NAB 2014

Fox Affiliate Board Meets With Clyburn, Pai

At the meeting in Las Vegas the board tells the FCC commissioners its March 31 decision to crack down on joint sales agreements appeared to be “arbitrary and capricious.”

Hoping to help broadcasters regain traction at the FCC, the Fox affiliate board invited two of the agency’s commissioners to the group’s board meeting in Las Vegas on Monday — and now the affiliate board is planning to beef up its own lobbying efforts to “demonstrate and show the great value that free broadcast TV stations bring to the communities we serve,” according to Jeff Rosser, chairman of the Fox affiliate board.

In a debriefing session with reporters after the board meeting, Rosser said affiliate board members told the two commissioners that the agency’s March 31 decision to crack down on joint sales agreements appeared to be “arbitrary and capricious.”

The two commissioners in attendance were Mignon Clyburn, a Democrat who supported the JSA crackdown, and Ajit Pai, a Republican who dissented from the FCC’s order. Rosser said the commissioners encouraged board members to make their concerns known at the agency. That’s an offer the affiliates intend to accept, Rosser said.

Also discussed during the affiliate board session was Fox primetime, Rosser said. “It’s kind of Fox’s turn to be in the barrel,” he said. “It’s one of the networks whose great successes of a few years ago are not being repeated in 2013 and 2014. They know they’ve got work to do.”

Rosser, however, also said board members were confident that Fox will improve its performance. “They’re not just going to give lip service to this,” Rosser said. “They are going to … come up with some creative exciting ways to get this turned around.”

Rosser also said that Fox’s TV Everywhere service was a topic of discussion during the behind-closed-doors affiliate board session — including possible ways that the network may be able to enhance the ability of Fox affiliates to execute the service.

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