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Report: Smart Speaker Devices in Homes Climb 78% YOY


The number of smart speaker devices in homes were up 78% Year-over-Year, according to the Smart Audio Report from NPR and Edison Research which was presented last week at Consumer Electronics Show. It was no surprise that voice-activated technology was prominently featured at CES as 21% of people in the U.S. 18+ now own a Smart Speaker, or around 53 million people. There were 14 million new smart speaker owners in 2018 and Deloitte Global is forecasting the smart speaker market to reach $7 billion in 2019.

In the 2018 holiday season, 8% of people in the U.S. got a Smart Speaker, according to the Smart Audio Report. Of those who own smart speakers, 24% are now using one every day, while 18% are using it every day. In January, 2016, 62% were aware of smart speakers, climbing to 77% in December, 2018.

Top Voice Trends & Takeaways, CES 2019:

"CES 2019 was jam-packed with announcements from the likes of Samsung, LG, Sony, and Vizio, many of which shared a theme: support for Google Assistant and Amazon's Alexa," wrote VentureBeat.

"Although we are now just a couple of years into the development of voice and smart speaker technology, a duopoly has already emerged. An entire cottage industry of third-party products has blossomed around (Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant)," according to Ad Age.

Business Insider said, "Once confined to smart speakers and smartphones, assistants like Amazon's Alexa and Google's Assistant are increasingly sprouting up in more diverse settings. One such setting is inside of cars, and last week at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), it became clear that the car is the next major arena for voice assistants."

"Voice-enabled products are also, finally, enabling smart homes to become a reality as consumers grow comfortable issuing commands to devices at home. A slew of manufacturers have debuted smart cameras, microwaves, door looks and more. LifeDoor, for example, will close interior doors to block smoke and heat when signaled by a smoke detector." - CES 2019: How voice, 5G and health tech stole the show," wrote Campaign.

iHM/Bakersfield Names Barry Allen KBFP (Sunny 105.3) PD


Barry Allen
Barry Allen

iHeartMedia appoints Barry Allen as Program Director of AC KBFP-FM (Sunny 105.3)/Bakersfield, effective January 22. He joins iHM from KCEZ-FM/Chico, CA and KEWB-FM/Redding, CA, where he most recently served as Program Director for both stations. Allen has also served as an air talent at KZRV-FM and KLZZ-FM/St. Cloud MN, air talent for KRWC-AM/Buffalo MN and Program Director and Interactive Manager for BOLD Radio. He began his career in radio at WPKR-FM/Green Bay-Oshkosh.

"We're excited to have Barry joining our iHeartMedia Bakersfield family," said iHM Central California Region Area Senior VP/Programming Steve Weed. "When we launched SUNNY 105.3 last year, we filled a major void for Bakersfield listeners and we're confident that Barry will continue to build out the Sunny 105.3 brand."

"I'm thrilled to be joining the ranks of iHeartMedia," added Allen. "The New Sunny 105.3 is a great station and I'm thankful for the opportunity to come on board and help accelerate the station's growth."

iHeartMedia and The CW Announce Multi-Year Agreement


iHeartMedia and The CW have announced a new multi-year agreement for The CW to remain the exclusive television broadcaster and video streaming partner for the star-studded two-day iHeartRadio Music Festival as well as the annual holiday iHeartRadio Jingle Ball event. The CW and iHeartMedia have been partners on these events since 2012.

In addition, under the new agreement The CW will air a "Best Of" special featuring one of iHeartRadio's 2019 marquee events as well as live stream four of iHeartRadio's Theater Shows. Located in both New York and Los Angeles, the iHeartRadio Theaters bring fans intimate performances from top recording artists as well as unique events such as exclusive iHeartRadio Album Release Parties.

"The CW has really enjoyed the incredible relationship we've shared over the years with our friends at iHeart, as we're able to showcase for our fans the best of the best in the world of music," said Mark Pedowitz, President, The CW Network. "As the exclusive TV broadcast and video streaming partner, The CW is looking forward to continuing our tradition of starting our fall launch with the iHeartRadio Music Festival, celebrating the holiday season with Jingle Ball and adding some new events through the year."

"10 year partnerships are rare in any business, and we are excited that these two prized franchises will continue to call The CW their home through 2021," said John Sykes, President of Entertainment Enterprises for iHeartMedia. "This exclusive partnership with the CW will allow us to continue to bring the excitement of our world-class events to millions of viewers nationwide."

