NAB to FCC: Stations ARE Local

NAB opposes the FCC's broadcast localism inquiry in which the agency seeks comments on concerns and new obligations raised by media critics and public interest groups. The trade organization points out in comments filed with the commission that the proposals veer away from the deregulatory approach the agency has taken towards broadcasting in the past three decades.

NAB says the localism notice "demonstrates a lack of appreciation for the current economic and financial circumstances surrounding broadcasting." Stations face expanding competition from the Internet, satellite radio and TV, cable, video sales and rentals and this competition forces broadcasters to serve their local communities; Given this, believes NAB, imposing a minimum number of hours of political programming obligations on broadcasters in not justified. The organization also sees little connection to support inquiries regarding voice-tracking and national playlists, "since local control over operations and programming is a bedrock principle of all radio stations, regardless of their ownership structure."

Digital technology will expand stations' ability to expand local programming through multicasting, believes NAB.

Public comments on broadcast localism were due Nov. 1.

(from Radio World)