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Padden: Coalition Now Comprises 70 Station Members

The Expanding Opportunities for Broadcasters Coalition has swelled to 70 stations, mostly in

the larger markets where the FCC is most in need of spectrum to reclaim for wireless through incentive auctions. That is according

to Preston Padden, executive director of the coalition and a former top exec at Disney and Fox.

Padden plans to go wide with the new figure--40 was the last number--at an SNL/Kagan broadcast conference in

New York.

The stations are ones that are at least considering giving up spectrum for auction.

Padden said he remains bullish on prospects for a successful auction by the end of 2014.

Padden has been pushing the FCC not to "score" stations (differential pricing according to size or

audience) when pricing them for auction, concerned that the FCC would discourage broadcaster participation in the

auction by holding to a plan to pay larger broadcasters more than smaller ones.

He says he is encouraged by conversations with FCC commissioners and staff about the "scoring" issue.

Padden is not identifying the members of the coalition. The FCC will also keep their identities

confidential per the incentive auction legislation, which recognized that it would not be in a station owner's

interest to signal to competitors or its own staffers that it might be giving up spectrum.