Rehr Urges Bush To Allow Analog Past Feb. 17

National Association of Broadcasters President David Rehr Thursday urged President Bush to sign legislation that would allow TV stations to continue broadcasting in analog past the Feb. 17, 2009, date.

The bill passed in the House Wednesday night, having passed the Senate last month.

"The DTV transition remains a top priority of NAB; local television stations across the country have contributed over $1 billion to educate Americans of the impending switch," Rehr wrote. "This legislation will allow television stations to continue the broadcast of analog signals with educational messages and emergency information where technically feasible for 30 days after the transition date, and will go a long way in our continued efforts to educate every American who receives highly valued over-the-air programming."

Rehr may be preaching to the choir. According to the office of Lois Capps (D-CA), who authored the bill in the House, the bill essentially has support across the board, including the administration's telecom policy advisor--NTIA head Meredith Baker--the FCC chairman and commissioners, obviously legislators (it passed by unanimous consent in both Houses), and stakeholders.

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.