National Assn. of Broadcasters TV board chairman Bill Ryan said last week that chances are “50-50” his group can reach a consensus plan to present to Congress on relaxing TV ownership rules. A still sharply divided NAB TV board is expected to vote this week on a final unified industry position.
Ryan, president of Post-Newsweek Stations, said the major sticking points include:
* Whether group owners should be permitted to reach 30% or 35% of U.S. homes with owned stations;
* Whether a single broadcaster should be permitted to own two stations in a market;
* And whether local marketing agreements that allow a single broadcaster to program two stations in a market should be permitted.
The NAB TV board met last week in D.C. to develop a unified industry position. Despite reports of progress, no agreement was reached within a board that’s dominated by network-affiliated station reps who favor a less deregulatory approach than that being pushed by the four nets and Tribune Broadcasting.