The National Association of Broadcasters
) is a trade association
A trade association, also known as an industry trade group, business association or sector association, is an organization founded and funded by businesses that operate in a specific industry...
, workers union
A trade union, trades union or labor union is an organization of workers that have banded together to achieve common goals such as better working conditions. The trade union, through its leadership, bargains with the employer on behalf of union members and negotiates labour contracts with...
, and lobby group
Lobbying is the act of attempting to influence decisions made by officials in the government, most often legislators or members of regulatory agencies. Lobbying is done by various people or groups, from private-sector individuals or corporations, fellow legislators or government officials, or...
representing the interests of for-profit, over-the-air radio
Radio is the transmission of signals through free space by modulation of electromagnetic waves with frequencies below those of visible light. Electromagnetic radiation travels by means of oscillating electromagnetic fields that pass through the air and the vacuum of space...
Television is a telecommunication medium for transmitting and receiving moving images that can be monochrome or colored, with accompanying sound...
Broadcasting is the distribution of audio and video content to a dispersed audience via any audio visual medium. Receiving parties may include the general public or a relatively large subset of thereof...
s in the United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...
. The NAB represents more than 8,300 terrestrial radio and television stations
as well as broadcast network
A broadcast network is an organization, such as a corporation or other voluntary association, that provides live television or recorded content, such as movies, newscasts, sports, Public affairs programming, and other television programs for broadcast over a group of radio stations or television...
As of November 1, 2009, the president and CEO of the NAB is Gordon Smith, a former United States Senator from Oregon.
The NAB was founded in 1922 at the Drake Hotel in Chicago. The association's founder and first president was Eugene F. McDonald Jr.
Eugene F. McDonald founded Zenith Radio in 1921, a major American radio and electronics concern.He was born in 1886 in Syracuse, New York. His father was variously remembered as a storekeeper and insurance salesman. McDonald dropped out of high school at age 14 to help support the family.In 1904,...
, who also launched the Zenith corporation.
The NAB worked to establish a commercial radio
Commercial broadcasting is the broadcasting of television programs and radio programming by privately owned corporate media, as opposed to state sponsorship...
system in the United States. The system was set up in August 1928 with the establishment of General Order 40 — a radio reallocation
Use of radio frequency bands of the electromagnetic spectrum is regulated by governments in most countries, in a Spectrum management process known as frequency allocation or spectrum allocation. Radio propagation does not stop at national boundaries...
scheme by the Federal Radio Commission
The Federal Radio Commission was a government body that regulated radio use in the United States from its creation in 1926 until its replacement by the Federal Communications Commission in 1934...
which awarded the choicest frequencies and broadcast times to the then-emerging commercial radio industry. In the wake of General Order 40, a loose coalition of educators, nonprofit broadcasters, labor unions, and religious groups coalesced to oppose the NAB and their allies through the 1920s and 1930s, and to develop a public, nonprofit, license-funded radio system without commercials (similar to what happened with the BBC). The coalition claimed that the commercial industry would only promote profitable programming, thereby reducing the quality and future potential of radio broadcasting.
Not having the political connections, resources, or publicity of the NAB and the commercial radio industry, the non-profit coalition eventually lost the fight with the passage of the Communications Act of 1934
The Communications Act of 1934 is a United States federal law, enacted as Public Law Number 416, Act of June 19, 1934, ch. 652, 48 Stat. 1064, by the 73rd Congress, signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, codified as Chapter 5 of Title 47 of the United States Code, et seq. The Act replaced the...
Many satellite radio
Satellite radio is an analogue or digital radio signal that is relayed through one or more satellites and thus can be received in a much wider geographical area than terrestrial FM radio stations...
enthusiasts have criticized the NAB for lobbying against legislation approvals for those services. The NAB protested the FCC's approval of both satellite radio services in the United States — XM
XM Satellite Radio is one of two satellite radio services in the United States and Canada, operated by Sirius XM Radio. It provides pay-for-service radio, analogous to cable television. Its service includes 73 different music channels, 39 news, sports, talk and entertainment channels, 21 regional...
