The Wolfpack of broadcasting professionals from across the country return to beautiful Las Vegas this October as The NAB Show and NAB SMTE (Sales Management Television Exchange) welcome Nick Cannon as a confirmed featured guest for two signature staple themes of the media industry conference. The event will be held on consecutive dates (October 9 and October 10) with SMTE slotted for October 8-9 & the 2021 National Association of Broadcasters Show, taking place October 9-13.
One announcement has further enticed, excited and created chatter among hopeful attendees, that involves the guest scheduled to host two of the benchmark features: Nick Cannon.
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” This Maya Angelou quote is one of my favorites and, frankly, could not be more fitting for this industry. It certainly rings true in my experience.
I think we all learn from firsthand experience, and from watching people thrive in their element. I certainly don’t take it for granted that I had such a unique chance to witness the unparalleled work ethic Mr. Cannon exemplified on a daily basis in the past.
The unique opportunity to work with Mr. Cannon proved to be a valuable learning experience for me early in my career. I particularly appreciated the quality work ethic displayed throughout our post backstage in the wing in a brief period of the season. Frankly, he was profoundly professional, a true talent and class act, and he failed to stray from the composition he first displayed.
I know to many, Nick Cannon is polarizing. Some people love him, others don’t care for him. Still, I think it’s impressive that he was very encouraging and welcoming of a last-minute change in plans that left him with a new sound PA backstage for live audition shows.
Cannon wanted to run through the tracks with me and the stage manager to prepare. He never chose to leave his post by retreating to his dressing room, nor did he ever forget an obligation on his ever-growing list he’d continuously add to. By remaining professional, encouraging and energetic, he made a positive impression on a PA who was functioning on a week of 18+ hour days and 3 hours of sleep each night.
I include this because I believe that the stereotype of what many associate with celebrities/household names in their career is unflattering and disappointing. So, I was pleasantly surprised to see this age-old, tired cliche unravel at the seams, yet again.
Amidst what could already be considered a lengthy career for the 40-year-old, it’s undeniable that it has been shaped and continues to be impacted by a willingness to adapt to change dynamically and resourcefully prepare to forge ahead. By applying unconventional methods and freely speaking one’s mind, Nick ‘pays no attention to the man behind the curtain or the way some choose to use their power and energy on social media cancel culture. The vultures may be circling above but that won’t stop Cannon from pushing forward.
NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith spoke about the qualifications Nick brings to the two stages he’ll be standing on during the NAB Show//SMTE conferences. Smith said, “Nick Cannon has entertained millions with his unique brand of humor and gregarious personality throughout his three-decade career. We are excited to hear how his business acuity and industry experience have guided his success in radio, television, film, and music.”
The sentiment above has proven to ring true as Cannon managed to consistently remain dominant across the industry’s mediums—essentially, entertaining every demo across the board at one point or another.
Regardless of your personal opinion, the unbelievable success he’s attained in so many different niches in the media industry cannot be ignored. A career encompassing sketch comedy, roast comedy, situational comedy, host of two of the biggest breakout primetime performance competitions, radio show host, feature film actor, rap artist, music producer, radio producer, radio host on Power 106, and the daytime syndicated show host role he is about to add to his resume, the three decades of Nick Cannon’s career have resonated with each market and demographics within.
The enigmatic Cannon a decade ago was carefully preparing to make the most of the opportunity and seemed to work harder, in quality and quantity, than any other person on the crew. He tirelessly honed his skills for the journey henceforth to the continual and inevitable success that he found in the years following.
In selecting Nick Cannon to lead One on One with Nick Cannon at the kickoff of 2021 NAB Show, the brilliant players of The NAB have set the stage for Cannon to shine while he inspires others. His decades of experience and business acumen, provide him with an opportunity to positively affect change for the NAB attendees, likely resonating with all in attendance.
There’s a great appreciation for the true trailblazers in our industry and the unique way Cannon has proven he will continue to evolve and transform. He has done so throughout his career without skipping a beat. But instead, it’s seemingly led to the route he’s currently on, culminating in the eventual and inevitable industry-led canonization of Nick’s contribution and impact.
“No matter where you fall in the content ecosystem, this is where you’ll reconnect to the tools, technology, and people who will empower you on your path. Take the first look at brand-new products and applications. Engage in compelling conversations with current and future partners. And immerse yourself in a show floor where innovative and future-ready solutions are waiting at every turn. If you’re involved with the business of storytelling, then you belong at the NAB Show.”
Nick’s attention to detail and ability to follow his instincts have led him to the helm of a career in broadcasting on the talent and production side. He’s become a media mogul through his high stakes style of fostering projects that are not even on the radar of other networks. He’s invested in the product and gone to extraordinary lengths to help projects thrive. The fact is he seemingly has invested his past, present, livelihood, and future in media. This is an individual whose multi-dimensional commitment of leaning into the power of embracing innovation, not hiding from it in fear of failure, makes him an outstanding selection for the NAB stage.
