NAB president and CEO outlines plans for the NAB's future

Speaking during the All Industry Opening April 24 at NAB2006 in Las Vegas, association president and CEO David Rehr told broadcasters it is time the association and broadcasters take the offensive on several fronts, rather than playing defense.

While acknowledging the industry faces several challenges, Rehr reminded his audience “broadcasting has a solid base of strength on which to support the dazzling new possibilities ahead.”

Broadcasters also must continue to be “evangelical” about their community service and local content, he said.

The NAB and broadcasters must go on the “offensive” in five areas, Rehr said, including:

  1. Exploiting “every new technology – on every new platform.” According to Rehr, broadcasters must move quickly to increase distribution channels for their content with the goal of being omnipresent in the culture, going “everywhere to everyone, through every device.”
  2. Promoting the benefits of DTV and digital radio. He urged broadcasters to show consumers “the exciting possibilities of digital television before the DTV conversion, not when the DTV transition is upon us. But right now.” It is the broadcaster’s responsibility to inform viewers that “the most pristine signals they can receive” are over-the-air digital television. The NAB will be announcing a consumer DTV education program, he said.
  3. Promoting greater competition among the cable, satellite and telecommunications companies.
  4. Taking a lead role in informing parents about how they can control what their children watch and in so doing put the industry on the offense when it comes to the indecency issue.
  5. Changing how the association works with the FCC and Congress. The association must shed the “lobbyist” label in favor of being referred to as an “advocacy” group for broadcasters. Rehr urged local broadcasters to be local advocates for the industry in their communities.

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