Broadcasters Gather In D.C. For Advocacy Opportunities


WASHINGTON, D.C. — Washington Nationals Park may normally play host to Major League Baseball players, but on Tuesday (3/5) it served as the gathering place for more than 550 broadcast media representatives who have traveled to the Nation’s Capital to learn how the NAB is working inside the Beltway on their behalf.

The association’s annual State Leadership Conference (SLC) saw WJLA-7 in Washington, D.C. reporter and journalist Michelle Marsh emcee the event, which featured remarks from policymakers, panel discussions and briefings ahead of meetings with legislators on Wednesday.

In his remarks to attendees, NAB President/CEO Curtis LeGeyt welcomed the audience and thanked them for their participation. He underscored the critical role local stations play in their communities, particularly in an election year. LeGeyt also addressed critical issues for broadcasters, including the need for the passage of the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (JCPA) and the overwhelming bipartisan support for the AM Radio for Every Vehicle Act.

Both pieces of legislation await full votes.

Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-La.) was in attendance, and participated in a fireside chat with LeGeyt. He provided an update on the House’s legislative activity and noted the importance of broadcasters being in Washington to personally meet with their legislators.

Johnson, a former broadcaster and co-sponsor of both the AM Radio for Every Vehicle Act and the Local Radio Freedom Act, also discussed the importance of broadcasters delivering local content and sharing life-saving information during natural disasters.

Sen. Ben Ray Luján (D-N. Mex.), a leader on both the AM Radio for Every Vehicle Act and the Local Radio Freedom Act, also spoke at the conference. Luján acknowledged the power of local broadcasters’ reach in vast geographical landscapes like New Mexico, and noted the important role AM radio played during the state’s recent devastating wildfires. Luján also spoke about the crucial role broadcasters play in delivering trusted information to their viewers and listeners, especially with the increased spread of disinformation and misinformation on social media.

Other highlights included a salute outgoing NASBA President Dewey Bruce, President/CEO of the Montana Broadcasters Association; recognizing incoming NASBA President Wendy Paulson, Executive Director of the Minnesota Broadcasters Association; and a panel on the challenges and opportunities of AI content in broadcasting.

Representing the FCC at the event was Anna Gómez, the newest Commissioner and the decisive third Democratic vote. Gómez joined NAB Chief Legal Officer and EVP/Legal and Regulatory Affairs Rick Kaplan in a Q&A session.

Rick Kaplan
Rick Kaplan
RBR+TVBR readers can enjoy an exclusive conversation with the NAB’s lead counsel on Capitol Hill and at the FCC, Rick Kaplan, in the Spring 2024 magazine.
Members will receive a digital copy of this publication on April 8. General distribution of our print edition will be seen during the NAB Show in Las Vegas. Look for the RBR+TVBR kiosk at the main entrance of the Las Vegas Convention Center West Hall.