FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski spoke at the NAB Show in Las Vegas on Monday afternoon. The FCC Chairman traditionally is given an early morning time slot at the NAB Show, but Genachowski was bumped to the afternoon to make room for Betty White. After joking about losing his 7:30 a.m. slot to the legendary actress, Genachowski spoke optimistically about the state of broadcasting. He noted that in his three NAB Shows since being named Chairman, "radio ad revenue is up nine percent since 2009."
Genachowski attributed an overall increase in ad revenue to the economic recovery and growth in the automotive ad category, among other reasons. According to his prepared remarks, Genachowski also touched on topics such as retransmission fees, digital options, local news and "spectrum crunch." Much of the Chairman's speech was dedicated to issues surrounding broadband and the wireless spectrum, as well as the proposal that broadcasters keep their disclosure information online, rather than "in filing cabinets that can be reached only at the station itself."
As part of his speech, the FCC Chairman announced that the Commission had named Gary Epstein as a Senior Advisor to the Chairman and co-lead of the Commission’s Incentive Auction Task Force. He will join Ruth Milkman to manage the Task Force and the Commission’s implementation of incentive auctions.