Assessing the associations: RAB, TVB & NAB


While trade associations are non-profit organizations and don’t have to pay any federal income tax, they do have to file an annual return with the IRS to maintain their tax-exempt status. And unlike your 1040, their filings are public records, so RBR-TVBR took a look at how the cash flowed in and out for the RAB, TVB and NAB.

Far and away the biggest of the three is the National Association of Broadcasters, which reported $47.3 million of revenues for the fiscal year which ended March 31, 2010. (The returns for the RAB and TVB are for calendar 2009, since the 2010 reports have not yet been filed.) Showing the impact of the recession, that was down from nearly $56 million the previous year. $9.9 million of the revenue was from membership dues, down about a million from $10.9 million the previous year.

The NAB Show in Las Vegas saw revenues decline to $33.5 million from $38.1 million and Radio Show revenues slipped to $841K from $1.3 million. Seminar revenues dropped dramatically to $402K from $1.4 million. But operating costs also fell, dropping to $46.7 million from $60.6 million.

Salaries were the biggest expense, although down to $11.7 million from $12.6 million. The number of employees paid $100K or more dropped to 12 from 16. Of course, the biggest paycheck went to former President and CEO David Rehr, whose compensation included $1.8 million in severance as his contract was cut short by the board of directors. In all he received a little shy of $2.5 million. For few months that he was in the President & CEO post for that fiscal year, Gordon Smith was paid $224K.

The cost of putting on the two conventions was $7.9 million, down from $10.6 million. NAB actually improved its financial situation, ending the fiscal year with $52.7 million in net assets, up from $41 million.

At the Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) total revenues for 2009 were $8.8 million, down sharply from $11.2 million the previous year. Membership dues plunged to $3.6 million from just shy of $6 million. The report failed to spell out how much revenue RAB received from its April 2009 conference in Orlando, the last before it joined NAB in putting on a joint Radio Show in the fall. It did spend $656K on conferences and conventions, down sharply from $1.5 million the previous year. Total operating expenses were reduced to $8.7 million from $10.9 million.

Salaries were little changed for RAB in 2009, at $4.4 million, up from $4.3 million. But that included $398K paid to George Hyde and $302K to Mike Mahone, who exited the RAB in a major cost-cutting staff shakeup in June. They had been the second- and third-highest paid employees. President and CEO Jeff Haley was paid $783K, including a base salary of $467K and a bonus of $275K.

RAB doesn’t maintain much of a net asset value. It slipped to $98K from$118K.

TVB (still listed officially on its IRS form as Television Bureau of Advertising) saw revenues decline in the recession. Its 2009 revenues totaled $7.2 million, down from just shy of $9 million. Membership dues were off only slightly, down about $600K to a little under $5.4 million. Eport income dropped to $1.8 million from $3 million. Meeting and products income plunged to $76K from $388K as TVB merged its spring conference into its fall forecast event in the face of the recession. That helped lower operating expenses to $7.1 million from $8.9 million.

Salary expenses were up slightly to $3 million from $2.9 million. As Chris Rohrs finished his 10th and final year as President  he was paid $783K, including a base salary of $544K and a bonus of $199K. Successor Steve Lanzano was only on the payroll long enough to receive $102K, split almost evenly between salary and bonus.

TVB’s net assets at the end of 2009 totaled $3.1 million, up slightly from $2.9 million a year earlier.

RBR-TVBR observation: For those of you who are members of one, two or all three organizations, what do you think?

Are you getting good value for your membership dollars? Are the organizations keeping costs under control while providing the needed tools and services to train your staffs so your revenues grow?

Accountability:  Are you getting the leadership from the top down and assistance needed to be competitive in today’s ‘New Media’ business model?

We at RBR-TVBR and your fellow readers await your input below as your comments are important. Let your voice be heard because it is your money.