The NAB on Monday (2/12) announced the inaugural recipient of its new NAB Broadcast Champion Award.
The honor recognizes a member of Congress “who demonstrates exemplary leadership and commitment to strengthening the future of radio and television, recognizing broadcasters’ vital role in our local communities.”
The individual receiving the 2018 honor is Texas Democrat Rep. Gene Green.
A member of the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee since 1997, Green has worked on a multitude of issues of importance to local radio and television broadcasters over the years. He has taken to the floor of Congress to champion the vital role local broadcasters play as “first informers” during times of emergency, and appears as a frequent guest on Houston radio and TV stations.
Green will receive the award at NAB’s 2018 State Leadership Conference on February 27 at the JW Marriott in Washington, D.C.
Perhaps most importantly to the Radio industry, Green is the lead Democratic co-sponsor of the Local Radio Freedom Act — the House resolution that opposes any performance royalty on local broadcast radio stations. The current iteration of the resolution has 220 cosponsors in the House—two more than is needed to constitute a majority in the 438-member body.
Green is also a principal co-sponsor of the Radio Consumer Protection Act, which would establish a fund to reimburse local radio stations impacted by the post-spectrum auction TV repack process.
In addition, he is an original co-sponsor of the Viewer Protection Act, which would provide additional funding to cover construction costs and other expenses incurred by local television stations switching channels during the repack.
“Gene Green has been a steadfast champion of hometown radio and television broadcasters since he first came to Congress in 1993,” said NAB President/CEO Gordon Smith. “He has a deep appreciation for the invaluable role local radio and television stations play in their communities, and he has worked hard to ensure our tens of millions of listeners and viewers can enjoy unfettered access to free and local broadcasting. NAB and America’s broadcasters are proud to honor him with this award.”
In thanking the NAB for the award, Green said, “Our nation’s television and radio broadcasters are an important part of our day-to-day lives, providing Americans important news and weather coverage, entertainment, and critical alerts during times of emergency, all free of charge. Going forward, I hope policymakers and regulators will work with our broadcasters, large and small, urban and rural, to ensure that this invaluable service continues to reach all Americans.”