Broadcasters already lead the league in federal regulation, says the NAB, and they do not want to be singled out for another burden not shared by their many new competitors. This particularly applies to the FCC’s new localism initiatives, in which the association finds much to object to. . And it is even more of a concern when broadcasters are already local in a way many other media cannot possibly match.
NAB points out much that should be obvious. The rules are one-size-fits-all, despite the fact that the challenges facing a television station in Portland ME likely has little in common with those facing a radio station in Portland OR.
It questions the reasoning for restoring a regimen already abandoned back when there was less competition in the media. It questions the wisdom of forcing staffing levels in defiance of new technology that may threaten the economic viability of many small-market broadcasters. It points out that the whole house of cards may fall the first time the rules are measured against the yardstick of the First Amendment.
NAB concludes, “In sum, instead of achieving the Commission’s stated goal of promoting closer contact between broadcasters and their communities, the proposed rule changes will, in many cases, produce the opposite effect, resulting in a broadcasting industry less able to serve the public interest. Especially in light of broadcasters’ and other outlets’ increasing service to local markets made possible by technological developments, NAB urges the FCC not to return to a regulatory regime from the analog era that would harm rather than help promote our common goal of providing service to our local communities.”