HD Going Global? Check the Map

Kurt Hanson over at the Radio and Internet Newsletter recently posted an insta-retrospective of the tenure of David Rehr as (former) President of the National Association of Broadcasters. The piece focuses on “possible errors” made by the NAB et. al. during Rehr’s reign. Number two on the list is HD Radio:
Unfortunately, it turns out that “going digital” in radio’s case is not going to happen via the distribution method of IBOC (In-Band On-Channel), but rather via the delivery mechanism of the Internet. Already the latter method has tens of millions of weekly listeners on PCs, plus millions more on smartphones (many in cars), while cumulative HD Radio sales are still under a million units. (And the gap is spreading.)
Radio’s effort to contain digitally-delivered radio to their scarce FCC-licensed frequencies has cost radio hundreds of millions of dollars in equipment upgrades — and, worse yet, more than $1 billion in wasted on-air promotion value.
And, meanwhile, most of the great Internet radio opportunities are being grabbed by outsiders…. Continue reading “HD Going Global? Check the Map”

NAB Finesses Lobbying Strategy

The boss who oversaw the National Association of Broadcasters’ evisceration of the FCC’s low-power FM radio service, Eddie Fritts, stepped aside as president last year, and considers the squelching of LPFM one of his greatest accomplishments. The new NAB chieftain is David K. Rehr, former chairman of the National Beer Wholesalers Association.
NAB President David Rehr, GOP Palm-Greaser ExtraordinaireWhen Rehr was selected to replace Fritts, the NAB pointed to his significant and unabashed lobbying and fundraising skills – Rehr made the NBWA political action fund one of the ten biggest spenders in Washington and currently doles out more than twice as much cash as does the NAB. Rehr was also a “Bush Pioneer” in 2004, raising more than $100,000 for his second campaign, and has extremely close ties to Republican congressional leadership and the K Street Project. Continue reading “NAB Finesses Lobbying Strategy”