Genachowski In, Out Quickly at NAB

A high-profile broadcast keynote for the former carrier-current DJ
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Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski spent a sliver of his time discussing radio in his address to NAB Show 2010 attendees, his first as agency chairman.

He spent much of his time seeking to debunk what he called “myths” about the proposed national broadband plan, trying to assuage worried TV broadcasters about the commission’s proposals to reclaim some of their spectrum for broadband use.

Genachowski said some attendees thanked him for the commission’s recent decisions to allow FMs to increase their digital power and to enable AM stations to use FM translators. He noted that he was a radio DJ while in high school, “spinning discs on a carrier-current station.”

The chairman also said he was impressed by the work he saw in the exhibits related to the transition to digital for both radio and television.

On another topic, Genachowski signaled that the commission is ready to focus its attention on media ownership again, and try again to slightly relax cross-ownership rules. Chairman Kevin Martin did so, an attempt that ultimately was ejected by a federal court.

Genachowski said he believes Congress was right to tell the agency to review its media ownership rules periodically and the FCC intends to soon issue a Notice of Inquiry.

The chairman took no questions when he was finished, and left quickly. NAB President/CEO Gordon Smith explained that the chairman needed to rush back to Washington where he was slated to testify before Congress on Wednesday.

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