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NABOB Discontinues Support for Radio Geo-Targeting


Federal Communications Commission
Federal Communications Commission

NABOB President and CEO James L. Winston filed a letter with the FCC on October 27 notifying the agency that the NABOB Board of Directors voted 6 to 4 to discontinue its support of the proposed Commission rule amendment that would permit FM boosters to transmit separate content up to three minutes per hour.

In response, Roberts Broadcasting Companies Founder and CEO Steve Roberts wrote, "We are deeply concerned by the NABOB Board's vote to discontinue its support for the FCC rule change that would bring geo-targeting to broadcast radio. Clearly this action is yet another in a string of savage actions NAB has taken in the interest of its largest members and to destroy the advancement of new technology to an industry badly in need of expanded revenue sources."

"We believe that the FCC will recognize the source beneath today's action. The FCC should reject this cynical effort and keep its eye on the prize of enabling innovative technology to small and medium-sized broadcasters," he added.

The letter was also signed by National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) President and CEO Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis Jr., JAM Media Solutions LLC Founder and CEO Jonathan Mason and Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council President and Chief Executive Officer Robert Branson.

In a separate letter, Branson wrote, "Among the fully pled rulemaking issues, only one - "voluntarism" - deserves a final, close look. Many innovative technologies initially were voluntary, but businesses that chose not to be early adopters came to wish they had embraced the technology earlier: Color television. 'Click' UHF tuning. Call waiting. Three-way calling. Translators. Voice mail. After consumers embraced these technologies, broadcasters and carriers followed in their wake and often profited greatly by satisfying consumer demand. Now no one remembers whether the initial roll-outs were sufficiently voluntary."

"After 32 years of advocacy, the minority incubator initiative has collapsed, and Congress has not summoned the will to restore the tax certificate policy. But Geo-targeting is a good idea that's worth a try. All broadcasting stakeholders should join MMTC in searching for and embracing new initiatives that would diversify broadcast ownership," he added.

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