New officers ascended to the top of the National Association of Broadcasters' television and radio boards at its annual June meeting in
Michael Fiorile of Dispatch Broadcasting was elected chairman of the
television board, while Andy Fisher of Cox Broadcasting was elected vice
chairman, as expected.
Allbritton Communications Co.'s Jerry Fritz ran against Fisher for the VP slot but lost in what one source described as an "extremely close"
Ginny Morris of Hubbard Radio Network becomes chairman of the radio board. Steve
Newberry of Commonwealth Broadcasting Corp. becomes vice chairman.
Post-Newsweek Stations Inc.'s Alan Frank was also elected to serve as designated television-board representative on the NAB's executive committee, while Carl Gardner of
Journal Broadcast Group Inc. was elected to that spot on the radio side.
David Kennedy, president of Susquehanna Radio Corp., remains joint
board chairman for another year.
Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), chairman of the House Telecommunications and
Internet Subcommittee, told the NAB board Monday that he strongly opposes a
proposal by Send. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Russell Feingold (D-Wis.) to require
radio and TV broadcasters to give federal candidates two hours per week of free
airtime in the month leading up to elections.
The proposed bill, which will be introduced next week, would also levy a
spectrum-usage fee on broadcasters, then give that money to candidates to
spend on campaign ads for broadcast.
The NAB plans to challenge a ruling by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern
District of Pennsylvania last August that supports the Copyright Office's
finding that broadcasters should pay royalty fees to record companies for
streaming their radio signals.
The trade group will file an appeal with the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in
Philadelphia. The Librarian of Congress is scheduled to release his final ruling
on the subject June 20.
The radio board voted to urge the Federal Communications Commission to move
quickly to write rules so that digital AM and FM radio can be introduced.
Robert Struble, president of digital-radio company iBiquity Digital Corp., also briefed the
radio board on how iBiquity is addressing the interference problems digital AM
radio experiences at night.
No one mentioned the possibility of developing a broadcast-technology lab,
although sources said David Donovan, president of the Association for
Maximum Service Television (MSTV), is developing a plan and getting members of his
association to sign off on it before he will present anything to the NAB board.
The NAB television board plans to continue its push to educate consumers on
digital television, launching its "digital TV zone" plan in Washington later this summer.
The group will add new markets to the plan later this year, and it is considering
Orlando, Fla., as the next site, sources said.