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Speakers Lineup

Meet our 2017 Confirmed Speakers! 

Their engaging, relevant and ready to challenge your thinking.  We’re also thrilled to welcome some timely industry updates such as Radio Connect who is debuting in 2017 and ThinkTV who recently underwent a brand refresh.  Please check back again for new updates to our line-up of excellent speakers.   


CEO, Borrell Associates

“A Peek at the Future:  What Happens to Broadcast Media in a Very Digital Marketplace”

In 2016, Canadian businesses spent about $3.1 billion on locally targeted digital advertising, or 33% of all local advertising.  It held the largest share of all advertising channels, and it continues to grow and challenge all traditional media companies.  Advertisers have said their digital budgets are growing specifically at the expense of print media and, to a lesser extent, broadcast media. What are advertisers cutting to fund their digital marketing, and how can traditional media companies survive this growing digital infatuation?  

There’s no question digital media has forged a new landscape for local media. Ad dollars are spent differently than they were a decade ago and more change is likely over the next 10 years.  Media research analyst Gordon Borrell offers a lively and entertaining look at what the future is likely to hold and what role Canadian broadcasters might play. Fasten your seat belts for this presentation, which will include equal doses of humour, frankness, irreverence and a whole lot of compelling research to help your stations reach beyond their potential.


Gordon Borrell is a sought-after speaker for conferences and company meetings and is the local media industry’s leading analyst. He is ranked in the top 2% among Gerson Lehrman Group’s 150,000 consultants worldwide and is quoted frequently in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Ad Age, Forbes and other publications. He has appeared on CNN and other TV and radio programs discussing trends and forecasts for local media. Prior to starting Borrell Associates, Gordon was vice president for new media for Landmark Communications, where he worked for 22 years. He started his career as a reporter and editor for The Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk, Virginia. In 1989 he began pioneering interactive ventures and helped establish the first TV, newspaper, cable and network TV websites. Mr. Borrell conceptualized and helped create InfiNet, an Internet access and hosting company later split up and sold to Earthlink and to Gannett Co. He is chairman of the Local Media Association and past president of the Newspaper Association of America’s New Media Federation. He is married, has five children, and lives in Portsmouth, Virginia, where he has been active on boards and organizations supporting public education and community sports.

Anchor, Bloomberg TV Canada

“Managing Change in a Complex World”

Most of us don’t like pushing ourselves too hard, admitting we don’t know or stretching too far outside of our comfort zone. But embracing discomfort is an important tool for success, especially in what can seem like challenging times in Broadcasting. It’s a secret known by everyone from ballroom dancers to stand-up comics to the Marines.

But Canada also faces an enormous challenge in its productivity gap. The solution is innovation, which is within our reach and can actually make our lives better in every way.  Join Amanda as she helps provide us strategies to become more creative, more innovative and more effective in our work and life.


Amanda Lang has a front-row seat to the world’s daily top stories in business, politics, and economics as an anchor and producer for two weekly shows at Bloomberg Television Canada, called Bloomberg North with Amanda Lang. She has been covering business in North America for 20 years and is an award-winning journalist known for her no-holds-barred approach to the people, companies, and stories making the news.

Previously, Lang was CBC’s senior business correspondent, reporting for its flagship nightly news program, The National, and host of The Exchange with Amanda Lang, a daily business program that aired on CBC News Network. Prior to that, she co-hosted The Lang and O’Leary Exchange with television personality Kevin O’Leary.

Lang’s first job in journalism was for the Globe and Mail, subsequently joining the Financial Post where she became the paper’s New York correspondent. In New York, she made the leap to television, where she first was part of the team that launched BNN, and before long wound up at CNN as a reporter and anchor. She returned to Canada in 2002 to re-join BNN, joining CBC in 2009, where she remained until 2015.

She is the author of the bestselling book, The Power of Why: Simple Questions That Lead to Success, which shows readers how to reignite curiosity at any age to become more innovative and productive. She is at work on a second book for HarperCollins to be published in the Spring of 2017.

President & CEO, Radio Advertising Bureau

“Anything Is Possible in Radio”

The very essence of radio - its unique local connection with the community,  the intimacy of the relationship between our on-air talent and listeners, entrepreneurial spirit and the partnership with our advertisers is what’s driving the medium’s innovation and future in 2017.  Erica Farber will share some of the unique attributes of what’s happening in the U.S. Broadcast market and potential opportunities for the Canadian market.

As President and CEO of the Radio Advertising Bureau, Erica Farber leads Radio’s advocacy efforts by helping to drive business, grow advertising revenue, and communicate Radio’s digital transition. Farber joined the organization in January 2012, as Executive Vice President, responsible for membership, services and professional development. Most recently, she was the CEO of the radio consulting and Internet service provider, The Farber Connection LLC, a firm she founded in 2010. During her fifteen year tenure at Radio & Records, Farber held various positions including COO, President, Publisher and CEO.