More information about the 2019 iHeartRadio Music Festival and iHeartRadio Jingle Ball Tour including dates and performance line-ups will be announced at a later date.

Cumulus/Abilene Names Paula Divello as VP/Market Manager


Paula Divello
Paula Divello

Cumulus Media promotes Paula Divello to VP/Market Manager for the company's four-station cluster in Abilene, TX. Divello, a 24-year veteran of media sales, rises from her previous post as Director of Sales for the company's co-owned group in Shreveport, LA. Prior to that, she was Director of Sales for Townsquare Media in Lufkin, TX and also held Lufkin-based positions as Senior Account Executive, Digital Marketing Manager and Local Sales Manager for Raycom Media.

Regional VP/Operations Mark Sullivan said, "Paula has proven to be a strong leader and I'm looking forward to her many successes in Abilene as our new VP/Market Manager. I'm really happy that we have such a talented group of managers within the company and that we are able to promote one of our own."

Divello added, "Thank you to Mary Berner and the Cumulus leadership team for this opportunity. I am enthusiastically looking forward to leading from the front in Abilene, TX. It's a strong cluster with an invested team, in a great market, with tons of potential. I've learned and grown so much with Cumulus, experienced force values and culture -- and how consistently they drive success. It's a privilege to have the opportunity to drive revenue, ratings, and community involvement for Cumulus as the new Vice President/Market Manager in Abilene."

Syndicated Al Rucker Show Expands into 22 New Markets


Al Rucker
Al Rucker

Nationally syndicated "The Al Rucker Show" is expanding into 22 new markets nationwide including Detroit, Charlottesville, Washington DC, Houston, and many more.

The independently syndicated Urban AC radio show based out of Houston currently airs on over 30 contemporary radio stations and provides music, up-to-the-minute news, interactive discussions, celebrity interviews and entertainment segments focusing on the African-American community that reaches more than five million listeners weekly. Below is a list of the newly added affiliates:

  • Selma, AL - WBFZ/FM
  • Charlottesville, VA - WVAI/FM
  • Des Moines, IA - KJMC/FM
  • St. Petersburgh, FL - WUJM/FM
  • Detroit, MI - WHPR/FM
  • New London, CT - WDUP/FM
  • Greenwood, MS - WGNL/FM
  • Bethlehem, PA - WWRN/AM
  • Rocky Mountain, NC - WYLT/FM
  • Champaign, IL - WBCP/AM
  • Gainesville, FL - WMBT/FM
  • Long Beach, CA - KLBF/FM
  • Flint, MI - Online Station
  • Richmond, VA - Online Station
  • Houston, TX - 95.3 JAMZ/Online Station
  • Opelousas, LA - Online Station
  • Washington, DC - WE ACT Radio
  • Alexandria, LA - KAYT 88.1 FM
  • Shreveport, LA - KAYT 92.5 FM
  • Monroe, LA - KAYT 98.9 FM vNatchez, MS - KAYT 99.3 FM
  • Lak Charles, LA - KAYT 100.1 FM

"I try to impact and empower our listeners, as well as the kids in our community by promoting education and delivering the news in a fun, yet instructive way," says Rucker.

Radio Mercury Awards Announces 2019 Call for Entry


Radio Mercury Awards
Radio Mercury Awards

Call for Entry for the 28th Annual Radio Mercury Awards officially opened today. This year two new prizes have been added that reflect the current advertising environment for radio and related audio platforms including podcasts, jingles, sonic branding, music and sound - Creative Use of Audio and Creative Use of Sound/Music.

New to this year's competition, the Radio Mercury Awards will now accept entries from agencies, production/audio companies and advertisers in Canada and Mexico for work that was broadcast or released initially and primarily in the U.S. and its territories.

Lastly, the Spanish Language Spot/Campaign category is now open to radio stations/groups.

The Radio Mercury Awards will announce the total number of awards to be given out when the 2019 Finalists are announced in early May. Winners will be announced at the 2019 Radio Mercury Awards event on June 6, 2019 at SONY Hall in New York.

For more information regarding entry guidelines, category descriptions, entry fees, and deadlines please log onto www.radiomercuryawards.com.

