Industry Views

Monday Memo: Hello from Las Vegas!

By Holland Cooke

imThis week, more than a hundred thousand inventors, investors, and techy-nerds from over 150 countries swarm Sin City for CES2024. You’ll be seeing all about it all this week on network newscasts and cable news channels and social media.

And yes, there are square miles of products being introduced here, the “Consumer Electronics” that were the roots of this event. But the big buzz this year will be Artificial Intelligence, at which we-the-legacy-media are looking at over our shoulder, as ChatGPT et al and text-to-speech are augmenting – in some cases displacing – human radio and television talent.


After we’ve spent decades learning how to use his software – Bill Gates tells Inc. magazine that – soon – we won’t need to. He describes your “agent,” your A.I. assistant, a constant companion, in your earbud, that has what Gates calls “a rich understanding of your life.” Think Alexa or Siri…on steroids.

Want to send an email? Just start talking. You’ll never miss a birthday, and you’ll know about flight delays and weather and traffic tangles without checking. And YOUR agent will know your FRIENDS’ agents. Even Gates admits that these virtual social secretaries could faux pas: “Suppose you want to see a friend. If YOUR agent talks to THEIRS, you DON’T want it to say, ‘she’s seeing other friends Tuesday and you’re not included.’” Oops.

Sure, it’s gadget heaven here. And some of these TVs are so big that I can’t figure out how they’d get through the door at home. But, year after year lately, services upstage things at CES. This year’s keynoters include the CEO of L’Oréal and Hyundai and Best Buy and Walmart and executives from McDonalds and Northwestern Mutual and Walmart, as technology changes almost every aspect of life every day.

How big is CES? Even the sprawling Las Vegas Convention Center isn’t big-enough. There will be exhibits and sessions up and down The Strip, so I’ll be getting-in my steps. And I’m reporting for TALKERS readers, every day this week. Help yourself to today’s report here: It can air until Friday. And I’ll be posting daily 60-second reports you can download at

Holland Cooke ( is a consultant working at the intersection of broadcasting and the Internet. He is the author of “Close Like Crazy: Local Direct Leads, Pitches & Specs That Earned the Benjamins” and “Confidential: Negotiation Checklist for Weekend Talk Radio.” Follow HC on Twitter @HollandCooke