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Smyth: Our Eyes Were Wide Open

Greater Media head defends the PRA strategy

Peter Smyth is speaking up in defense of the NAB Radio Board.

Reacting to criticism of the board’s stance regarding performance royalties, Smyth, the chairman/CEO of station owner Greater Media, wrote that the board “includes some of radio’s most dedicated and savvy business men and women. They represent stations from towns as small as Carthage, Texas to metropolitan-based stations in New York City. Their companies are publicly-held, privately-held, family-owned and passed down from generation to generation.”

When the board voted “overwhelmingly” for a strategy on the performance royalty, he continued, “we did so with eyes wide open, with robust debate, and with the best of intentions. It is simply outrageous to suggest that any of us is ‘selling out’ or ‘caving in.’”

He also lamented a suggestion from critics that radio should spin off a separate trade association, one that represents only radio, or one that represents only small- to medium-market radio stations.

“What exactly would that accomplish? The last thing that our business needs now is fractured leadership and separate agendas in Washington.”

Smyth said the board’s change of direction on the PRA “was taken with great deliberation and with an understanding of the consequences. The easy solution would have been to simply continue screaming ‘no’ at the top of our lungs, leaving for the next generation of radio broadcasters the possibility that legislation will be imposed upon us that threatens our very business model. In my view, that approach would have been a grave mistake.”

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