NAB Spokesman Dennis Wharton Promoted

Dennis Wharton, the discerning spokesman for the National Association of Broadcasters, has been bumped up a notch, from senior vice president of corporate communications to executive vice president of media relations.

Wharton joined lobby that represents around 8,300 radio and TV stations 10 years ago as vice president of media relations. The following year, he was promoted to the position he has held until now. The former journalist from the Buckeye state is a fixture on Capitol Hill, attending so many hearings, functions and events, he appears to be everywhere at once.

In a memorable move during a Senate committee hearing on the NAB-favored broadcast flag, Wharton quietly passed his Blackberry to the Reuters correspondent during opposition testimony, alerting the reporter that UPN and The WB would be collapsed into one network. The day's case against the flag was subdued.

Wharton has also handled the herd of more than 1,000 reporters who show up for the lobby's eponymous annual tradeshow in Las Vegas.

"For more than a decade, Dennis has served broadcasters and the NAB with distinction as our organization's principal spokesman," said NAB President and CEO David K. Rehr. "This promotion is in recognition of his dedication to NAB and the respect he garners from his public relations peers and former colleagues in the journalism profession."

In his new position, Wharton's duties will be expanded to include additional outreach and public policy advocacy to the national news media on behalf of broadcasters. He will continue to serve as a key strategic adviser to Rehr, NAB senior staff and to NAB member stations.

Wharton joined NAB after 16 years as a reporter, for The Times Leader in Martins Ferry, Ohio; AP bureau chief in Columbus; and later for Variety in Washington, D.C. He did a two-year turn as managing editor for Financial Product News before returning to Variety and then being poached by the NAB.