Hotties And Horndogs

You know spring is in the air when a bunch of chief engineers and news directors hop on a plane and head to Las Vegas.
NAB/RTNDA is once again in Sin City and it’s time to walk the floor. The convention floor is loaded with gadgets and gizmos to help make your station better (at least that’s what the pitch says).
Watching a chief engineer walk the floor is like watching a 10-year-old in FAO Schwartz.
There are a number of “cool toys” and fun gadgets. You always see a few Hummers set up as live trucks, although I have never been to a station that owns one.
Now, just about everything is digital and smaller in size. It seems nowadays you can set up an entire control room in a broom closet.
Then there are the cameras.
Everyone, it seems, has some kind of camera that is supposed to be better then the next. Many of the booths selling cameras have them set up with perfect lighting and some hotties sitting in front of the camera, so you can check out how good they (meaning the cameras...not the hotties) look.
Let me tell you something: You put some of those hotties in front of my old VHS camcorder and the picture is going to look great.
Forget Celine Dion and Wayne Newton, walking the floor in Vegas is some of the best entertainment you will see.
It is always fun to listen in on a conversation between the sales people and the engineers. The engineer always wants to sound impressive; to someone like me it’s just mumbo jumbo:
Engineer: “So you’re saying that if I run a 4ohm, 80W amp with a backside flux capacitor and 2-gnome fly generators in a miller fly case with 28-gauge heat sinks it will save me 10 bucks?”
Sales guy: “Yes! Maybe even $10.50.”
Damn! Give me two of those.
The news directors only walk the floor for one reason and one reason only (looking at hotties excluded): to be seen.
The average life of a news director is about 18 months. Then they get blown out and have to find a new job.
These guys all look desperate walking the floor, and they scour nametags to see who is worth talking to and who isn’t.
The NDs that have a job just want to walk the floor and look cool. They really don’t know anything about the equipment and they really don’t care (I hope manufacturers already know this before they wine and dine those news directors).
The main thing they want to know is where the best party is and if they can come.
The one thing NDs and CEs have in common? Just ask any Vegas cab driver...they’re both cheap. Last year I talked to one hack who said that of all the conventions that come to Las Vegas every year, this one has the cheapest people:
“You will never see the two-dollar blackjack tables fill up faster than when the NAB convention is in town,” the cabbie told me. He added that all of them ask for extra blank receipts too, so they can pad their expense accounts (hint: tip well or the cabbie will fill out the receipt so you can’t overcharge your station by five bucks for the ride).
So while you are in Sin City, head to the floor and watch the show; believe me it’s better than the Blue Man Group anyway. Make sure you gamble at least once at a $10 table and last but not least, tip your cab driver well.
It’s time that NAB/RTNDA isn’t known as just a bunch of cheapskates in town.
By the way, if you see me on the floor, don’t forget to say hi. I will be near the camera booths, hitting on the hotties.
Have fun and enjoy your stay.