How’s Your Lobbyist Doing? NAB Just Won a Nice One!

By Paul Maxwell Report Archives
Cover image for  article: How’s Your Lobbyist Doing?  NAB Just Won a Nice One!

Lobbyists win some and lose some. Last week the National Association of (Over-the-Airheads) Broadcaster’s Gordon Smith won one at the Federal Confusion Commission (FCC).

One time lobbyist (for both cable and wireless) FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler kind of wanted to revisit the so-called network non-duplication and syndicated exclusivity rules. (Definition here, courtesy of friends at ACA.) The NAB demurred, and then rallied a lengthy list of serving politicians who politely suggested that now is not the time to visit this issue without more studying by the right folks.  So, the FCC paid attention to the organized noise and put it on hold.  There it just may sit for the life of the FCC.

Nice win.  But it got me thinking, do you know the lobbyists -- the good ones, that is -- who are on your side?  Luckily, The Hill just published a list of DC’s best.  Here’s a short rundown of those “best” (in The Hill’s order) who work primarily on, broadly speaking, media issues. (You can see the full lists here.)

Association Bests: Meredith Atwell Baker and Jot Carpenter of CTIA -- The Wireless Assoc., Michael Beckerman of The Internet Assoc., Chris Dodd of the Motion Picture Assoc. of America, Michael Powell of the National Cable & Telecommunications Assoc.,  Gary Shapiro of the Consumer Electronics Assoc. and Gordon Smith of NAB.

Hired Gun Bests: Elizabeth Frazee and Sharon Ringley of TwinLogic Strategies, John O’Neill and Manny Rossman of Harbinger Strategies and David Urban and Manus Cooney of American Continental Group. Those embroiled in an intellectual property battle need look no further than Urban and his crew.

CorporateBests: William Carty of Twitter, Pablo Chavez of LinkedIn, James Cicconi and Tim McKone of AT&T, Matt Gelman and Fred Humphries of Microsoft, Jessica Herrera-Flanigan of Univision, Joel Kaplan of Facebook and Melissa Maxfield of Comcast.

All of the above have a lot of work cut out for them in the coming months.  That is, if anything resembles normal in the future.

Random Notes:

My book The Revolutionary Evolution of the Media continues. Read the latest chapter here or go here to read it from the beginning.

An inadvertent fallout of the long-running Cable Card odyssey popped up in Oklahoma as a jury in a Federal court decided Cox Cable does indeed coerce subscribers who want a premium channel to lease a set-top box (STB) … never mind the existence of TiVo, DirecTV, Dish and other options.  Best coverage is from the Hollywood Reporter.

Similar cases are active in other jurisdictions, which for plaintiffs could be a $19 million windfall.  Or not.  The jury clearly didn’t believe, despite the evidence, the 57,735 residents in the greater Cox footprint with Cable Cards in someone else’s -- not Cox’ -- STB counted.

Let me get this straight, Republican candidates didn’t like the CNBC moderators’ questions so the Republican National Committee “suspends” NBC’s next chance to sort of host, along with the very conservative National Review,another “debate” … gee, wonder how those folks standing up on stage would handle difficult situations in the Oval Office?  I get it. Some (most) of the questions were gotchas. So? A couple of the candidates flat-out lied when “answering” a couple of the gotchas … but that doesn’t seem to matter to anyone but a fact-checker or two.  Just sayin.’  Gotta give credit to Ted Cruz’ TV instincts.  He certainly knows how to do a “debate.”  Actually, it resembled a fourth grade recess shouting and whining match.  Nice moves by Marco Rubio to parry Jeb Bush’s semi-sabre thrust.  After saying he was frightened by all of his comrade candidates who aren’t ready for Oval Office prime time, John Kasich is campaigning with the Terminator; you know, Jarl Mohn’s one time neighbor Arnold Schwarzenegger.  And Rush Limbaugh says CNBC, you know, the financial network that isn’t Fox Business, is “Democrat media.”  Still, bet the RNC “un-suspends” NBC because, you know, NBC owns Telemundo and somebody needs its viewers.  Let me know when something in this Presidential race makes any sense at all.

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