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LeGeyt Applauds Fully-Seated FCC, Says There’s More Work to Be Done

NAB president/CEO writes in response to Anna Gomez's confirmation to the commission

Following the Senate confirmation of Anna Gomez to the Federal Communications Commission on Thursday, Sept. 7, the head of the National Association of Broadcasters published a blog about how the commission can better support local broadcasting.

In his blog post, titled “A Fully Seated FCC Can Enable Increased Investment and Expand Consumer Access to America’s Most Trusted Medium: Local Broadcasting,” NAB President and CEO Curtis LeGeyt wrote that there are three important areas where FCC action is necessary “to keep broadcasting strong for the millions who depend on our free, locally-focused service.”

With her confirmation, Gomez will fill a Democratic seat that has remained open since President Biden took office, in part because of the long and ultimately fruitless push to install Gigi Sohn in that seat. Thus, the commission’s longstanding 2-2 political standstill is no more. With a fully-seated, five-person commission, LeGeyt said the FCC can now act as a “catalyst” to make necessary changes and advancements for broadcasters and their audiences.

“At this critical juncture, NAB looks forward to working with the five commissioners to ensure broadcasters’ ability to grow our life-line service to the benefit of viewers and listeners across the country,” wrote LeGeyt.

He said the trusted news sources and local broadcasters that the public depends on ” face enormous challenges in a hyper-competitive marketplace that have been exacerbated by asymmetric regulations.”

LeGeyt goes on to propose that the FCC modernize broadcast ownership rules, help ensure that viewers have access to their local broadcast stations on virtual platforms and confirm that FCC’s merger review process will conclude with an up or down vote in a “timely fashion.”

“Unfortunately, opaque and shifting guidelines about broadcaster transactions can deter potential buyers from investing in new and established entrants,” wrote LeGeyt. “This would-be investment can save struggling newsrooms and preserve local journalism.”

In addition to his requests for action, LeGeyt also notes some of the policy progress that has been made in recent months to support broadcasters.

“I am grateful for the 184 bipartisan cosponsors of the AM Radio for Every Vehicle Act — legislation that will ensure the availability of AM radio in every automobile. I also applaud the Senate Judiciary Committee’s recent bipartisan passage of the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act — a bill that would arm broadcasters and other local news outlets with the necessary scale to negotiate fairly with dominant digital platforms.”

Read LeGeyt’s full post on the NAB website.

[Related: “Senate Confirms Anna Gomez as New FCC Commissioner“]