Exit Interview With NAB’s Dennis Wharton

Dennis Wharton is exiting his post as chief spokesman and communications strategist for the National Association of Broadcasters at the end of June after 24 years, the longest such tenure in the group’s history. In a previous life, Wharton covered Washington as the D.C. bureau chief for Variety.

NAB: Virtual Show Attendance At 40,000+

The National Association of Broadcasters said that about 40,000 people have accessed its “inaugural” NAB Show Express online marketplace/event, which was the association’s effort to replicate, virtually, some of its canceled NAB Show. According to NAB, more than 1.6 million minutes of video has been consumed since the event launched May 13. NAB suggested it would be offering hybrid versions of physical and virtual events going forward.

NAB: C-Band Moving Cost Underestimated

Broadcasters have advised the FCC not to finalize its cost catalog for reimbursable C-Band moving expenses until broadcasters have vetted satellite operator transition plans and to be prepared for COVID-19-related boosts in those expenses.

NAB’s Gordon Smith: Broadcasting Will Endure

NAB’s Dennis Wharton To Retire

The association’s EVP of communications will leave July 1 after 24 years. NAB will merge the association’s communications and marketing departments into a new Public Affairs Department that will be led by NAB’s Michelle Lehman who has tapped Ann Marie Cumming, currently SVP of communications, to serve as the organization’s primary spokesperson.

Local Media Seek Government Ad Dollars

Local TV, newspaper and radio companies have joined an NAB-led initiative to push for an increase in the current ad budget part of the next fiscal stimulus package under consideration by Congress. They hope to see federal advertising expanded to between $5 billion and $10 billion for the rest of the year.

NAB Celebration Of Service To America Online

The National Association of Broadcasters has pulled the plug on its physical Celebration of Service to America awards gala in Washington June 9. Instead, there will be a virtual event sometime in the summer, but one that will add the “unparalleled efforts of broadcasters during the COVID-19 pandemic” to those being celebrated.

NAB To FCC: Virus Emphasize Need For Dereg

Broadcasters are telling the FCC that the current pandemic provides even more argument for loosening broadcast ownership regs. They are telling the FCC it needs to declare the video and audio markets more competitive than they have ever been, arguing that both FCC ownership limits — which the FCC under Chairman Ajit Pai has tried to loosen — and Department of Justice merger reviews — are “premised on the view that local TV and radio stations exist in markets hermetically sealed against the vast array of choices available to audiences and advertisers.”

Some Jeers For FCC’s 6 GHz Item

While some were cheering the FCC’s decision to allow unlicensed devices — for things like streaming, video calling, IoT — to use all 1200 MHz of the 6 GHz band, there were some discouraging words as well. “NAB is disappointed the FCC is allowing uncoordinated unlicensed use across the entire 6 GHz band,” said EVP of Communications Dennis Wharton. “Unlike in other recent proceedings, the commission did not bring stakeholders together to seek compromise.”

NAB Turns Attention To Next COVID-19 Aid Bill

The latest COVID-19 legislative package will apparently not include a couple of things that would have helped media outlets facing plunging ad dollars and a public’s increased reliance on critical news and information. A compromise bill was struck Tuesday (April 21) on a $480 billion successor bill to help small businesses. Broadcasters and newspapers, with the help of some legislators, had pushed for the next COVID-19 aid bill to include billions of dollars in federal advertising expenditures-for PSAs or census response campaigns — to be directed specifically to local media outlets.

NAB Slams OTI, Facebook Over 6 GHz

The NAB is clearly unhappy with the prospect that the FCC will open up the entire 6 GHz band for sharing with unlicensed wireless. Patrick McFadden, the group’s associate general counsel, left nothing but scorched earth beneath the Open Technology Institute, Facebook, tech companies in general, conservative groups and others in a blog post over the hot-button issue of opening up that spectrum, a proposal the FCC is voting on this week.

Virtual NAB Show Set For May 13-14

The digital platform is free and will offer 24-hour access to premium content curated and customizable for the global media and entertainment community.

NAB Board Election Results Announced

The National Association of Broadcasters today announced the results of the 2020 NAB Radio and Television Board elections. The two-year terms of the elected board members will begin in June.

NAB: FCC Spectrum Plan Could Hurt ENG

Broadcasters are giving new meaning to the phrase “dynamic spectrum access” in arguing that an FCC proposal to free up WiFi spectrum in the 6 GHz band could take away electronic newsgathering spectrum just when a pandemic-sequestered nation needs it most. That came in phone calls last week between National Association of Broadcasting executives and FCC officials.

Media Groups To Congress: Support Local News

The News Media Alliance, National Association of Broadcasters, National Newspaper Association and America’s Newspapers ask the government to provide critical support to local news media in its next stimulus bill designed to provide relief to businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Verizon Media Joins NAB PILOT Coalition

The coalition of broadcasters and technology companies seeks to advance innovation in broadcast industry.

NAB’s Smith: No Blackouts During Pandemic

NAB President Gordon Smith said broadcasters don’t want to see any retransmission consent service disruptions during the coronavirus pandemic. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has called for a retransmission consent quiet period to avoid TV station signals going off MVPDs.

