NAB to help craft equal-employment regulations

Jan 21, 2002  •  Post A Comment

The National Association of Broadcasters board voted unanimously last week to help the Federal Communications Commission come up with new equal-employment-opportunity regulations that can pass court muster.
Federal courts have thrown out as unconstitutional the agency’s two previous versions of EEO rules. Some broadcasters want the industry to oppose any agency efforts that impose new burdens on the industry.
But at a meeting in West Palm Beach, Fla., last week, the NAB board directed the association to lend a hand in an agency effort to resurrect limited EEO rules-as long as the new regulations focus on outreach and don’t impose new paperwork or other burdens on stations.
The board also agreed to create a committee to oversee the development of a comprehensive EEO proposal to present to the FCC. “We wanted to find a way to work with the FCC,” said Eddie Fritts, NAB president and CEO.
NAB board members said the association’s staff also announced that the organization’s new total-carriage proposal has been getting favorable feedback on Capitol Hill.
Under the general concept, according to sources, NAB would abandon its campaign to require that cable operators carry both the analog and digital signals of broadcasters during the DTV transition if cable operators commit to carrying all the information on a broadcaster’s DTV signal after the transition.
“It was kind of accepted favorably and shows we’re willing to move the transition forward,” said Paul Karpowicz, NAB TV board chairman and LIN Television VP. “We need to continue to work with the FCC and Congress to make our views known.”
Also at the meeting, the NAB announced that Richard Parsons, AOL Time Warner chief, will deliver the opening keynote speech during the association’s convention in April.