Genachowski to Speak at NAB April 16

FCC chairman to discuss incentive auctions, other issues during annual convention in Las Vegas

Even as FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski was addressing the American Cable Association summit in Washington Wednesday, the National Association of Broadcasters was announcing that he would be speaking April 16 at its annual convention in Las Vegas.

NAB and ACA are on opposite sides of the retrans issue and members from both associations are in town this week to talk to the Hill and FCC about that and other issues.

"We are pleased Chairman Genachowski will join us again at the NAB Show and look forward to hearing his perspective on the communications policy issues before the Commission," said NAB President Gordon Smith, in announcing the address.

One of those issues will be how the FCC is going to structure incentive auctions, in which broadcasters trade in spectrum for a cut of the proceeds from re-auctioning that spectrum, presumably to wireless companies, though broadcasters interested in expanding their spectrum holdings could conceivably bid as well.

Congress has just given the FCC the authority to compensate broadcasters, but it must still come up with a plan for repacking broadcasters who don't give up spectrum and rules for those bidding for the spectrum at auction.

At last year's NAB show, the chairman praised broadcasters for their public service before laying out the case for a looming spectrum crisis and the re-auctioning of spectrum.