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Barton Praises Fritts

House Commerce Committee chairman Joe Barton (R-Texas) took the opportunity of Thursday's hearing on a digital-TV-conversion hard date to say thank you to outgoing National Association of Broadcasters president Eddie Fritts.

Fritts announced Feb. 16 that he would be retiring from the association and that a search for a successor had been launched.

"It has been a privilege to be associated with him," Barton said, calling Fritts "a gentleman of integrity who represented the industry with fairness and honor."

Barton pointed out that Fritts may not have won all his battles, but that he had fought them in a way that "left doors open on both sides of the aisle."