NAB 2010: Ex-Broadcaster Genachowski Praises Industry

Chairman calls broadcasters "connective tissues" holding communities together
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NAB Show 2010: Complete Coverage From B&C
FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said many broadcasters were
helping to hold their communities together in his keynote speech to the
National Association of Broadcasters convention Tuesday (Apr. 13) in Las Vegas.

Before trying to assuage broadcasters' fears about the FCC's
plan to encourage them to give up spectrum for wireless broadband--it is a
voluntary program, he insisted, and is about giving them more choice not
less--he talked about his respect for the work they do and the important
service they render to the country, as well as his history on that side of the
equation.

He pointed out that the last time he was at an NAB convention,
it was as a broadcaster--both chief of business operations and general counsel
for Barry Diller's  IAC/InterActiveCorp/USA Broadcasting--where as he was
"trying to make sure we got our DTV license applications in on time --
protecting our basic must-carry rights, and hoping we might get digital must
carry."  Protecting must-carry
rights carries new meaning as the Supreme Court considers whether to take
Cablevision's challenge of the rules.

The chairman said he had "enormous respect and admiration"
for broadcasters who do both good business and good work through news and
programming that serves their communities. "Many broadcasters still supply
important connective tissue holding our communities together," he said,
implying that to kill the industry, which he said in no uncertain terms the FCC
is not trying to do, would also be a serious wound to those communities.

He cited broadcasters move onto other platforms, saying that
in addition to being a broadcast lifeline during the recent D.C. snowstorms, a
station like WRC-TV there "used its robust Web site and Twitter feed to
help residents who had lost power get up-to-the-minute information through
their computers and phones."

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