Farber has held nearly every position in Radio Sales & Management including rising through the ranks at the INTEREP Companies and serving as Executive Vice President/Radio Development Director. During the early years of her career she held positions at KRTH-FM, KABC-TV, and KIIS-AM in Los Angeles. Her radio management career grew quickly when she was appointed General Sales Manager and General Manager of WROR-FM in Boston in the same year. Her success then led to an appointment as Vice President/General Manager of WXLO-FM, In New York.

In 2000, Ms. Farber received an American Broadcast Pioneer Award from the Broadcasters’ Foundation and has consistently been voted one of "The Most Influential Women in Radio" by the readers of Radio Ink Magazine. In 2009 she was awarded the inaugural Trailblazer award by the Mentoring & Inspiring Women in Radio Group, a group she was a founding member of in its inception in 1999. In 2012 she was named one of the Giants of Broadcasting by the Library of American Broadcasting.

Commissioner BC & Yukon, CRTC

CRTC Report

Steve Simpson was appointed to the CRTC (Canadian Radio, Television and Telecommunications Commission) as Commissioner for British Columbia and the Yukon in 2008 and brings a well-rounded background in conventional and new media to the Commission.

During his career, Steve has acquired considerable experience, first in broadcasting, then advertising and media production and more recently in interactive media and the internet.  Steve was Vice President and Creative Director as some of the world’s largest advertising agencies including Foote Cone & Belding Chicago, Ronalds Reynolds Toronto and Cockfield Brown Montreal.  He was also an equity owner of Angus Reid Research (now Ipsos Reid Canada), and served as Chairman of a public company, Totally Hip Software, an Apple software developer of interactive QuickTime technologies, tools and solutions. 

He lives in Vancouver, Canada, is a Rotary International Paul Harris Fellow, a founding member of the Canadian Heritage Arts Society and has served as a director of the Vancouver Playhouse, the Granville Island Trust, the Peace Arch Hospital Foundation and the Vancouver Port Authority.

VP, Strategy & Marketing, Edison Research

Behind The Numbers—The Next Media Disruption

Tom Webster will look at the data behind the biggest trends in media—the real numbers behind broadcasting, podcasting, streaming and more—and give attendees a road map of what to expect in the next 5-10 years. Tom will present concrete things that attendees can do to position themselves—today—for their roles in both digital and analog media and to prepare for the next big disruptive force.

Tom Webster is Vice President of Strategy and Marketing for Edison Research, a custom market research company. He has over 20 years of experience researching consumer usage of technology, new media, and social networking, and is a frequent keynote speaker on consumer behavior and data.

Tom is the principal author of a number of widely-cited studies, including The Podcast Consumer series, The Social Habit, Twitter Users in America, and is the co-author of The Infinite Dial, America's longest running research series on digital media consumption. He is also the co-author of The Mobile Commerce Revolution, and directed the research study behind Hug Your Haters, the best-selling new book by Jay Baer on modern customer service.


VP Media Insights, THINKtv

“The Power of Television”

Gardner is a veteran media executive with more than 30 years of industry experience in television, radio, digital and research. Before joining thinktv, Gardner served as Vice-President, Strategic Insight – Research at Shaw Media, where she was responsible for the development of research insights supporting and driving advertiser investment in the company’s slate of broadcast and digital assets. Prior to joining Shaw Media in 2002, Kathy was the Executive Vice-President, Media Director at Bates Canada.

Chief Operating Officer, Newcap Radio

"Telling Radio’s Story"

Radio Connects is the new marketing and advocacy bureau for Canadian radio, and has been set up by the Canadian Association of Broadcasters to focus on the promotion of radio to advertising agencies and advertisers.

Ian Lurie joined Standard Radio Inc. in February 1988 as Director of Finance.Promoted to Vice President, Finance in 1995 and then to Vice President & Chief Financial Officer in June 2000. Upon Standard’s acquisition by Astral Media Inc., Ian became Senior Vice President Operations and Chief Financial Officer of Astral Media Radio G.P. In September 2008, Ian was promoted to Chief Operating Officer, overseeing all of Astral’s English radio properties. Bell Media acquired Astral in July 2013 and Ian was appointed Senior VP English Radio Operations - a position he held until his retirement in December 2014. In July 2015, Ian came out of retirement and was appointed Chief Operating Officer of Newcap Radio. 

Ian received his South African C.A. in 1980 working with Arthur Young and Company, Chartered Accountants. Joined Clarkson Gordon in Toronto in 1981 and received his Canadian C.A. in 1982. Promoted to Audit Manager in 1983, working closely with Canadian Broadcasting companies. Joined Cabletel Communications Inc., a leading supplier of cable television equipment, in 1986 serving as Controller and General Manager. 

Ian is currently involved in numerous industry activities, including involvement with the Canadian Association of Broadcasters, CEO Radio Council. Ian serves as a Board member of Numeris and he also oversees Radio Connects.

Besides being an avid golfer, Ian spends his leisure time travelling with his wife Elaine and twin daughters, Renee and Leanne.