Kiss 104.1 Names Terri Avery Program Director in Atlanta


Terri Avery
Terri Avery

Cox Media Group names Terri Avery as Program Director of Urban WALR-FM (Kiss 104.1) Atlanta, effective January 22. Most recently, Avery served as the radio station manager and instructor at Carolina School of Broadcasting in Charlotte. Prior to that, she spent fourteen years as the Operations Manager and Program Director for then CBS Radio's WPEG and WBAV in Charlotte. Her career also includes programming stops in Baltimore, Dallas and Houston.

"I am so excited to join the Cox Media Group Atlanta team and serve as the Program Director of WALR. I look forward to working alongside Chris Eagan, Steve Smith, Donna Hall, Tim Clarke and the Kiss 104.1 team," said Avery. "Look out ATL, here I come."

"Terri is well-regarded in the radio industry. She is smart, engaging, a champion in talent coaching and an expert in Urban AC," added Director of Operations Chris Eagan. "Her years of diverse experience make her a great addition to the Kiss 104.1 team."

SBS Appoints Victor Roque as VP/GM of Puerto Rico Cluster


Victor Roque
Victor Roque

Spanish Broadcasting System appoints Victor Roque as VP and General Manager of its cluster in Puerto Rico market, including La Mega 106.9, La Nueva 94, Zeta 93, Play 96.5, LaMusica App and MegaTV. He'll continue to be based in Puerto Rico and report to COO Albert Rodriguez. Most recently, Roque served as VP/Sales. Before this appointment he served as New Business Development Director for SBS Puerto Rico for 11 years. Prior to SBS, Roque served as New Business Director for San Juan Star newspaper and Covenant Media.

"Victor is the consummate ad sales executive and one of the most driven and creative leaders on our sales team in Puerto Rico. He's a veteran of the business who comes to the role with passion and deep experience that will elevate how we serve our clients in the area. Puerto Rico is a highly competitive market and Victor is the kind of sales leader our team needs to meet the rapidly changing advertising landscape" said Rodriguez. "His understanding of our diverse audience will ensure we continue to push barriers while delivering strategic results to make a lasting difference with our clients."

"I am thrilled with this announcement," added Roque. "Given the vast success of SBS's programming lineup, and the impressive progress of the Company on all fronts, this is clearly a wonderful time to be at the nation's preeminent Spanish-language media company. I look forward to working with SBS's well-respected staff as well as Puerto Rico's talented management team as we continue to build upon the company's success."

Westwood One Expands ROI Guarantee With C3 Metrics


Westwood One and C3 Metrics
Westwood One and C3 Metrics

C3 Metrics, a cross-channel advertising measurement company, has entered into an agreement with Westwood One to expand WWO's ROI Guarantee by providing the first national radio attribution measurement. Under the deal, Westwood One will utilize the proprietary C3 Metrics Outcome Currency (BOS Score) to enable national advertisers to assess the incremental impact of their network radio ad campaigns, including performance by creative, day of week, time of day, program and radio personality.

C3 Metrics attribution for advertisers further expands Westwood One's ROI Guarantee insights platform, which includes Nielsen Auto Cloud, Nielsen's Marketing Cloud, creative testing from audio effectiveness firms Veritonic, ABX and more.

"Our partnership with C3 Metrics adds national attribution measurement to our industry-leading Westwood One ROI Guarantee audio insights platform and offers brands even more proof of radio's ability to drive ROI," said Suzanne Grimes, EVP, Corporate Marketing, Cumulus Media and President, Westwood One. "We can now measure the site traffic and search impact of network AM/FM radio and streaming audience insights from our weekly audience of a quarter of a billion listeners. While many local radio stations are now measuring the impact of radio campaigns on local retailer's site and search, this is a first for the network radio space."

Westwood One recently utilized C3 Metrics to quantify the impact of a September 2018 direct to consumer campaign for a national home goods brand. C3 Metrics found:

  • Online behavior steadily grew throughout the campaign - average lift grew by 41% between Week 1 and Week 4.
  • For this campaign, Adult Contemporary was the strongest performing format. News/Talk and Classic saw search/site effect that outperformed their share of campaign impressions.
  • Key personalities in the campaign who aired on air endorsements were very effective at driving online behavior.
  • Online behavior lift was most significant between the hours of 7pm and 10pm, coinciding with air times of key shows in the campaign.
"Accurate attribution for radio has been lacking in the national marketplace and as a result, advertisers were not getting a full sense of the value and impact of what the platform can mean for their digital engagement efforts," said C3 Metrics COO and co-founder Jeff Greenfield. "We are pleased to be working with Westwood One, the largest audio broadcast network in America, to help bring AM and FM radio advertising into a new age of outcome measurement to demonstrate the importance radio plays in the marketing mix."

