Over 400 radio and television executives in Washington DC for the NAB’s State Leadership Conference are taking advantage of the situation to fan out over Capitol Hill and make the broadcaster case directly to legislators and key staffers on a variety of key issues.
A trio of legislators came to the meeting site at the Hyatt Regency Hotel on Capitol Hill, including House Communications Subcommittee Chairman Rick Boucher (D-VA), House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Emeritus John Dingell (D-MI) and Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA). Broadcasters plan to seek out their own representatives on Wednesday 3/3/10.
The chief area of focus for radio broadcasters is to make sure that opposition to the Performance Rights Act remains strong. 256 members of the House already support broadcasters on this; 27 have expressed support for broadcasters in the Senate.
On the television side, concerns over FCC regulators eyeballing television spectrum to repurpose for wireless broadband use is the key current issue – television broadcasters will be trying to build on support thus far expressed by Boucher, Dingell and Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) that would keep television spectrum where it is, in broadcaster hands.
RBR-TVBR observation: This is an annual event, and an invaluable one. But it should just be one contact between broadcasters and their representatives. Besides seeing to the marketing needs of your own representatives (and their opponents – fair is fair) it is important to keep open lines of communication at all times, because there is always something cooking in Washington that could help or hurt the business.