow system for its 11 stations. The idea is to allow news teams, from field reporters to anchors, to edit and publish stories on any platform.


Harbert and McDermott will be on a panel called “Welcome to Now: The Innovators, Leaders and Architects of the New Broadcast Paradigm.”

Other sessions will include “Big Ideas Zero Dollars,” “Understanding the Marketing Mix,” “Indispensible Data” and a few professional development sessions.

Station Summit is shaping up to be bigger and better attended than its first two years. Attendance is pacing ahead of last year by double-digit percentages, according to Block-Verk. Well over 750 people attended in 2012.

Most major studios will be there. Every major station group is attending, including first timers Media General and Cox. The major TV networks, including first-time attendee Fox, will hold affiliate meetings.

“It is important not to underestimate how significant is that Fox moved FPAC [Fox Promotions Executive Conference] to Station Summit,” says Block-Verk. “Every single network hosts major affiliate meetings at this event now. Every single Fox affiliate will be there. That’s great for the industry. And it’s important for syndicators because Fox’s airtime is valuable to them.”

Spanish-language Telemundo will hold a marketing meeting at Station Summit, as it did last year. Fox’s Spanish upstart MundoFox is a sponsor.

This year’s Local Awards, which recognize the most innovative and effective TV station promos, is pacing ahead of last year with entries up by double-digit percentages.

“We have 36 categories,” says Block-Verk. “We recognize creativity, excellence and innovation in local television marketing, promotion and design.”

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