New Deal for Fritts

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As reported by Broadcasting & Cable Monday, National Association of Broadcasters president Eddie Fritts will get a two-year extension on his contract -- a move that will likely keep him in his post until April 2006, trade-group members confirmed.

One caveat, however, a provision negotiated by NAB's executive committee would require Fritts to step down as soon as Sept. 1, 2005, if his successor is in place before his new contract expires.

Fritts also will get a consulting contract that will start after he leaves his current post and last through April 2008.

Leading the talks was NAB Joint Board Chairman Phil Lombardo. The deal is expected to be formally announced at NAB's board meetings in Washington next week.

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After an awesome 23-year run, NAB chief Eddie Fritts is about to step down. His record is awesome—but not flawless. He helped the industry shed onerous rules limiting the size and power of radio- and TV-station owners. At the end, however, he couldn't repair fissures that have divided broadcasters in fundamental ways.