NAB CEO Gordon Smith Delivers Keynote Address at 2011 NAB Show


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Las Vegas, NV – Apr 12, 2011 - NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith presented the annual NAB State of the Industry address during the 2011 NAB Show.

Smith notes, "The state of broadcasting is more forward-looking than it has been in two decades."

Two topics Smith addressed included the so-called spectrum crisis, or capacity crunch facing wireless carriers and how to address the problem; and he also touched on the fact that the performance royalty tax died after the NAB offered to compensate record labels and performers if they helped get radio in every cell phone. Their offer was denied and the discussion is still on the table.

Below is a transcript of his prepared remarks.

I saw a cartoon in The New Yorker a while back. This man is standing at a lectern to give a speech and he's saying, "I know so much I don't know where to begin."

Well, I don't know that much, but I know more than I did a year ago, and I do know this: The state of broadcasting is more forward-looking than it has been in two decades.

A few years ago at this convention, Eddie Fritts, whom we honored yesterday with the Distinguished Service Award, said something about broadcasting's future that I think bears repeating.

He said, imagine that local radio and TV broadcasting didn't exist.

That people had to pay for their radio.

That they had to pay for their TV.

And that news of the local community was pretty much limited to the morning paper.

Then, imagine a new wireless technology came along and said: We can give you radio and television for free. And as part of your local communities, we will bring you local news, local weather and warnings about local emergencies, as they happen.

Eddie said, if broadcast technology were invented today, it would be viewed as a "miracle technology." And he's right. It would be viewed as a great public good, a force for cohesion when communities are being fragmented by unemployment or plant closings or crime or by technology itself. It's great you can get BBC World News and Al Jazeera on your iPhone. But isn't it a greater value for a community to get local Channel 4?

Isn't that a public good?

It's great that you can get XM Channel 153 - the comedy of Canada - on your iPad. But isn't it more important for a community to get severe weather warnings on local 101.1 FM or local 1580 AM?

Isn't that a public good?

--Continued on page 2

Gordon Smith


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