The NAB’s ‘beer man’ calls it quits

May 8, 2009

In a conference call with members of the board last week, David K. Rehr, Ph. D., the NAB’s president and CEO, announced he would resign his post. The press was alerted later that day.

It comes following what some say was a challenging three-year tenure in which he was an outsider trying to gain leverage for broadcasters on Capitol Hill. The delay in the DTV transition has also caused some public embarrassment.

In a statement, Rehr said he was “looking forward to building on these experiences and working with the broader Washington community to further advocacy efforts.”

During his years, the NAB was unable to obtain multicast must-carry rights for TV stations — which would have ensured that every channel distributed by a station was carried by cable TV providers — or block the FCC from allowing unlicensed wireless devices to operate in unused parts of the same spectrum used by local stations and professional A/V production crews.

The NAB said Rehr will continue in his current role during a transition phase, while Janet McGregor, NAB's chief operating and financial officer, will assume day-to-day duties until a successor is named.

NAB Joint Board Chairman Jack Sander said the NAB — an organization that represents the political interests of U.S terrestrial broadcasters — had grown stronger. Rehr joined the NAB in December 2005 after serving a similar leadership role with the National Beer Wholesalers Association.

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