NAB 2016: Smith Opens Show With Mix of Broadsides and Bouquets

Complete Coverage: NAB Show 2016

Las Vegas – In remarks that cited Abraham Lincoln, Adlai Stevenson, T.S. Eliot and Will Rogers, NAB president and CEO Gordon Smith opened the 2016 edition of the NAB Show by asserting the primacy of local broadcasters amid political turmoil, the spectrum auction, 4K and other disruptions.

"It seems everyone wants what we have – our content and our spectrum – but nobody wants to do what we do – live and vital localism," Smith told the crowd.

Putting a finer point on it, Smith aimed a critique at regulators.

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"Once the auction is concluded, we face another daunting challenge as, likely, a majority of remaining broadcasters will have to move their channel to make room for the wireless carriers," he said.

Appealing for adequate funding and organization of the repack, he added, "Lately, some at the FCC have been so enamored with mobile broadband and Silicon Valley that the Commission’s policy choices have unwittingly put us on an unnecessary collision course toward two Americas – one where the video future is available to those who can afford to pay, and one where they cannot."

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Smith also noted a petition the NAB filed last week along with other media stakeholders.

"The new standard is designed to better align broadcasting’s broadly deployed, spectrally efficient and free service with an increasingly IP based world, enabling broadcasting to more easily integrate into a wide array of popular devices," Smith said.

For the full text of Smith's remarks, click here.