NAB Urges Broadcasters To Scrap Russian State-Sponsored Content

Curtis LeGeyt of NAB
NAB president and CEO Curtis LeGeyt (Image credit: Jay Mallin)

The National Association of Broadcasters is calling on its members not to carry any state-sponsored programming tied to Russia while suggesting there is not much of that out there. That request comes as Russia continues its assault on the independent country of Ukraine.

While NAB president Curtis LeGeyt said the industry group is a “fierce defender” of the First Amendment and the freedom to speak and broadcast views "both popular and unpopular," he said that did not prevent “private actors from exercising sound, moral judgment,” and signaled this was the time for broadcasters to do just that.

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“To that end, given the unprovoked aggression exhibited by Russia against the free and sovereign people of Ukraine, NAB calls on broadcasters to cease carrying any state-sponsored programming with ties to the Russian government or its agents,” he said. He did not specify which broadcasts, but RT (formerly Russian Television) and Sputnik are two channels whose web distribution Facebook, Google and others have limited as state-backed media outlets.

“While we know that airings of such programs are extremely limited,” LeGeyt said, “we believe that our nation must stand fully united against misinformation and for freedom and democracy across the globe.” ■

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.