ABC on Thursday said it will stay a part of the National Association of Broadcasters, leaving it the only major network with owned-and-operated stations left at the association.
"ABC will remain a member of NAB and work from inside the organization with the twin goals of restoring broadcast industry unity, and embracing consistent and principled deregulation of broadcast ownership rules," said Preston Padden, executive vice president of government relations for The Walt Disney Company, which owns ABC.
On Wednesday, CBS became the third major network, behind Fox and NBC, to leave the association, citing disputes with the NAB board over a cap that limits broadcasters to owning only as many TV stations as cover 35% of the national viewing audience.
Last year Viacom bought CBS, bringing the combined company's total station ownership to 41%. Viacom/CBS, under the leadership of Mel Karmazin, would like to retain all those stations. The company has filed a petition at the DC Court of Appeals to stay the FCC's May 4 divestiture deadline, while waiting for that court to rule on whether the 35% cap is constitutional. - Paige Albiniak