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TVB Goes ‘Forward’ WithHealth Care, Auto Intel | @BCMikeMalone

The TVB’s Annual Forward conference is truly moving forward with its first-ever full-day show, some boldface TV names and a special focus on health care-related TV advertising as the historic Affordable Care Act is rolled out. Key analysts and brand leaders relevant to the local television space will be on hand at the Time & Life Building in Manhattan Sept. 18, including Ralph Giaccobbe, who analyzes health care for Credit Suisse and will offer tips on how TV stations can best secure their share of health care-related revenue.

The category could bring in excess of $700 million to TV stations, says Steve Lanzano, president and CEO of the local TV trade association (formerly known as the Television Bureau of Advertising), as all corners of the health care world—from insurers to doctors to pharmaceutical concerns—angle to capitalize on the overhaul. “It’s a significant new advertising opportunity,” says Lanzano. “It’s the first new category since I don’t know when, and it’s starting to get hot and heavy.”

Still Driving Auto

It’s the fourth annual Forward conference, a reboot of the TVB’s former forecasting shindig. The TVB also used to host a yearly marketing conference at the Jacob Javits Center in Manhattan, in conjunction with the New York Auto Show in the spring. That was canceled in 2009 during the recession, while Forward launched in the fall of 2010. Last year’s confab ended at 2 p.m., while this one runs until 5. CNBC’s Maria Bartiromo keynotes.

It wouldn’t be a TVB conference without sessions dedicated to political spending (George Stephanopoulos, anchor of Good Morning America, moderates) and automotive advertising (Ian Beavis, executive VP of Nielsen’s Global Automotive Group, presents). Beavis’ findings will include a look at the shrinking “purchase funnel”—what used to be a six-month cycle, from a buyer’s initial research until the deal is done, has been just about cut in half—as well as a peek at how and why millennials are sparking interest from Detroit. “They haven’t traditionally been big car buyers, but they are getting into buying,” says Lanzano.

How Tweet It Is

This year’s show also examines more recent trends; NBCUniversal research executive VP Charles Kennedy presents a panel on time- and screen-shifting, while Twitter brand strategies ace JP Maheu breaks down the relationship between television and the social media giant. (It’s not the first time a TVB show has studied the newer platforms’ effect on television—back in 2006, its Marketing Conference featured the theme “Television Goes Multiplatform.”)

But before the health care, automotive, political and social media discourse, Marci Burdick, senior VP at Schurz Communications and NAB TV board chair, will receive B&C’s Broadcaster of the Year honors. The TVB guys say the choice was just about unanimous among her broadcast peers, due to Burdick’s tireless toil on their behalf. “People I spoke with were 100% enthusiastic about it,” says Bill Fine, TVB chairman and WCVB Boston president and general manager. “I heard a lot of, ‘what a great choice.’”

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.