Broadcasting With One Voice: CBS and Fox Rejoin The NAB

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Capitol Hill has been a battleground for broadcasters recently. Between the radio industry’s fight against the Performance Rights Act (PRA) and TV broadcasters facing off against cable companies over retransmission fees, it’s certainly been far from dull.

One of the best ways to respond to adversity is with one voice. Earlier this week, broadcasters opted to speak with a more unified voice than they have in years. The Washington Post’s Celia Kang reports:

CBS and Fox Broadcasting resumed their membership in NAB [the National Association of Broadcasters], the trade group said late Monday. The move comes in the wake of an FCC proposal to shift some spectrum held by broadcasters over to mobile broadband providers. The agency has promised to share the proceeds of those airwaves’ auction with the broadcasters, but the NAB has been skeptical of the plan and says its members need the spectrum for future business plans, such as mobile TV.

“The interests of our industry, our company and our viewers are best served by speaking with one voice on Capitol Hill, at the FCC and in the courts,” said Jack Abernethy, chief executive of Fox Television.

This is a landmark. All four of the major broadcasters– ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX — had left NAB’s ranks over the past decade or so because of a policy dispute over how many TV stations a broadcast network could own. ABC returned to the fold in 2005 and NBC followed suit in 2007. With the return of CBS and Fox, we see a return to unity of voice.

As we muster support for The Local Radio Freedom Act in the halls of government, it is good to know that we are rallying our strength.

Image: NAB logo / Fair Use: Reporting
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