RAB Names Erica Farber President/CEO
Exclusive Interview With Farber
April 3, 2012 at 11:03 AM (PT)
ERICA FARBER has been named the new Pres./CEO of the RADIO ADVERTISING BUREAU (RAB) it was announced TODAY by SCOTT HERMAN, Chairman of the RAB Board and CBS RADIO EVP/Operations.
FARBER, most recently EVP of the organization, will assume the RAB leadership post on APRIL 16th. JEFF HALEY who has led the organization for the last five years is leaving to pursue a new opportunity. (ERICA has given ALL ACCESS an exclusive interview, below.)
According to HERMAN, "ERICA is an excellent selection with the relevant skills and expertise to lead the RAB. She brings an impressive track record in radio sales and management. In addition, ERICA has a clear understanding of the organization and what the broadcast industry requires from the RAB. She has demonstrated a strong capacity of working with multiple constituencies which is critical to the RAB role."
I love this business and feel very strongly about radio. The smarter we all are, the better we will all do as a business.
"We thank JEFF for his guidance and leadership the past five years in helping to shape an organization that fits the radio and media landscape today" added HERMAN. "He's left an indelible imprint on the industry and we thank him for his service and commitment."
FARBER commented, "I'm honored to take on this responsibility and lead the RADIO ADVERTISING BUREAU. In my short time at the organization, the passion and commitment has been exhilarating. I’m excited to build on the momentum set by JEFF and work with the Board and industry at large to advocate for this great medium."
Erica Farber's Positive Outlook Ahead
ALL ACCESS spoke to ERICA FARBER shortly after her announcement. In this exclusive interview about her role and the near and far-term future, FARBER was candid and extremely upbeat about what's to come for radio and the RAB.
AA: With you assuming your new role at the RAB, is there a fresh mission statement?
EF: First of all I am very grateful to JEFF HALEY. He's a fantastic work partner and I am sad I don't get to work with him everyday, but I know where he lives and I will bang on his door if I need help.
If anything, in its simplest terms the RAB is here to promote radio and its benefits with a consistent message ... and have some fun in the process. Radio is still very much a great business and like all businesses, it has its challenges.
Radio is a traditional medium, and at the same time, everyone in it runs at different speeds. But as we embrace digital assets we need to better understand how we marry traditional with digital and all of the various tools and opportunities, and make it as easy as possible for advertisers and marketers to continue to use our product and realize its benefits.
AA: Tell us about your thoughts on social/digital as regards radio's future.
EF: Radio was and is the first true social medium, and we need to remember that and recognize how important our audience is, and learn how to monetize their value wherever they are, and that means across all platforms.
I have to tell you that our RAB members are amazing. And in the short time I've been here, I've become so re-energized about radio and the opportunities it has.
I've taken member calls from those who are facing challenges and having a bad day. They speak about radio's best days being behind them. I tell them to ask someone new on their staff how their day is. Chances are they see the positives ahead. I know I do.
I believe we are in store for some very good days ahead! If you do not want to run fast or be flexible, then this may not be the place for you.
We work with radio companies of all types and sizes, and at the end of the day they are all trying to do the same thing -- being the best at what we do and make a profit, and be excited about their product and engaged with their audiences.
AA: What are your thoughts on how broadcast radio can strengthen brand awareness as we move toward more complex in-car dashboards, and add real monetizable value for the digital streams that radio is presenting?
EF: We need to keep aware of the opportunities to actually have a place on these dashboards ... that's the first issue whether in the car, in-home or in your hand. Radio must be ubiquitous.
Senior execs at radio and the NAB are very focused on this. On a day-to-day level, we need to focus on the local importance of radio, and how we respect our brands and build on them.
What we don't know is what the new shiny thing around the corner is for cars and other digital platforms, and social opportunities, so we must adapt.
We have two challenges -- keeping up with what's new and being the best brand that we can be. Radio can touch, inform and influence a local marketplace like no other medium. Digital allows us to keep ourselves so much more in touch with our audiences.
AA: The evolution of monetizing radio, and in particular digital streams, was recently addressed at an IAB session in LOS ANGELES. They spoke of moving from CPMs to GRPs. How do you feel about this?
EF: On a broad scale, PPM has demonstrated what an incredible reach medium that radio is. And the metrics of how to demonstrate value is changing fast, and is still very fluid. I remain open to the conversations taking place.
AA: What about the difference of opinion on whether to present the same stream as your broadcast signal, or to present something different, or in addition? Sort of like an HD2 or HD3 signal, but without the tower restrictions.
EF: I need to step back and study this a bit more as I don't know the answer to that question yet. Like others I am trying to figure this out. If we didn't have to deal with finances -- it's all about business trying to do things in the best interest of company, listeners and employees, and what you can afford to do and make a profit -- it would be easier to experiment.
As a result, I am a sponge -- listening to everyone and everything to learn and grow. I am very excited about what people are thinking and the possibilities ahead.
I love this business and feel very strongly about radio. The smarter we all are, the better we will all do as a business. We are only as strong as we are as a team, I'm here to do my part in leading the RAB team and thrilled for the opportunity.