By Bruce Goldsen,
Member, NAB Radio Board
Honorary Member, MAB Board of Directors
It’s been an extraordinarily difficult year for our industry and the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) is not immune to the challenges of the pandemic. As you know, NAB had to cancel our annual convention – the 2020 NAB Show – due to the pandemic. This had a significant impact on the organization’s bottom line, accounting for the loss of 70% of operating revenue. And, unfortunately, the cost of protecting our business in Washington, D.C. has not decreased, and we anticipate the ongoing impact of COVID-19 on our conventions business. Over the last year, NAB has provided immense value to both local radio and TV stations:
- Staving off repeated attempts by pay-TV operators to upend the retransmission consent system, most recently in last year’s successful STELAR outcome;
- Stopping a federal advertising tax from gaining traction;
- Securing $1 billion in additional funding to reimburse stations impacted by the spectrum repack;
- Working on a Supreme Court appeal to reform outdated media ownership regulations and
- Fighting on Capitol Hill for pandemic relief.
NAB has also taken the lead and made huge investment in the current Copyright Royalty Board’s review of performance royalties on broadcast streams. NAB’s leadership led to a 30% drop in performance royalties five years ago. The music industry is working aggressively to raise these rates and NAB is shouldering the burden to fight increased performance royalties on internet streams. Of course, NAB has year after year succeeded getting enough congressional support to prevent performance royalties from becoming reality for radio’s over the air signals.
What might be more impressive than the volume of work coming out of NAB is their winning record.
In light of the extreme loss of revenue, NAB made many difficult decisions to reduce costs while ensuring continuity of operations. This included reducing executive salaries, instituting a hiring freeze and making budget cuts to non-mission critical initiatives. But we must ensure NAB continues to be an effective advocate in Washington, standing up for all broadcasters at a time when we need it most.
In order to preserve the core advocacy functions of our organization, the NAB Joint Board of Directors has unanimously approved an immediate one-time assessment covering NAB services for the next three fiscal years, FY 22 (April 1, 2021-March 31, 2022) through FY 24.
This assessment is in addition to member dues, and the NAB board has made the assessment equal to the amount of each member’s annual dues payment and payable over three years in equal installments, with the first payment due on or before December 31, 2021.
There is still much at stake for our industry. Now more than ever, we need the continued support of current and prospective members, so that we can keep protecting your interests in Washington, D.C., ensuring your voice is heard on issues that matter most to your bottom line. Thank you for putting your trust in us to be your advocate.
If you have questions about your assessment or making payments, I would be glad to connect you with a member of NAB’s Membership team, or you can reach out to them at (202) 775-2555 or [email protected].
We are grateful for your support of NAB – together we are stronger in our advocacy before Congress, the Federal Communications Commission and in the courts.