Over 60 And Going Strong

by Whit Adamson

In 2008, the TAB celebrated the 60th year of our founding.  As part of our association commemoration of the past, we also took this opportunity to look toward the future with anticipation. The TAB and the free, local, federally licensed, radio and television members of our state seek to assure an increasingly diverse group of ownership, managers, staff and communities that we serve. In addition to our stations underlying business model of helping to deliver public interest standards, consumer product choices and other information to the public  just a few of the issues, challenges and legislative priorities facing our broadcasters over the past few years included:Content protection , consumer education, parental control of television viewing for children, encouraging the FCC to allow AM stations to use FM translators, helping to balance Retransmission Consent negotiations between television broadcasters and cable operators, repeal and stay of the Fairness Doctrine, holding satellite radio accountable to their license and rules, internet streaming and broadcast audio content, investing in public safety with the EAS and the AMBER Child Abduction Alerts, no to performance taxes for radio, digital signal interference, protecting lowest unit rates for political advertising, SHIVIA, Y2K, new spectrum taxes, LPFM signal interference, fair media ownership rules, advertising prohibitions, journalism rights, FAA notification for tower changes, copyright royalties,  close captioning requirements, localism, multitasking, piracy, competition and statewide phone franchises,  telecommunications Acts in the Congress and General Assembly, Alternative Broadcast Inspection Plans (APIP) in cooperation with the FCC Compliance Bureau, station license renewal, diversity reporting, state lottery, public notices, alcohol advertising, sales and property tax appeals, state and federal lobbying reform, non-compete agreements, open records and meetings, Streamlined Sales Tax Project, tax reform, advertising taxes and community service reporting.  Even the most far-sighted and founding members of 1947 could not have imagined the scope and issues affecting our industry today. The technological and economic developments that have transpired over the last 60 years have shaped and focused the strategic niches of our government relations and relationships with our membership and Members of Congress, the General Assembly and regulators. These factors continue to highlight and utilize our unique role as a conduit between TAB members and the community they serve, our Members of congress and their constituents and the National Association of Broadcasters. Your Association increasingly understands an untapped capacity to chart our own destiny and to help shape the broadcast and political environment around us.


Over the years our conferences have hosted FCC Commissioners and Bureau Chiefs, future vice presidential candidates, governors, state and federal senators and representatives, state commissioners and congressional committee chairmen, national and international association presidents, hall-of-famers and award winners, famous songwriters and entertainers, just to name a few. From the beginning, the TAB has fulfilled in-part of our obligation to the membership as a focal point for learning and teaching concentration for the collective value of our industry and approach to the legislators, regulators, employees, advocates and public at large. This charge has included many programs and initiatives for managers, salespeople, news departments, engineers, programmers, human resources, legal departments, students and institutions of higher learning, our communities and many other resource contacts. We have taken great pride in these developments to promote information literacy in a rapidly changing technological atmosphere. We will continue to create, implement, and improve these strategies to communicate and train these various constituents and the impact of its instructional, scholarship and service activities for our unique contributions. Like our stations, the TAB is considered a high performance business consistently leading the broadcast industry. Talent in our business has always been one of the biggest sources of strategic value to our potential. Knowledge and skills combine to generate superior levels of creativity, adaptability and performance. We consider our organization talent-powered to generate extraordinary results for our industry. Our capabilities depend on our ability to define our deeds and our audience needs, to discover the people necessary to accomplish the results and to develop our position and then deploy that talent. Leadership training for our future has always been to build individual skills for our advocacy, salespeople, engineers, news departments, managers and human resource operations. The TAB has helped enhance our educational and student scholarship responsibilities through the financial support of our membership, our non-commercial sustaining announcement program (NCSA) partners, our event sponsors, advertisers, exhibitors and many friendships.

I have worked for over 25 years to represent our members.   It has been a privilege to do so and I forward to the years ahead.