Chris Wood Appointed To NAB TV Board

The Univision executive assumes the network board seat previously occupied by Jessica Herrera-Flanigan, who recently left Univision for a position in the Washington office of Twitter.

NAB Offers COVID-19 Education PSA Campaign

The radio-TV toolkit will also offer best practices for broadcast stations to combat coronavirus misinformation.


Apply Now For NAB’s ‘Celebration Of Service Awards’

NAB Show Still On

As of Tuesday (March 3), the NAB Show in Las Vegas April 18-22 is still on, according to a webpage the National Association of Broadcasters set up to keep interested parties up to date on its status relative to the coronavirus, with NAB saying its response to the virus threat would be based on facts, not fear.

Liliana Ranon Named NAB External Affairs VP

NAB President-CEO Gordon Smith announced that Liliana Ranon has joined the organization as vice president of external affairs, starting today. She will be responsible for managing NAB’s partnerships with third-party groups on legislative and regulatory issues affecting local broadcasters. She will report to Executive Vice President of Government Relations Shawn Donilon. Ranon comes to NAB […]

NAB Unveils Election Toolkit for Stations

The toolkit provides broadcasters with resources to identify misinformation online, suggestions about fact-checking statements made by political candidates, tips for helping get out the vote and ideas for social media engagement with citizens. It also offers scripts for PSAs about voting in primary and general elections, as well as information about sponsoring debates and candidate forums.

ACA Connects Backs NAB Political Ad Petition

Broadcasters Seek Changes To Avoid 3.0 Delays

NAB, legal counsel for Pearl TV and the general counsel of Meredith met last week with staff of the FCC Media Bureau to discuss the transition to NextGen TV and recommend a change in what broadcasters submit to the agency as part of their ATSC 3.0 license applications to allay concerns over possible contractual indemnification issues.

NAB Leadership Foundation Opens Service Awards Applications

NAB: Ad Clarification Opponents All Wrong

The National Association of Broadcasters says its opponents have given the FCC no reason to deny NAB’s request that it clarify its disclosure requirements for third-party political ads and follow NAB’s “rationally tailored approach.”

Small Market TV Exchange Rebrands, Expands

Now open to more stations in small and mid-size markets (DMAs 50+), NAB has renamed the former Small Market Television Exchange to the NAB Sales and Management Television Exchange (SMTE). It will be held this year in Louisville, Ky., on Sept. 24-25.

LeGeyt Succeeds Ornelas As NAB COO

COO Chris Ornelas leaving to become Beasley Media Group general counsel; NAB Government Relations head Curtis LeGeyt is promoted to succeed him. Also, April Carty-Sipp, Shawn Donilon and Trish Johnson all were bumped up to executive vice presidents.

NCTA Backs NAB FCC Challenge

Cable operators are on the same page as broadcasters when it comes to the FCC’s approach to political ad disclosures.


TVN Tech | At CES, NextGen TV’s Coming Out Party

Next week’s CES in Las Vegas will once again take over the Strip with a sprawling, frenetic glimpse into tomorrow’s consumer technology. This time, NextGen TV will make its show floor debut, and hopes are high consumers will notice.

Broadcasters Win Capitol Hill’s TV Lobbying Wars

Congress is handing traditional broadcasters such as CBS and ABC a surprise victory in a contentious, multimillion-dollar TV lobbying fight by letting key parts of a 31-year-old satellite TV law die.

NAB: FCC’s VHF Fees Need To Be Changed

The trade group tells the commission it should revise proposed regulatory fees for VHF stations so that they “more accurately reflect their actual population served.”

NAB Warns Of 6 GHz ENG Interference

Broadcasters are asking the FCC to make sure it protects incumbent newsgathering operations in the 6 GHz midband spectrum it is eyeing for unlicensed use.


NAB Challenges FCC Issue Ad Rules

Last month, the FCC issued what it termed a “clarification” of the obligations of broadcasters to disclose in their public inspection files each and every candidate and issue discussed in any federal issue ad. The NAB has filed a petition for reconsideration of the clarification. Hearst Television, Graham Media, Nexstar, Fox, Tegna and Scripps joined the NAB in filing the petition.

NAB Joins FCC In Challenging Third Circuit

The National Association of Broadcasters has joined with the FCC in seeking a full court hearing of the U.S. Court of Appeals’ three-judge panel decision vacating most of the FCC’s broadcast deregulation decision. Broadcasters had backed that decision and would have preferred even more deregulation.

NAB Pushes STELAR Expiration

With the clock ticking down on the renewal, or sunset, of the STELAR compulsory license, the National Association of Broadcasters bought a Facebook ad flight in key markets pushing for the license’s expiration. And while the ads have not been carrying a “political advertising” disclaimer, NAB said they would going forward.

Broadcasters To FCC: Update Regs For 3.0

Commercial and public broadcasters are asking the FCC to relax its rules to allow them to deploy more transmitters at the edge of their service areas as they build out for ATSC 3.0.

Local TV/Radio Contributes $1.2 Trillion To GDP

A new report finds 2.47 million jobs are attributable to the commercial broadcast industry.

New Approach For PILOT’s Innovation Challenge

The NAB initiative will fund teams to build a working prototype and present at the 2020 NAB Show. Applicants must submit their proposal by Oct. 18.