I can only imagine how many managers will want to invest in Cannon’s Q&A and learn about his career, business ventures, and their cross sections. A philosophy that lends credence to the evolution and success he’s acquired in his career thus far, and a great example of the parallels of this industry or the benefits to embracing change without altering one’s personal beliefs,’ art imitates life imitates art.
A Great Broadcaster Isn’t One You Grew up Listening To
When it comes to broadcasting, the voices of your youth remain the best, the purest.
When it comes to broadcasting, the voices of your youth remain the best, the purest. Anytime I hear a clip of Lindsey Nelson or Curt Gowdy, I am transported back to 1973 and a big glass of Ovaltine. Bob Murphy, Jim McKay, Keith Jackson, even Howard Cosell. Regardless of what they said or how they said it, those voices are burned into my memory.
Now that I’m in the broadcasting world, I’ve learned the mark of a great broadcaster isn’t someone you grew up listening to; it’s how easy they make it all seem. For those that know, most criticism of broadcasters is either based on jealousy or ignorance.
For every play, there are basically two reactions by the audience. 1. S*%&, my team just gave up the game-winning home run. Or 2. Sweet, my team just hit the game-winning home run. For every call, half the audience is mad. A national broadcaster can never win. That’s how they are judged by a biased, one-sided fan and a Twitter handle. But we know that is the wrong standard to use when comparing the voices of today.
The national greats, Jim Nance, Al Michaels, Joe Buck, or the local greats, Charly Steiner of the Dodgers, Gary Cohen of the Mets, Dan McLaughlin of the Cards, to name just a few, all different, all so good. Their true talent? They make it look and sound so easy.
We know it’s hard, really hard, the names, pronunciations, stats, camera shots, commercials, talk, don’t talk, six voices in their heads, replay, slow motion, obscure rules, fourth-string defensive backs, recently called up relievers, sit in St Louis and call a game in Arizona, and yet these broadcasters, night after night, deliver a flawless performance of the games they work.
One quick story, and yes, I’m guilty of being a bit of a super fan. When a younger Joe Buck called Mark McGwire’s famous 62 home run in 1998 for Fox, he knew the guy who caught the ball. Fifty thousand fans, and he knew the guy’s name? Yes… Who caught the ball in a sea of Cardinal fans? Yes. (Tim Forneris, grounds crew member). Somewhat lucky? Sure, but to be able to pull that off takes a little luck and a whole lot of hard work. That’s the mark of a great broadcaster. “Just Lucky,” some would say, and they would be wrong. The work put in for that level of detail deserves credit. To know the name of a grounds crew member? Be able to recall it when it was needed? It’s not easy, it’s not luck, it’s just great to work, and it just happened to pay off that day.
With all that said, there is a broadcaster today who’s so far ahead of everyone else; he has lapped the field. He’s so good that he goes virtually unnoticed. Nobody outside of the broadcasting world knows his name. He proves, every four years, how simple it looks but how hard it must be. He makes the impossible sound so second nature; any one of us could do it.
He’s great for NBC golf, very good when he was broadcasting Notre Dame football, but when Dan Hicks calls Olympic swimming, he is off the charts. Granted, when a swimmer from Romania wins a gold medal, Australian fans don’t throw things at the television, claiming he is biased. But there is no one better to bring you the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.
Imagine having these names, Rylov, Kolesnikov, Ceccon, Xu, Glinda, roll off your tongue like Murphy, Larkin, and Gonzalez of Spain in one Men’s 100 backstrokes. They all finished within fractions of seconds of each other. He calls the race, gets the names right, watches the splits, keeps the right swimmer in the right lane, and makes it sound exciting in an empty arena. I’m at home and need someone to use the teleprompter to point out which swimmer is the American.
Not counting all the preliminary heats he calls before the finals, there are 37 men’s and woman’s swimming events. He never gets a name wrong, never flubs a pronunciation, knows all the coaches, parents, friends, and backstories.
Other Broadcasters keep some sort of order knowing the same players year after year. Hicks learns names and stories for one race and might never use that information about that Lithuania swimmer, Rapsys, ever again. It’s a whole new crop every four years. I’m more in awe of his work than some of the swimmers and their performances.
I don’t know if you agree or even give the broadcaster of Olympic swimming events a second thought, but the next time a sports fan in your world is quick to criticize a broadcaster, ask them, “Who calls the Olympic swimming events for NBC?”. I suspect they will have no idea, and that in and of itself proves my point. He’s the best nobody knows because it’s so easy, anyone can do it.
End The Shtick: Mispronouncing Last Names Isn’t Funny
Ah-det-oh-KOON-boh if you’re using the Yoruba pronunciation. Or, you say An-tet-oh-KOON-poh in Greek.
That’s how you properly pronounce the last name of Giannis Antetokounmpo. He’s only one of the most popular players in the NBA, a two-time MVP and recently crowned champion.
When you’re preparing for a broadcast, taking the time to learn how to accurately say the name of one of the subjects should be the norm. It’s disrespectful not to. Google and YouTube can be your best friends for phonetic breakdowns.
End the shtick. Be better at your job.
