WASHINGTON—About a month delayed and in a widely different landscape than what would have been under normal circumstances, NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith gave his annual NAB Show State of the Industry during the NAB Show Express Welcome Event.
Smith addressed the most pressing issue facing the industry—and the global community at large—the coronavirus pandemic. He acknowledged the personal and business challenges that have been brought about by COVID-19, which he said has even resulted in some broadcasters having to shut down entirely.
“We don’t know how long this pandemic will last, or what the lasting effects of it might be on our economy,” Smith said. “But there is one thing I do know … broadcasters endure. Right now, you are in the darkest valley, but know that for most Americans, you are their beacon of light and hope. You are on the front lines of this battle, and I want you to know that NAB stands together shoulder to shoulder with you.”
Smith notes that it has been a key role in broadcast's 100-year history to be a voice for communities through difficult times, calling this time one as important as ever.
He praised the work of broadcasters to support their communities to support small businesses and restaurants, raise funds and organize food drives. He points out that broadcasters are also supporting children’s education with virtual classrooms, as well as providing education on COVID-19 by airing PSAs from both the NAB and independent organizations.
“The response from broadcasters—who themselves are fighting for their lives and livelihoods—has been nothing short of phenomenal,” Smith said.
Smith then spoke on the work that the NAB is doing to help support broadcasters, including the push for legislation for the federal government to support local broadcast stations, as well as encouraging the FCC to adapt regulatory requirements in this unusual time.
“We won’t stop fighting for you and the relief you need to stay on the air,” he said.
“Our great industry has endured for the past hundred years because of the indispensable and irreplaceable role broadcasters play in every town and city across the nation,” Smith continued. “And we will endure for at least 100 more, because you are the backbone of our country. You are truly what makes America great. And we are in this together.”
To watch Smith’s speech on-demand, visit the NAB Show Express website.
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