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NAB Imposing One-Time Fee on Its Members

(Image credit: NAB)

WASHINGTON—The economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic has hit the NAB, and as a result the association is requiring that its members pay a one-time fee that is equal to their annual membership dues.

In a letter sent to members on Monday, Nov. 2, Jordan Wertlieb, president of Hearst Television and chair of the Joint Board of Directors for NAB, said that this new effort—approved unanimously by the NAB Board of Directors—comes after NAB made previous efforts to reduce costs for its operating budget, including cuts to executive compensation, budget reductions and instituting a hiring freeze.

“But the reality is that the costs needed to sustain our strong advocacy remain significant, and NAB member dues alone cannot entirely fund our efforts to defend your business and our industry,” Wertlieb wrote.

The NAB says that it will allow members to pay the newly imposed fee over a period of three years.

The fees are an effort to make up for lost revenue from the cancellation of the NAB Show because of COVID-19, which Wertlieb says accounted for 70% of NAB’s operating budget. They are also meant to help with an expected decline in future convention revenues as the impact of the pandemic may linger.

Among the advocacy efforts that the NAB says that these fees are needed for, the NAB has been pushing Congress to pass COVID-19 relief legislation that would cover the broadcasters that make up its membership as they attempt to recover financially from lost revenue caused because of the pandemic.

“With your continued support, we will keep standing up for you in our nation’s capital, ensuring your ability to innovate, thrive and serve your communities,” Wertlieb wrote. “Thank you for putting your trust in us to be your advocate.”