Fritts to Get New Contract

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After winning a power struggle, Eddie Fritts can apparently stay at the helm of the National Association of Broadcasters for a long time.

In addition to continuing as NAB president through 2006, he'll have the option of sticking around for at least a year longer, an NAB board member reports. Fritts's new contract will be formalized this week. With radio board members backing him, Fritts defeated a coup lead by Joint TV/Radio Board Chairman Phil Lombardo, who, ironically, heads the contract talks. Fritts's current pact expires this year.

The dust-up so angered radio members that they threatened to push Lombardo from his post. Now that Fritts has settled his score, Lombardo's fate appears secure. Still unknown is how obviously NAB will plan for Fritts's succession.

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The Fritts Years

After an awesome 23-year run, NAB chief Eddie Fritts is about to step down. His record is awesome—but not flawless. He helped the industry shed onerous rules limiting the size and power of radio- and TV-station owners. At the end, however, he couldn't repair fissures that have divided broadcasters in fundamental ways.