Jennifer Sulik Named Beasley XP's VP/Strategic Partnerships


Jennifer Sulik
Jennifer Sulik

Beasley Media Group has named Jennifer Sulik to the newly created position of Vice President of Strategic Partnerships at Beasley XP, the company's recently announced esports division. She will be based at the company's offices in Ferndale, Michigan.

Sulik most recently served as the founder and chief executive officer of Go Media Detroit, a successful digital media advertising agency in the Motor City. In addition, she worked in the Digital Sales division at WXYZ-TV in Detroit and UBM Tech in San Francisco, where Sulik developed integrated business-to-business media campaigns targeting game developers and game industry influencers, including Game Developer Magazine, Gamasutra.com and Indiegames.com.

"We are thrilled to welcome Jennifer into the Beasley Media Group family," said Chief Executive Officer Caroline Beasley. "Her vast experience in digital media sales, combined with Jennifer's background in game development, made her the perfect choice to oversee the sales and marketing efforts for our new esports division."

Twitter Chat to Feature Journalist Maria Elena Salinas


Maria Elena Salinas and Fernando Pizarro
Maria Elena Salinas and Fernando Pizarro

As part of NAB's "We Are Broadcasters" initiative, Maria Elena Salinas will hold a for a live Twitter chat on Tuesday, January 15 at 1pm ET moderated by Univision's Fernando Pizarro. Salinas will be fielding questions in English and Spanish on the important role of Spanish language broadcasters in communities across the nation.

Often called "the Voice of Hispanic America," Salinas is a widely known journalist in the Hispanic community. She's interviewed presidents and foreign leaders, led presidential debates and served as a wartime correspondent during her career. Fernando Pizarro is the Washington correspondent for Univision, covering all happenings in in both Congress and the Administration.

For those who have never participated in a Twitter chat, follow these three steps:

  1. Log in with your Twitter handle at 1pm on Tuesday, January 15
  2. Enter the hashtag: #LatinosInNews and TweetChat will pull up all the related messages so you can follow the conversation
  3. Feel free to ask a question or just read along
NAB's "We Are Broadcasters" initiative highlights the unique and important ways broadcasters serve their local communities. For more information on the initiative, visit wearebroadcasters.com.

Benztown Extends 8-Year Partnership with Cumulus, WWO


Benztown
Benztown

Benztown has signed a multi-year partnership extension with Cumulus Media and Westwood One. Under the new agreement, Benztown will provide radio imaging, production, voiceover, programming and jingles to Westwood One and to Cumulus' owned and operated stations. WWO will continue to manage affiliation and advertising sales for all Benztown production and imaging libraries and Benztown will direct production of the network's library offerings.

Additionally, Westwood One will manage affiliate and advertising sales for Benztown's voiceover services available to stations for barter and will handle ad sales representation for select Benztown Radio Networks programs and services. Westwood One will continue to represent Benztown's technology and proprietary web-based imaging solution, Benztown Branding, used daily by nearly 1,200 broadcast radio stations and digital services.

Cumulus Media and Westwood One Executive VP/Content & Programming Mike McVay said, "Benztown provides us with the ability to share creative content across multiple platforms as well as takes our ideas and turns them into amazing."

Cumulus Media Executive VP Marketing and Westwood One President Suzanne Grimes added, "Our partnership with Benztown delivers signature audio imaging and premium creative content and production for our radio brands and stations across the country. We are proud to have helped Benztown grow their business into an industry force and are pleased to continue this successful partnership."

Benztown President Dave "Chachi" Denes said. "We couldn't be more excited to continue to partner with Cumulus Media and Westwood One to create the best-sounding stations and programming in Radio. We are incredibly grateful to Mike McVay, Suzanne Grimes, and Charles Steinhauer for their support and belief in what we do. Our relationship with so many of the industry's most talented professionals and innovative audio brands has enabled us to up our game with each year, and we look forward to continuing to do our best work together."

