Jul 21, 2003  •  Post A Comment

National Association of Broadcasters President and CEO Eddie Fritts caught so much flak from affiliates over the association’s legislative reversal that sources said he asked the association’s executive committee for a vote of confidence last week.
While no official vote was taken, the committee did give Mr. Fritts a statement that said, “This executive committee continues to support Eddie Fritts as the leader of the National Association of Broadcasters and will work closely with Eddie as we deal with the daunting challenges facing both the radio and television industries.”
Jim Yager, NAB joint board chairman and president of Barrington Broadcasting, said the statement was unanimously adopted by the executive committee’s members.
NAB, which previously supported a rollback to 35 percent, said it feared there was so much sentiment against the ownership deregulation on Capitol Hill that it couldn’t prevent lawmakers from approving legislation that would include additional rollback provisions targeting aspects of the deregulation that are supported by NAB’s members.
Despite NAB’s bailout, the Network Affiliated Stations Alliance, representing 600 affiliates of ABC, CBS and NBC, has continued to support legislation to reinstate the 35 percent cap. Rep. David Obey, D-Wis., cited the group’s position while arguing in favor of a rider amendment that would roll back the cap.