New MSTV Chief: Don’t Forget Over the Air

Hubbard says keep spectrum for broadcast

Freshly anointed Association for Maximum Service Television chairman Robert W. Hubbard sounded a defiant tone in urging the FCC to remember that lots of people still get their television over the air. While studies show the overwhelming number of Americans have gotten the message about the analog shutoff, Hubbard said reception issues can—and will--plague the country.

“People rely on free over the air television more than most here would believe,” he told a room of MSTV members, “and certainly more than people in Washington would believe.” Hubbard, president and CEO of Hubbard Broadcasting, said a “PR machine attacks us every day and is not telling the full truth about who’s getting our signal.”

Hubbard said permitting unlicensed devices to use the broadcast spectrum, known as white spaces, is “a little disturbing.”

He succeeds Morgan Murphy’s Elizabeth Murphy Burns as chairman.

An ensuing panel on TV Reception in the Digital Age, moderated by Wiley Rein managing partner Richard Wiley, highlighted the importance of new antennas as people make the switch to digital television. The panelists, including Dwayne Campbell of Radio Shack and Robert Schwartz of the Consumer Electronics Retailers Coalition, expressed the importance of better educating consumers--as well as retail associates tasked with finding the right antenna to meet a viewer’s needs.