NAB Sets Responsible-Programming Summit

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The National Association of Broadcasters will hold an industry summit on responsible programming in early spring.

The decision comes in response to various letters FCC Chairman Michael Powell sent to the NAB, the National Cable & Telecommunications Association and the networks asking them to clean up their acts on "indecent, violent and inappropriate language."

Powell wants the broadcast industry to revive a programming code.

It will be a broadcaster summit, said NAB spokesman Dennis Wharton, "but it would be difficult to ignore the prominent role of the cable and satellite industry on prurient programming."

For cable’s part, Powell did not ask it to join the summit, but he did ask that it undertake an education and outreach campaign to let viewers know of their right to have channels blocked.

If cable doesn’t do it voluntarily, Powell suggested to Congress yesterday that he would welcome a law to make such education mandatory.

NCTA President Robert Sachs responded to the Powell letter, saying the industry recognized more could be done to educate consumers and pledged to do more.