NAB Show to Launch Product of the Year Awards


NAB Show will debut a new Product of the Year awards program for 2019 NAB Show exhibitors. The awards will recognize the most significant and promising new products and technologies on the Show floor. NAB Show, the world's largest convention encompassing the convergence of media, entertainment and technology, takes place April 6-11 (exhibits April 8-11) in Las Vegas.

Product of the Year awards will be selected by a panel of industry experts in 15 categories and announced at a reception at the Westgate on April 10. To be eligible for an award, nominated products and technologies must be on display at the 2019 NAB Show for the first time and available for delivery in calendar year 2019.

"NAB Show has always been the premier launch pad for new products that sit at the intersection of media, entertainment and technology," said NAB Executive Vice President of Conventions and Business Operations Chris Brown. "Given today's rapid pace of change, it is an ideal time to create the first official show awards that recognize innovative new products."

Product categories for the awards program are as follows:

  • AI/Machine Learning
  • Asset Management, Automation, Playout
  • Audio Production, Processing and Networking
  • Cameras, Camera Support and Accessories
  • Cloud Computing and Virtualization
  • Display Systems/Digital Signage
  • Graphics, Editing, VXF, Switchers
  • Hardware Infrastructure
  • IT Networking/Infrastructure & Security
  • Lighting
  • OTT/IPTV/Streaming/Connected TV
  • Radio
  • Remote Production
  • Storage
  • Video Transport

NAB Show will begin accepting nominations on February 1 at nabshow.com for the 2019 Product of the Year awards. For more information, exhibitors can email Melissa Kittson at mkittson@nab.org or call 202-429-3924.

LiveXLive Partners with iHeartMedia for Streaming


LiveXLive Media Inc. has announced a partnership with iHeartMedia to livestream the 2019 iHeartRadio ALTer Ego taking place at the historic, "Fabulous" Forum in Los Angeles on January 19. LiveXLive will announce an additional livestream in partnership with iHeartMedia in early 2019.

ALTer Ego, now in its second year, will feature the biggest names in Alternative Rock including Twenty One Pilots, The Killers, Muse, Weezer, Rise Against, Bishop Briggs and The Revivalists, and the event sold out in less than a minute of being on sale to the general public. Proud partners of the 2019 iHeartRadio ALTer Ego include Hulu and Simple Truth.

iHeartRadio ALTer Ego is part of iHeartMedia's roster of nationally-recognized events including the iHeartRadio Music Festival, the iHeartRadio Music Awards, the nationwide iHeartRadio Jingle Ball Concert Tour Presented by Capital One, iHeartRadio Fiesta Latina, the iHeartCountry Festival and the iHeartRadio Wango Tango.

"Our mission is to bring our global audience of music fans the ‘best seat in the house' for musically diverse concerts by the most popular artists," Rob Ellin, CEO and chairman of LiveXLive said. "iHeartMedia, with its massive reach across radio, digital and social, and its culture-defining marquee events such as ALTer Ego, is undeniably a perfect fit."

"iHeartRadio ALTer Ego is the premier nationwide alternative music event of the year," said John Sykes, President of Entertainment Enterprises for iHeartMedia. "With tickets having sold out immediately, our partnership with LiveXLive will give music fans across the country the opportunity to view this livestream on any device."

In addition to performances, LiveXLive will livestream original content created around the artists and the events.

LiveXLive plans to stream more than 27 music festivals and concerts across the globe featuring over 350 hours of live content during its 2019 fiscal year. The company has quickly expanded its live opportunities to include single artist, award shows, tributes and other cultural events.

Panoply Media Welcomes iHM to its Megaphone Platform


Panoply Media announced today that iHeartMedia has selected Panoply's Megaphone platform to distribute select podcasts across its iHeartPodcast Network. Megaphone will distribute iHeartPodcast hits like Happy Face, Ridiculous History, The Herd with Colin Cowherd, How to Money, The Daily Zeitgest, and Whine Down with Jenna Kramer, as well as Unobscured, The End of the World with Josh Clark, iHeartRadio Presents: Inside The Studio, and The Ron Burgundy Podcast, one of the most anticipated launches of 2019.

iHeartMedia will have access to Megaphone's full suite of best-in-class tools for publishing, dynamic ad insertion, ad operations, campaign management, reporting, and analytics to help manage its podcast business. Megaphone will also aid in streamlining operations and aligning iHeartMedia's teams across the country.

