NAB president and CEO David Rehr sat down with a few reporters as the conference drew to a close. In between juggling questions about getting through his first show — he was president of the National Beer Wholesalers Association until late last year — Rehr also talked about policy.
— Talks with the RIAA about how to handle digital radio aren’t moving at a rapid clip. Leaders from the two groups met a month ago in New York. “We found a lot of commonaity, one, which is disintermediation. We don’t want people to be able to create jukeboxes because they have less incentive to listen to radio and that’s a big issue with the RIAA. … I don’t know if it’s going to take three months or two years.” Other constituencies have to be brought in as well; he recently met with music publishers.”
— The NAB and others managed to get a proposed amendment on retransmission withdrawn in the House Wednesday; the campaign was part of Rehr’s opening speech. Told that a member of Congress was suggesting a roundtable on the issue, the former congressional staffer replied: “We’ve already had two hearings on it in the House. A roundtable discussion is a method by which members of Congress can keep their issue alive when they face overwhelming opposition.”

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