Newly installed NAB President Gordon Smith met with FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski this week to make the case for relaxing the local broadcast ownership restrictions. Smith said the FCC chief ought to get behind an effort to reinstate the tax certificate program as a way of increasing minority ownership of TV and radio stations.
Newly installed NAB President Gordon Smith met with FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski for the first time on Wednesday, making broadcasters’ case for relaxation of the local broadcast ownership rules.
The NAB disclosed the meeting in a routine ex parte notice.
According to the notice, Smith told the chairman that broadcasters should be able to “hold reasonable combinations of media properties” so they can continue to provide local programming. “This is particularly important to promote and preserve quality journalism through economies of scale.”
Smith also said that access to capital was the best way to increase diversity in the ownership of broadcast stations.
And he reaffirmed the NAB’s support for reinstatement of the minority tax certificate program as a way of increasing minority ownership of broadcast stations.
When in effect, the program provided tax deferrals on capital gains earned through the sale of media properties to minority buyers. Congress eliminated the program in the mid-1990s.
Also attending the meeting: Steve Newberry, NAB joint board chairman; Jane Mago, general counsel, NAB; William Lake, chief of the FCC Media Bureau; and Sherrese Smith, one of Genachowski’s legal aides.