"Podcasting has emerged as our newest and fastest growing audio platform, with incredible audience engagement," said Conal Byrne, President of the iHeartPodcast Network. "2019 is going to be a huge year for us, rolling out dozens of new shows, and after much examination, we are delighted to have selected Megaphone as our key enterprise and infrastructure partner for a slate of our biggest hits as we continue our extraordinary podcast growth."

"iHeartMedia is transforming the podcast industry with its innovative and enlightening content," said Brendan Monaghan, CEO of Panoply Media. "We're incredibly proud to be working with the leading audio company in America, and we're committed to continuously improving our technology to support their podcast business."

iHeartMedia's move to Megaphone follows its acquisition of Stuff Media, LLC, which includes the hugely successful HowStuffWorks podcast network. HowStuffWorks announced earlier this year that its entire slate of shows would be hosted on Megaphone.

Vertical Bridge Sets New Milestone in Wireless Infrastructure


Vertical Bridge Holdings, LLC, the largest private owner and operator of communications infrastructure in the United States, today announced that it has grown its portfolio to 266,000 owned, master-leased and right-to-master sites. The company, which is entering its fifth year of operations, also announced that it has built more than 500 macro towers for U.S. telecommunications carriers to date, with the majority having been constructed within the last year.

The announcements mark two more milestones for the company, which has grown into one of the nation's top broadband and broadcast infrastructure providers. Since Vertical Bridge was founded in 2014, the company has had a string of successes that includes four securitizations in the last two years as well as more than 250 acquisitions, which have helped to increase its owned and master-leased tower portfolio to over 16,000 sites across the country.

"Vertical Bridge has been on an outstanding growth trajectory since its start only a few years ago thanks to co-founders Alex Gellman, Bernard Borghei, Mike Belski and the team they've built," said Marc Ganzi, Executive Chairman of Vertical Bridge and Co-Founder and CEO of Digital Bridge Holdings, LLC, Vertical Bridge's largest investor. "They have continually found new ways to expand their portfolio, develop new partnerships and meet the needs of infrastructure customers in a dynamic sector."

"When my co-founders and I started Vertical Bridge, our goal was - and still is - to disrupt the wireless infrastructure model with a different type service - one that allowed us to move quickly while remaining extremely flexible," said Alex Gellman, who also serves as CEO. "This model has been a key driver to our success, and we wouldn't be able to do it without the right team in place - from investors to management to every one of our employees. We are extremely grateful to have had their support and dedication over the past four years and look forward to continuing to work together as we keep growing."

Entercom Expands ''Channel Q'' to KNDD-FM-HD2 Seattle


Channel Q
Channel Q

Entercom is expanding Channel Q to K277AE-FM (103.3) and KNDD-FM-HD2 in Seattle. CHANNEL Q, the LGBTQ+ Talk radio network, provides the latest in LGBTQ+ news and information, pop culture and new music. "We are thrilled to bring CHANNEL Q to Seattle," said Entercom Seattle Senior VP/Market Manager Jack Hutchison. "We're passionate about giving a voice to the LGBTQ+ community and its allies, and look forward to partnering with people and organizations that help the LGBTQ+ community thrive in Seattle."

The station's weekday lineup includes "The Morning Beat" hosted by Jai Rodriguez and Mikalah Gordon (6-10am), "Dumb Gay Politics + Everything Else" hosted by Julie Goldman & Brandy Howard (10am-noon), "No Things Considered with Kevin Klein & Ally Johnson" (12-2pm), "Our House" (2-4pm), "Let's Go There" hosted by Shira Lazar and Ryan Mitchell (4-7pm) and "LoveLine" hosted by Dr. Chris Donaghue (Monday-Thursday) (7-9pm).

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Quick Snaps
Beasley Media Group: Beasley Media Group, in collaboration with the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, unveiled the winners of the Media Innovation Hackathon initiative at CES 2019. The awards ceremony took place on Thursday, January 10 at the UNLV Office of Economic Development booth. L-R: Bruce Beasley, UNLV's Dr. Mary Croughan, CTA Senior Director of Innovation & Trends Ben Arnold, BMG's Buzz Knight, UNLV students Erick Serrano & Yuria Mann, UNLV's Zach Miles, UNLV Provost Diane Chase and Brian Beasley.