NBC plans total NAB boycott


NBC told its affiliates Tuesday that it is boycotting the National
Association of Broadcasters' convention completely and is therefore canceling
the affiliates meeting that had been scheduled for Las Vegas Monday, April 23,
as well as the annual engineers' breakfast meeting, which was to be held the
same day.

The network -- which resigned its NAB membership last year over the ownership
issue -- said no one from the network would attend the convention. It cited the
NAB's decision last week to jointly file a brief opposing raising the
TV-station-ownership caps with the Network Affiliated Stations Alliance as the
reason for its boycott.

'In light of the NAB's recent decision to support NASA in its filing to the
Federal Communications Commission, NBC has decided not to attend the NAB's
upcoming convention in Las Vegas,' the network told affiliates in a letter that
went out Tuesday afternoon.

While the network's participation in the affiliates meeting is canceled, the
affiliates will still convene and meet among themselves, the network said. NBC
added that it will continue with its plan to hold regional affiliate meetings
later in the year.

It was only about six weeks ago that NBC canceled its annual spring
affiliates' meeting in favor of small regionals and an NAB gathering. 'They were
really pissed,' said one top management source, referring both to the NASA
filing itself and to the NAB's decision to join with NASA in filing against
raising the caps.

A spokesman stressed, however, that the network still wants a 'relationship'
with its affiliates. 'We hope and expect to go down a path of mutual benefit
with them,' he said.