Broadcast lobbyist Gordon Smith blasts FCC in speech at NAB show

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The broadcasting industry's top lobbyist said the Federal Communications Commission needs to work closer with the industry rather than trying to undermine it through regulatory measures that favor would-be competitors.

"Over the past five years, there has been an increasingly singular focus by the federal government on broadband," said National Assn. of Broadcasters President and Chief Executive Gordon Smith in a speech at the association's annual convention in Las Vegas. Smith added that meanwhile the agency continues to "regulate broadcasters as if the world is stuck in the 1970s."

While broadcasters would get a piece of the proceeds from such auctions, many in the industry are reluctant to participate. Said Smith: "On the one hand, government can treat us as if we are dinosaurs and does what it can to encourage TV stations to go out of business. On the other hand, the FCC says we are so important and powerful that two TV stations can't share advertising in the same market, while it's OK for multiple cable, satellite and telecommunications operators to do so."

That new FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler is a former head of both the cable and wireless industry lobbying groups also has many broadcasters concerned that they are second-class citizens in his eyes. Univision Chairman Haim Saban cracked that the FCC stands for "Friendly Cable Commission," during an interview at the convention. The FCC, Smith said, needs a "national broadcast plan" along with its National Broadband Plan.

Broadcast lobbyist Gordon Smith blasts FCC in speech at NAB show Smith: US Needs A National Broadcast Plan (TVNewsCheck) NAB: Smith to FCC--Where's the National Broadcast Plan? (B&C) Broadcasting group decries FCC’s alleged favoritism of wireless broadband (ars technica) NAB: Haim Saban Urges Creation of a New Broadcast Standard for All Platforms (Hollywood Reporter) Standardization Vital To TV Tech Success (TVNewsCheck)