Rehr Urges Broadcasters To Update Lingo


Free, over-the-air broadcasting is so last century—well, at least, the phrase is. That was the message National Association Broadcasters President/CEO David Rehr delivered at his organization’s annual confab in Las Vegas last week.

Speaking at the opening session, Rehr urged broadcasters to rebrand their issues in new terms—ones that don’t make them sound like Luddites in a changing digital world.
“Words have consequences,” he said. “We need to be more astute choosing the words that describe us and our positions on the issues.”Noting that NAB has a “team” of staffers tasked with upgrading their talking points, Rehr offered a few of his own ideas for reframing the debate on key issues for broadcasters.For denying multicast must-carry, he suggested “stripping” (as in stripping out broadcast channels). For “performance rights,” he proposed “free music for free promotion.”

Rehr also proposed that IBOC (in-band, on-channel radio) be known henceforth as “HD radio” and that “down conversion” should be called “broadcast discrimination.”

And for the pending Sirius/XM merger—a particular sore point for broadcasters—Rehr offered “government bailout/monopoly.”
Although he didn’t offer a substitute for good ol’ “free, over-the-air broadcasting,” he has called it “wireless before it was cool.”

But there’s one old-fashioned word that Rehr said will never go out of style: local.To propose your own upgraded lingo for broadcast issues, please use the Talk Back feature….