NAB/RTNDA Attendance Down 20%

By Chris Ariens 

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The 2009 NAB Show/RTNDA conference is underway in Las Vegas this week. And like so many other out-of-town events, the dismal economy is taking a bite out of attendance – down 20% from last year. Last year 105,259 attended. This year there are 83,842 registered attendees. is covering the NAB show at the convention center as well as the annual RTNDA confab in the adjoining Hilton hotel.

Outgoing RTNDA president Barbara Cochran, wife of ABC News correspondent John Cochran was presented two awards yesterday: an NAB Recognition Award for her 12 years of service to the Radio & TV News Directors Association and RTNDA’s John F. Hogan Award for Distinguished Service. More in the press release after the jump


Las Vegas — The National Association of Broadcasters and the Radio-Television News Directors Association have honored RTNDA President Barbara Cochran with two awards during the 2009 RTNDA@NAB Convention.
At a joint session on Tuesday morning, NAB President David Rehr presented Cochran with an NAB Recognition Award, to thank her for her years of service to the industry and her role in fostering a strong relationship with NAB. Cochran is retiring this June, after 12 years as President of RTNDA and RTNDF.

“From her tireless efforts to push for reporter shield laws and cameras and microphones in the courts, to protecting journalists’ access in post-9/11 America, to her commitment to promoting diversity in the newsroom, Barbara Cochran has been an inspiration to many of us in the radio and television business,” said Rehr, in presenting the award on Tuesday morning. “Barbara has shown time and time again her dedication to advocating for the causes important to RTNDA’s members.” Click here to watch Rehr’s presentation to Cochran.

In addition to the award from NAB, Cochran also has received RTNDA’s John F. Hogan Award for Distinguished Service, selected by the association’s board of directors.

In her tenure as RTNDA president, Cochran has worked to help the association evolve into a digital organization to serve journalists of the future. She also advanced key press freedom issues on behalf of the industry, such as the abolishment of the last vestiges of the Fairness Doctrine, the historic release of the U.S. Supreme Court’s audio in the 2000 Bush v. Gore case and the most sweeping reform of the Freedom of Information Act in 40 years.

“Barbara has been a tireless advocate on behalf of all electronic journalists. Her passion for our craft, her dedication to excellence and her commitment to our organization are unparalleled. We are a better and stronger organization because of Barbara’s leadership these past 12 years, said Ed Esposito, RTNDA Chairman.

Esposito presented the Hogan Award to Cochran at RTNDA’s annual Business Meeting Breakfast on April 20, 2009. The Hogan Award is named for the founder and the first president of RTNDA. It recognizes an individual’s contributions to journalism and freedom of the press. Past recipients include Walter Cronkite, Brian Lamb, Hugh Downs and Stanley S. Hubbard.

RTNDA@NAB, taking place through April 22, 2009 in Las Vegas, is the premier conference and exhibition for radio, television and online news.

RTNDA is the world’s largest professional organization devoted exclusively to electronic journalism. RTNDA represents local and network journalists in broadcasting, cable and other electronic media in more than 30 countries.