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David Rehr Leaving NAB

Sudden announcement takes industry by surprise; Janet McGregor takes day-to-day duties for now

A little more than three years into the job, National Association of Broadcasters President/CEO David Rehr has suddenly resigned.

CFO Janet McGregor will serve as interim manager of the association as the NAB board mounts a search for a new president/CEO. Rehr succeeded Eddie Fritts, who left in late 2005 after a 23-year tenure.

Rehr stays on during a transition phase working with McGregor, who will take on day-to-day duties.

NAB confirmed the news in a statement that didn’t provide a great deal of details about why.

“I have enjoyed leading America’s broadcasters through this time of change and challenge,” Rehr said in the announcement. “Our efforts to educate America about the digital television transition have been enormously successful, and our effort to reinvigorate radio through the Radio Heard Here campaign is positioning radio broadcasters well for the future.”

The association quoted Joint Board Chairman Jack Sander saying, “David made a significant contribution and has been extremely dedicated to making NAB a stronger organization.” He cited Rehr for helping to build a “very solid infrastructure” with experienced senior staff members. “Our board of directors and members are a powerful force comprised of the best minds in broadcasting.”

Rehr’s tenure has been highlighted on the radio side by an unsuccessful, high-profile fight against the Sirius XM merger and a vigorous opposition to efforts by record labels to add performance royalties for radio play.

(See related blog entry.)