Sirius Satellite Radio is a satellite radio service operating in North America, owned by Sirius XM Radio.Headquartered in New York City, with smaller studios in Los Angeles and Memphis, Sirius was officially launched on July 1, 2002 and currently provides 69 streams of music and 65 streams of...
— and furthermore criticized the 2008 merger of the two companies, calling the merged company a "potential monopoly
A monopoly exists when a specific person or enterprise is the only supplier of a particular commodity...
The NAB has lobbied against the use of white spaces
In telecommunications, white spaces refer to frequencies allocated to a broadcasting service but not used locally.-Summary:National and international bodies assign different frequencies for specific uses, and in most cases license the rights to broadcast over these frequencies...
, unused broadcast spectrum lying between broadcast channels, for wireless broadband internet and other digital use. The NAB has claimed that use of white space will interfere with existing broadcast spectrum, even though tests by the Federal Communications Commission at levels far stronger than that being advocated for in policy circles have not supported such claims. Indeed, the FCC has recommended the use of white spaces for broadband and other digital use.
In 2011 the NAB funded an advertising campaign titled "The Future of TV", advocating for the private ownership of the spectrum, framed as a threat to free television.
Organization similar to the NAB exist in individual U.S. state
A U.S. state is any one of the 50 federated states of the United States of America that share sovereignty with the federal government. Because of this shared sovereignty, an American is a citizen both of the federal entity and of his or her state of domicile. Four states use the official title of...
s, including Georgia Association of Broadcasters
The Georgia Association of Broadcasters represents radio and television broadcasters across the U.S. state of Georgia. It is affiliated with the National Association of Broadcasters....
(GAB) in Georgia
Georgia is a state located in the southeastern United States. It was established in 1732, the last of the original Thirteen Colonies. The state is named after King George II of Great Britain. Georgia was the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution, on January 2, 1788...
, and the Illinois Broadcasters Association (IBA), in Illinois. In Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...
, the Canadian Association of Broadcasters
The Canadian Association of Broadcasters was the national voice of Canada's private broadcasters, representing the vast majority of Canadian programming services, including private radio and television stations, specialty, pay and pay-per-view services....
(CAB) has a similar role.
NAB's annual spring convention is the NAB Show. It typically draws over 100,000 industry professionals. NAB also manages the NAB Radio Show which is held each autumn and draws over 3,000 radio professionals. At the 2010 and 2011 NAB shows, popular technology included stereoscopic video and editing software - a demand inspired by James Cameron's Avatar
In Hinduism, an avatar is a deliberate descent of a deity to earth, or a descent of the Supreme Being and is mostly translated into English as "incarnation," but more accurately as "appearance" or "manifestation"....
; point-of-view cameras, and DSLR cameras boasting shallow Depth of Field. Other strides in nonlinear editing technology included archival film restoration, digital audio mixing improvements, motion stabilization of hand-held footage and rotoscoping with one click.
Notable NAB Broadcasting Hall of Fame Inductees
Robert William "Bob" Barker is a former American television game show host. He is best known for hosting CBS's The Price Is Right from 1972 to 2007, making it the longest-running daytime game show in North American television history, and for hosting Truth or Consequences from 1956 to 1975.Born...
Larry Lujack , a Top 40 Music radio disc jockey, was known for his world-weary sarcastic style, "Klunk Letter of the Day" and darkly humorous "Animal Stories" along with "sidekick Little Tommy", and "Cheap Trashy Show Biz Report." He was also referred to as Superjock, Lawrence of Chicago, Uncle...
||Meet the Press
Meet the Press is a weekly American television news/interview program produced by NBC. It is the longest-running television series in American broadcasting history, despite bearing little resemblance to the original format of the program seen in its television debut on November 6, 1947. It has been...
