The framers of the Communications Act licensed broadcast stations to specific local communities. Congress and the FCC have created a system that emphasizes local service including the need to have outlets for local political candidates and self-expression. Given this time-honored federal policy, it is disturbing to see that FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler is proposing to eliminate rules which serve as a linchpin of America’s irreplaceable system of local television.
David Donovan, who is counting down his last days as president of the Association for Maximum Service Television, will succeed the retiring Joe Reilly as president of the New York State Broadcasters Association. Last November Reilly announced that he was retiring effective June 30. Donovan was in need of a new job after MSTV agreed to merge into the NAB in March. For the new job, Donovan will be moving from Washington to Albany, N.Y.
The FCC plan to reclaim a big block of broadcast spectrum is the most critical issue facing broadcasters in the past three decades. So it’s perplexing that they chose this time to shut down MSTV, their longtime spectrum policy lobby, and to diss NAB’s top tech exec. Those moves raise the stakes in NAB’s hiring of a new EVP of technology. The right person keeps broadcasting in the game. The wrong person puts it on the same grim road as newspapers.
Sources say the trade group’s board will vote on Wednesday to shutter the Association for Maximum Service Television, feeling it has become unnecessary given the NAB’s deeper involvement on technical issues vital to broadcasting.