Longtime National Association of Broadcasters executive vice president and
Capitol Hill chief Jim May leaves his post Feb. 3 to run the Air Transport
Association of America, the trade group for major U.S. airlines.
May joined the NAB in 1988 after several corporate public-affairs and government-relations posts.
He also served as a Marine Corps officer in Vietnam, leaving the service as a
"Jim May brings a tremendous wealth of experience in working with Congress
and the executive branch," said Richard Anderson, chief executive of Northwest
Airlines Corp. and chairman of the ATA's executive committee.
May -- who joins the airline industry as many of the country's largest carriers
struggle with mounting losses -- said, "I recognize the challenges that lie ahead
and look forward to meeting them head-on."
He replaces Carol Hallett, who retired after eight years as ATA chief
NAB president Eddie Fritts congratulated May, although he said he was
disappointed to see the key staffer depart. "Under Jim's leadership, NAB
government relations became a catalyst for energizing our grassroots membership,
and the NAB is regarded as one of the most effective lobbying operations in
Washington," he said.
May "very quickly developed a great sensitivity to First Amendment and free-speech issues," said William O'Shaughnessy, president of Whitney Radio and
former NAB public-affairs chairman.