NBC Universal Rejoins NAB

After a seven-year hiatus, NBC Universal announced it will rejoin the National Association of Broadcasters, the industry trade group that represents free, over-the-air broadcasters on Capitol Hill and at the FCC.

"We are pleased to rejoin the NAB and help give the broadcast side of our business a powerful and united voice in Washington at a time of incredibly rapid change and numerous legislative challenges," said Jeff Zucker, President & CEO, NBC Universal. "It has never been more important for us to work together to ensure that television broadcasting remains a dynamic and competitive force in the marketplace for many years to come."

NAB President and CEO David K. Rehr hailed the NBC Universal decision, which coincided with the opening day of NAB's annual convention in Las Vegas. "We are delighted to have NBC Universal in NAB," said Rehr. "There is no question that NAB will be stronger as an organization with NBCU as a member. NBC Universal and its owned and operated stations have a proven commitment to the highest standards of broadcasting, and we are honored to have this legendary broadcast company in NAB membership."

The announcement reinstates NBC Universal into NAB membership, along with the company's 10 NBC owned-and-operated television stations. In addition, Jay Ireland, President of the NBC Universal Television Stations and Network Operations, will be invited to fill a network television seat on the NAB Board of Directors.

NAB Joint Board of Directors Chairman Bruce Reese called the announcement "terrific news for every broadcast station in America. Given the enormous challenges that we face in Washington, it is imperative that all broadcasters speak in unison on Capitol Hill, at the FCC and in the courts," said Reese. "Today's announcement sends a clear signal that the best days of both NAB and over-the-air broadcasting are still ahead."

NBC withdrew from the NAB in March 2000 over policy disagreements concerning deregulatory relief for the television industry and the role of the NAB in lobbying with respect to those issues. Rick Cotton, EVP and General Counsel for NBC Universal, added, "The vast majority of the broadcast issues on the table today are ones where the network, the affiliates and the NAB have the same interests. After a positive meeting with the new leadership, we believe that the issues which led us to withdraw are behind us and unlikely to reassert themselves."

Network membership in NAB continues to be a top priority of the NAB Board of Directors. In addition to NBC Universal, NAB's network membership includes Disney/ABC, ION Media Networks and Univision Communications.