Rigdon Osmond "Rick" Dees III is an American comedic performer, entertainer, and radio personality, best known for his internationally syndicated radio show The Rick Dees Weekly Top 40 Countdown and for the novelty song "Disco Duck." He is a People's Choice Award recipient, a Grammy-nominated...
Regis Francis Xavier Philbin is an American media personality, actor and singer, known for hosting talk and game shows since the 1960s. Philbin is often called "the hardest working man in show business" and holds the Guinness World Record for the most time spent in front of a television camera...
Dick Purtan is a former American radio personality. His last radio job was as the morning radio show host on Oldies 104.3 serving the Detroit, Michigan U.S. radio market. Purtan was also a disc jockey at WKNR-AM, WXYZ-AM, CKLW-AM and WCZY-FM which became WKQI-FM in 1989...
||The Tonight Show
The Tonight Show is an American late-night talk show that has aired on NBC since 1954. It is the longest currently running regularly scheduled entertainment program in the United States, and the third longest-running show on NBC, after Meet the Press and Today.The Tonight Show has been hosted by...
John Francis "Jack" Buck was an American sportscaster, best known for his work announcing Major League Baseball games of the St. Louis Cardinals. Buck received the Ford C. Frick Award from the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1987, and is honored with a star on the St. Louis Walk of Fame...
Roger Douglas King is an English political figure who served as a Member of Parliament from 1983 to 1992.A member of the Conservative Party, King was elected to Parliament for Birmingham Northfield in the 1983 election, reversing a by-election loss to Labour the previous year...
|Mormon Tabernacle Choir
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir, sometimes colloquially referred to as MoTab, is a Grammy and Emmy Award winning, 360-member, all-volunteer choir. The choir is part of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints . However, the choir is completely self-funded, traveling and producing albums to...
"Music and the Spoken Word
Music and the Spoken Word is a weekly 30-minute radio and television program of inspiring messages and music produced by Bonneville Communications with music performed by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir .The radio program is distributed by the CBS Radio Network and its broadcast center is KSL...
||Walt Disney anthology television series
Michael Scott Shannon is a radio disc jockey, current co-host of the "Scott and Todd in the Morning" show on WPLJ, host of The True Oldies Channel, and the official voice of The Sean Hannity Show.-Early Radio Career:...
||Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In
Dick Orkin is an award-winning voice actor and commercial radio producer who created the series Chickenman and The Secret Adventures of the Tooth Fairy...
Edward James "Ted" Koppel is an English-born American broadcast journalist, best known as the anchor for Nightline from the program's inception in 1980 until his retirement in late 2005. After leaving Nightline, Koppel worked as managing editor for the Discovery Channel before resigning in 2008...
|"Cousin Brucie" Bruce Morrow
Bruce Morrow is an American radio personality known to many listeners as Cousin Brucie.-Radio work:...
||Saturday Night Live
Saturday Night Live is a live American late-night television sketch comedy and variety show developed by Lorne Michaels and Dick Ebersol. The show premiered on NBC on October 11, 1975, under the original title of NBC's Saturday Night.The show's sketches often parody contemporary American culture...
Thomas "Tom" Joyner is an American radio host, host of the nationally syndicated The Tom Joyner Morning Show, and also founder of REACH Media Inc., the Tom Joyner Foundation, and BlackAmericaWeb.com.-Early life:...
The NAB presents several annual awards:
- NAB Marconi Radio Awards
The Marconi Radio Awards are presented annually by the National Association of Broadcasters to the top radio stations and on-air personalities in the United States. The awards are named in honor of Guglielmo Marconi, the man generally credited as the "Father of Wireless Telegraphy." NAB member...
, to the country's top radio stations and personalities
- NAB National Radio Award, to an outstanding individual leader in the radio industry
- NAB Crystal Radio Awards
The NAB Crystal Radio Awards are presented annually by the National Association of Broadcasters to American radio stations. The award was established in 1987 to recognize radio stations for year-round commitment to community service....
, to radio stations achieving excellence in community service