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NAB CEO urges broadcasters to embrace change or be left behind

April 08, 2013|By Joe Flint

The top lobbyist for the broadcast television and radio industries urged the industry to embrace change or be left behind. 

"We must seize the opportunities that new technology platforms present to broadcasters, otherwise we are essentially handing our competitors the keys to our future," said Gordon Smith, chief executive of the National Assn. of Broadcasters, in his opening remarks at the trade association's annual convention taking place this week in Las Vegas.

Broadcasters are gathering at a time when there are many clouds on the horizon. Besides the usual competition from cable, new distribution and content services such as Hulu and Netflix are emerging as viable threats. Local broadcasters, once the only option for entertainment fare, are now just one link in an increasingly long chain.

Smith urged broadcasters to develop more of their own content and make it available on as many platforms as possible.

"As consumers' appetite for local TV on the go continues to grow, broadcasters must continue to rise up to meet consumers' desire for more live, local TV content," Smith said.

With regard to radio, Smith urged for greater cooperation between wireless companies and broadcasters. The NAB has been lobbying for the inclusion of radio receivers in mobile phones. 

"Future radios in smartphones will combine over-the-air and online content for a rich, 'hybrid radio' experience that provides interactive enhancements, along with potential new revenue opportunities," Smith said.

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Follow Joe Flint on Twitter @JBFlint.

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