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New North Hall, Google Are Topics

The "business of the business" also marches on in sessions and exhibit booths.

The “business of the business” also marches on in sessions and exhibit booths.

The flow of foot traffic is definitely different thanks in part to an expanded North Hall, which contains not only most of the radio/audio booths but also attendee registration and some video exhibitors, including a biggie, Grass Valley.

The new flow of foot traffic gives the floor a different feel, and exhibitors are giving this layout a cautious early thumbs up in comments to RW. But the design also resulted in some lines Monday morning at registration, where NAB execs could be seen handing out temporary passes to help people avoid the long wait.

Also making news: Clear Channel unveiled its ad deal with Google, drawing wide coverage in national business media; Internet Protocol continues to grow as a feature or main focus of many products on the radio floor; and NBC Universal rejoined the National Association of Broadcasters after seven years.

NAB President/CEO David Rehr, meanwhile, said NAB will push hard in Congress to fight the record labels in what he calls a proposed tax on radio stations for playing music. “Imagine the brazen greed it takes for the record companies to expect us to pay them for the honor of marketing and promoting their artists’ music. It would make much more sense for us to charge them for our promotional efforts,” he said. This is the “bulldog Rehr” some broadcasters were no doubt hoping for when the new president started 16 months ago.

Rehr also reiterated strong broadcaster opposition to the XM/Sirius merger, describing it as a “duopoly to monopoly” move.