According to the National Association of Broadcasters, incoming President David Rehr has pledged to NAB board members that he will boost the value of the association to its members--from lobbying to its various services and programs, saying he would "increase the value proposition for the association's members."
Rehr, who has headed the National Beer Wholesalers Association, lacks the communications connections of Disney lobbyist Mitch Rose, who had been the other leading contender to succeed NAB President Eddie Fritts. But he apparently does not lack for communications skills. He is said to already have placed a call to Rose now that the race is over.
"What I do know is lobbying," he reportedly told the board. "I know how to make a message simple to communicate with a busy policymaker; I know how to form lasting relationships with members of Congress and ask for support when I need it. As beer wholesalers can tell you, I don't take 'no' for an answer when it comes to advocating on behalf of my association on Capitol Hill."
Rehr continued: "Some of you may be thinking: What does this beer guy know about radio and television?" said Rehr. "Well, in all honesty, more than I knew about beer when I went to the National Beer Wholesalers Association. And if you ask beer wholesalers, they will tell you that I was a very passionate advocate for their interests."
He has been rated one of the town's top lobbyists, a K Street connected Republican and big fundraiser.
Rehr, who doesn't come aboard until Dec. 5, said he will travel extensively to meet with station operators and association executives.
One broadcast lobbyist suggested NAB's first order of business after this week's House DTV markup should be to go to the American Association of Retired Persons and point out that the proposed DTV converter box subsidy could leave some of their members in the dark or paying for the privilege of keeping their TV sets running. But given Rehr's December start date, it is likely up to Fritts to make that call.