NBC loses NAB board seat

Network joins Fox in protesting national audience cap

WASHINGTON — NBC has lost its seat on the board of the National Assn. of Broadcasters after failing to pay the dues for WNBC, its owned and operated station in New York.

The NAB notified NBC that it had lost voting privileges for failure to pay dues last week. NBC had been quietly warning the broadcasting trade group for the past several months that it was considering leaving the org.

Breaking ranks

Both NBC and Fox, which has already resigned from the NAB, are upset with the trade group’s refusal to endorse further deregulation of the national audience caps. The Big 4, which also includes CBS and ABC, have been vigorously lobbying for an end to the current 35% national audience cap. But the affil station groups that dominate the NAB board don’t want to lift the caps because they fear it will make the already powerful networks even stronger.

Now that neither NBC nor Fox has voting privileges on the NAB board, some industry sources expect that the networks may try to form their own lobbying org to petition Congress to support a change in the national ownership caps.

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