WASHINGTON, DC – The NAB Joint Board of Directors met this week in Washington, DC. Below is a summary of the Board's actions.
JOINT BOARD OF DIRECTORS, JANUARY 29-30
CALL TO ORDER
NAB Joint Board Chairman Jack Sander, Senior Advisor to Belo Corp., called the meeting to order. After a call of the roll, the minutes of the October Board meeting were approved.
Mr. Sander briefly outlined the organizational goals set for 2008 and highlighted the many issues that lie before broadcasters in Washington. He noted the importance of NAB's digital TV transition educational campaign and briefed the board on the recent rollout of NAB's new logo.
NAB President and CEO David K. Rehr outlined many of the issues facing broadcasters in 2008 and noted NAB's ongoing aggressive advocacy efforts to achieve success.
NAB Executive Vice President of Government Relations Laurie Knight briefed the Board on advocacy efforts related to the performance tax and reporter shield legislation.
NAB Executive Vice President of Legal & Regulatory Affairs Marsha MacBride briefed the Board on advocacy efforts related to the proposed, media ownership rules, program content issues, the XM-Sirius merger, and the FCC's recent NPRM related to localism.
Mr. Rehr provided an assessment of the presidential election and outlined a number of competitive Congressional races.
NAB Radio Board Second Vice Chairman Steve Newberry, president and CEO of Commonwealth Broadcasting Corporation, updated the Board on the NAB Political Action Committee and urged members to contribute. He noted that Larry Patrick of Patrick Communications will serve as incoming NABPAC Chairman.
NAB Executive Vice President of Conventions and Business Operations Chris Brown briefed the Board on the upcoming NAB Show, noting the show's new theme, "Where Content Comes to Life."
RADIO BOARD OF DIRECTORS, JANUARY 29
CALL TO ORDER
NAB Radio Board Chairman Russ Withers, owner of Withers Broadcasting Companies, called the meeting to order. After roll call, the minutes of the October Board meeting were accepted.
Brand consultant Kelly O'Keefe updated the Board on the status of the Radio 2020 initiative designed to remind listeners, advertisers and the electronics industry of the important role Radio plays in daily life.
PERFORMANCE TAX/INTERNET STREAMING
Laurie Knight, EVP of Government Relations, briefed the Board on efforts by the Recording Industry Association of America to convince Congress to pass a "performance tax" on local radio stations. She noted that more than 140 members of the House of Representatives have co-sponsored a competing piece of legislation backed by NAB -- the "Local Radio Freedom Act" -- that highlights the positive contributions of local Radio and urges lawmakers to oppose imposition of the performance tax.
Mike Williams briefed the Board on the status of issues related to the Copyright Royalty Board's Internet streaming rate-setting decisions.
Bob Struble, president of iBiquity Digital Radio Corp., updated the Board on what he termed a "breakthrough year" for HD Radio in 2007. He noted that HD Radio receiver sales topped 330,000 in 2007, compared to 40,000 the previous year. He thanked NAB for its support of HD Radio and urged broadcasters to continue to expand promotional efforts to help boost consumer demand.
Caroline Beasley, chair of the HD Radio Technology Advancement Task Force, briefed the Board on efforts by the Task Force and the HD Radio Alliance to target auto manufacturers with positive HD Radio messages. The goal is to encourage carmakers to "fully equip" vehicles with an HD Radio.
HIGH POWER FM IBOC
Acting upon a recommendation from the NAB Digital Radio Committee, the Board unanimously approved a resolution to seek FCC authorization for higher-power operation of FM HD Radio stations.
AM ON FM TRANSLATORS
NAB General Counsel Jane Mago updated the Board on an NAB-backed FCC rulemaking that would allow AM stations to use FM translators to boost their service areas and better serve their communities.
SMALL/MEDIUM MARKET RADIO COMMITTEE
Board member and Small/Medium Market Radio Committee chairman Pete Benedetti, president and CEO of New Northwest Broadcasters, briefed the Board on actions of the Small/Medium Market Radio Committee. He noted that FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell attended the Committee's Tuesday meeting to listen to many of the concerns of small market radio broadcasters. Mr. Beneditti also urged all small market broadcasters to weigh in with members of Congress against a performance tax.
NAB RADIO UPCOMING EVENTS
John David, EVP, NAB Radio, reported on activities of the NAB Radio Department. He noted that media executive Bob Pittman of Double O Broadcasting will be the luncheon speaker at the NAB Show in Las Vegas, an event that will include the induction of legendary Chicago Radio personality Larry Lujack into the NAB Hall of Fame.
Mr. David reported that plans are well underway for The NAB Radio Show in Austin Sept. 17-19. Steve Goldstein of Saga Communications will chair the Steering Committee for the event.
TELEVISION BOARD OF DIRECTORS, JANUARY 30
CALL TO ORDER
Television Board Chairman Alan Frank, president, Post-Newsweek Stations, Inc. called the Television Board to order. After a call of the roll, minutes of the October Board meeting were approved.
Board member Paul McTear, president and CEO of Raycom Media, led a discussion on the critical need for reform of duopoly rules to allow small and medium market broadcasters to better serve viewers.
NAB President David K. Rehr updated the Board on NAB TV membership status and upcoming NAB television events.
DTV TRANSITION ISSUES
Mr. Rehr briefed the Board on the myriad efforts of NAB to educate Americans on the historic transition to digital television. He noted that NAB was releasing a poll showing that awareness of the DTV transition has more than doubled in the last year, thanks in part to public service announcements being aired on broadcast television stations all over America.
The TV Board adopted the following resolution to help address the low power TV and TV translator issue:
The TV Board:
(a) Directs the NAB president to prepare and send a letter to DTV converter box manufacturers urging them to incorporate analog pass through capacity in DTV converter boxes;
(b) Urges all TV stations to help explain how low power stations and TV translators will be affected by the DTV transition;
(c) Directs NAB to help identify areas where large numbers of viewers could continue to receive analog signals from low power and TV translators after the DTV transition;
(d) Directs NAB to help produce, as part of its overall efforts to educate the public on the DTV transition, spots to educate viewers of low power and TV translators on what they should do to continue to receive these signals after the DTV transition.
Susan Cuccinello, senior vice president of research for the Television Bureau of Advertising, briefed the TV Board on issues related to Nielsen ratings for time-shifted viewing.
THIRD PERIODIC REVIEW / INTERFERENCE ZONES
MSTV President David Donovan updated the TV Board on recent developments related to the FCC's Third Periodic Review for digital TV and the continued desire from companies like Microsoft and Google to introduce interference-causing unlicensed personal-portable devices in the TV bands.
BIA Financial Network Vice President Mark Fratrik and NAB Senior Vice President of Science & Technology Lynn Claudy briefed the TV Board on a recent NAB FASTROAD-commissioned study analyzing the impact of technical standardization and service launch timing on the likely success of new mobile digital TV broadcast services.
The National Association of Broadcasters is a trade association that advocates on behalf of more than 8,300 free, local radio and television stations and also broadcast networks before Congress, the Federal Communications Commission and the Courts. Information about NAB can be found at www.nab.org.