NAB to pitch sunny side of radio

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Just a week after federal regulations launched a sweeping review of
media-ownership rules, the National Association of Broadcasters plans to hire a
media-relations agency to pitch reporters on the bright side of today's
radio-ownership landscape.

The reportedly $250,000 campaign will be aimed at countering industry critics
who say consolidation since 1996 has put radio in the hands of a few corporate
giants interested only in promoting a handful of mega-star pop acts.

The NAB campaign will point out that there is more format diversity than five
years ago -- more Hispanic radio and more subformats such as alternative
rock.

The campaign will also note that there are still more than 4,000 radio owners
today versus roughly 400 newspaper owners and five major record labels.

"We thought it was time to engage in counterarguments on the industry's
behalf," NAB spokesman Dennis Wharton said. An agency will be selected shortly,
he added.

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