National Association of Broadcasters president and CEO Eddie Fritts opened
his organization's annual convention by calling on CBS, NBC and Fox to rejoin
"It is true, Fritts said, "that we disagree with our network friends over the
35 percent TV-ownership cap," -- the issue that caused the split. But Fritts
said the NAB and the networks agree on "virtually all other major issues ... Given
the panopoly of other challenges we face as broadcasters."
Fritts asked the other networks to rejoin ABC "back under the NAB umbrella."
Fritts also ran through a checklist of legislative issues, calling the defeat
of the Torriceli amendment on campaign-finance reform "one of our biggest
achievements." He characterized the amendment as promoting "nothing more than a
subsidy so that candidates can buy more negative attack ads, not more political
discourse." He predicted that a "Son of Torricelli Bill" will rise again, likely in
this congressional session.
Fritts also attacked the EchoStar Communications Corp.-DirecTV Inc. merger and satellite radio. He
warned that in XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc. and Sirius Satellite Radio, the radio industry may be facing "a competitor
that plays fast and loose with the rules."