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NAB Files Ex Parte with FCC Over GBS Zonecasting


National Association of Broadcasters
National Association of Broadcasters

NAB filed an ex parte with the FCC Thursday regarding a proposed rulemaking that would enable GeoBroadcast Solutions to license its proprietary booster technology to FM stations. In the filing, NAB raised concerns with the proposal's merits in the context of "credible and public accusations" regarding the questionable business dealings of GBS founder and CEO Chris Devine.

NAB shared publicly available information detailing some of the instances where Devine has been credibly accused of fraudulent and deceitful conduct, including lawsuits alleging the conning of a mentally and physically infirm senior citizen out of tens of millions of dollars, "downright immoral" business practices while running a company specializing in marathon races, and providing false information to the FCC that raised questions about his qualifications to hold radio station licenses.

NAB claims these concerns are relevant for a variety of reasons, including what it claims are GBS's attempts to "falsify an intra-radio industry rift regarding its proposal." Specifically, NAB alleges that the vast majority of comments from broadcasters supporting GBS's proposal are form letters, and that these form letters - representing what NAB believes to be 93 of the 109 stations purportedly supporting GBS - were signed by a longtime counsel to GBS (who has also been his business partner).

In addition, NAB says more than half of these filers have service areas covering fewer than 50,000 people, making ZoneCasting not remotely financially sustainable for their operations, and that approximately 25 percent of these filers are non-commercial stations, which cannot accept advertising.

NAB concluded its ex parte by urging the FCC to "not become the latest in a long line of those who regret having trusted Mr. Devine and his businesses' representations" and to reject GBS's proposal.

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