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Verizon's snoozer keynote short on news

Long, scripted chats between CEO Lowell McAdams and industry leaders leave eyes rolling.

Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam at CES 2013.
Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam at CES 2013. James Martin / CNET

LAS VEGAS--Anyone tuning in to the livestream of Verizon's 2013 CES keynote hoping for news likely left disappointed. The hourlong event featured lots of rhetoric but little in the way of new data or product announcements.

In his first address to the CES audience as Verizon's CEO, Lowell McAdam spent an hour explaining the various industries being transformed by mobile Internet connections -- and, indirectly, talking up Verizon's prospects in a world in which more and more workers need persistent, high-bandwidth connections everywhere they go.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and Ford Motor Co. Chief Technology Officer Paul Mascarenas came out for separate scripted encounters with the Verizon CEO. Sitting in comfy chairs, the executives read aloud to one another from talking points posted on teleprompters all over the Venetian's Palazzo ballroom.

As the event drew to a close, McAdam said Verizon would launch an awards program for developers with ideas for ways to use Verizon's network to positively affect the worlds of education, sustainability and healthcare. Those ideas, which could result in new revenues for Verizon, would be worth up to $1 million for the winner and $10 million in total.

Verizon earned revenues of $110.8 billion (PDF) last year.