NBC Rejoins NAB

Apr 16, 2007  •  Post A Comment

NBC Universal is returning to the National Association of Broadcasters, ending a seven-year self-imposed exile from the country’s largest broadcaster organization.

NBC announced its return today as the NAB began its annual convention in Las Vegas.

NAB president-CEO David K. Rehr hailed the decision, saying it would make NAB “stronger as an organization.”

NBC withdrew from NAB in 2000 as part of a fight between networks and their affiliates over how many affiliates a network could own. The fight came as the Federal Communications Commission moved to ease ownership curbs.

Eventually Congress, with the support of the NAB, overruled the FCC and, while letting networks own more stations, limited individual broadcasters from owning stations reaching more than 39% of households, instead of the 45% the FCC had urged.

NBC never returned to the NAB.

Now, with Mr. Rehr having replaced longtime NAB president-CEO Edward Fritts, NBC said it was time to re-examine its stance.

In a statement, Rick Cotton, executive VP and general counsel for NBC Universal, said, “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.”

(Editor: Horowitz)