Busy Times for Broadcasters and the MAB

Debbie-Kenyon-2014_500
Debbie Kenyon

By: Debbie Kenyon, MAB Chairman and Senior VP/Market Manager, CBS Radio Detroit

This has been quite a year legislatively. There are attacks on FOIA, claims of “Fake News,” Performance Royalty, National Ad Tax and the Spectrum Auction. The National Association of Broadcasters has done a terrific job keeping these issues at bay and we thank them.

Did you know that the NAB is the first to admit that they depend on strong state associations like the MAB to help with the grassroots lobbying efforts? A lawmaker trusts the NAB completely, but always wants to know, “What do my local broadcasters think about this?” Enter the MAB.

The MAB is well known among the Michigan Congressional Delegation. MAB schedules individual meetings during the Call on Congress in DC, as well as in-district Congressional meetings to discuss issues identified by the NAB. Because of these meetings and the overall lobbying efforts, many of our Congressional delegation have signed the Radio Freedom Act and three have signed a letter urging Congress to continue to treat advertising as an essential business expense.

The MAB board will continue to meet one of our core missions of advocacy. We need your help to do so. In order to speak with authority for the state, we need your station to be a member of the MAB and air the Public Education Messages (PEP). Though we do not lobby with the PEP funds, it helps fund our other missions, including continuing education and training, Legal Helpline, P1 Sales, and Broadcast Compliance Service, just to name a few. To date 98% of TV stations and 76% of all radio stations in the state are members of the MAB. Lets try to make that membership 100% of all Michigan radio and television stations.

In its 68 years of existence, the MAB is one of the most respected state broadcast associations in the nation and is a model for other states. President Karole White has been at the helm of MAB for just a little less than half of that time. Along with her excellent staff she has helped the MAB board build a strong organization with ever stronger advocacy efforts and member services.

It has been my honor to serve as Chairman this year and I look forward to seeing all of you at the MAB summer Advocacy Conference and Annual Meeting August 22-23 at Crystal Mountain Resort, Thompsonville.

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