Can you imagine if Mike Tirico and the dozens of other broadcasters working the Olympics for NBC just decided not to learn how to properly pronounce the last names of competing athletes? It would sound foolish.
This is where news anchors, in all size markets, deserve more recognition for properly doing their jobs. Do you know how quickly all credibility of a broadcast would disappear if the anchor refused to learn how to pronounce the names of foreign diplomats?
We need to stop giving sports broadcasters a free pass to sound uneducated.
Early in a broadcast career you’re basically a sponge. Personally, I liked to sit back, take notes, and really learn from those who have done it much longer than I could dream of.
Vividly I recall sitting in a very small, and hot, press box, shadowing a play-by-play broadcast for the Madison Mallards of the Northwoods League. I doubt I was even cleared to talk on the radio yet, so it really was just a learning experience.
The Northwoods League is a summer baseball league for current college athletes.
Gabe Neitzel was calling the game for ESPN Madison, where I interned during school. Late in the broadcast I remember a representative from the opposing team approaching him and letting him know that he had been saying the last name of one of their players wrong.
He was pissed.
Not because someone had corrected him but because someone hadn’t corrected him sooner. There was a misprint in the pronunciation guide. Neitzel quickly fixed his error and continued calling the game.
Afterwards he said that he was a “broadcast diva” and liked to make sure he was saying everything correctly. I thought to myself, that’s not diva-ish at all, you just like to say names the right way. As the athlete probably very much appreciated. I know I did.
Listening to Tirico during the opening ceremonies, I enjoyed the effort he and his team put in to learning how to flawlessly say every single flag bearers name. That’s also why I get so frustrated when I hear Major League Baseball announcers refuse to acknowledge that some letters in Spanish are pronounced much differently than in English. Take a class. Rosetta Stone. Learn the basics.
Once again, Google is a great resource.
During the 2021 NFL Draft the Baltimore Ravens selected Odafe Oweh. Except until draft night he had gone by his middle name “Jayson” because he felt Odafe was too hard for others to pronounce. When he switched back to his real name he said people were just going to have to get used to it.
As they should. Good for you, Odafe. Sorry you felt you had to go by a different name for so long because others refused to adapt.
I don’t want to sound as if I am the most refined broadcaster in the world. Far far far from it. However, there is a certain level of respect, in my opinion, that comes with accurately saying someone’s name. Making up a nickname because you’re uncomfortable with the pronunciation isn’t the move. Purposely sounding ignorant isn’t either.
Side note: Giannis isn’t said with a ‘gee’ to start, it’s ‘yaa.’
Media Forced to Cover the News
In the piece, the Fox News talk host opined that Big Media was forced to cover the scourge of the inner-city violence epidemic after a recent shooting outside a baseball game at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C.
They say the key to effective humor is making sure the joke contains at least a little bit of truth. You get right up to the line and then hit the punch line, leaving your audience wondering exactly where the truth ended and the ridicule began.
Of this, Fox’s Greg Gutfeld is a master.
The comedian/television talk show host has a knack for hitting home with real people, by feeling what they feel and expressing those thoughts in a cogent, funny, and often irreverent manner.
Last week, Gutfeld penned an opinion piece on FoxNews.com, in which he took aim at the mainstream liberal media, specifically CNN. The title of his piece was Greg Gutfeld: The crime problem the media pretends doesn’t exist actually found them at a baseball game.
In the piece, the Fox News talk host opined that Big Media was forced to cover the scourge of the inner-city violence epidemic after a recent shooting outside a baseball game at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. Many fault the corporate media for downplaying the escalating violence and rioting in Democrat-controlled inner cities in recent years.
Gutfeld, co-host of the networks The Five, and host of Gutfeld!, says the recent incident forced their hand and made them discuss the issue.
“Now obviously CNN covered the shooting, doing live shots outside the center field gate,” Gutfeld wrote on FoxNews.com. “Why is that important? Because it was refreshing to finally see CNN cover a crime story. For once. If you watched their network you were told crime was largely made up of hysteria. Just an idea, but nothing real.”
In reading Gutfield’s comments, one can recall the infamous clip of the reporter standing in front of fire-filled riots last year, telling viewers it was a “largely peaceful protest.”
Gutfeld had previously commented that the only way big, corporate media would cover crime is if they were impacted. This game, he said, forced them to face the issue and report the facts that have been affecting much of America, outside the media bubble.
“For a brief moment that bubble popped Saturday night at a baseball game – where the true reality of our crime epidemic hit home, or rather home plate,” Gutfeld wrote. “They got a taste of how the rest of DC lives. Where policies the media supports have turned their neighborhoods into a John Wick movie.”
Gutfeld will continue to be irreverent, as he has been since he joined the network in 2007. He’ll surely continue to deride and mock the Left and their establishment media elite, right up to the line.
He summed up his piece, writing, “So will they learn any lessons from this? Will they reexamine their news coverage, especially regarding crime, and how they dropped that ball when it should have been a routine catch? Of course not. They’ll forget about it by tonight. And say the game was postponed due to climate change.”
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