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March 6, 2024

Broadcasters Convene in Washington, D.C. for Annual Advocacy Push

Top policymakers discuss the future of AM, leveling the playing field with Big Tech and the critical role broadcasters play in delivering trusted and accurate information

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today over 550 radio and television broadcasters from across the country gathered in Washington, D.C., for the National Association of Broadcasters’ (NAB) annual State Leadership Conference (SLC). The conference, held at Washington Nationals Park and emceed by Emmy award winning journalist Michelle Marsh from WJLA-TV, featured remarks from policymakers, panel discussions and briefings preparing attendees for meetings with legislators on Wednesday, March 6.

In his remarks to attendees, NAB President and CEO Curtis LeGeyt welcomed the audience and thanked them for their participation, highlighting the grassroots power of local broadcasters. He underscored the critical role local stations play in delivering reliable and trusted information to their communities, particularly in an election year. LeGeyt also addressed critical issues for broadcasters, including the need for the passage of the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (JCPA) to level the playing field with the Big Tech companies that utilize broadcasters’ content without compensation, and the overwhelming bipartisan support for the AM Radio for Every Vehicle Act.

Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Mike Johnson (LA-4) participated in a fireside chat with LeGeyt, where the Speaker gave an update on the House’s legislative activity and noted the importance of broadcasters being in Washington to personally meet with their legislators. Johnson, a former broadcaster and cosponsor of the AM Radio for Every Vehicle Act and the Local Radio Freedom Act, also discussed the importance of broadcasters delivering local content and sharing life-saving information during natural disasters. LeGeyt and Johnson also discussed the JCPA, the dominant market power of the Big Tech companies and the rapid evolution of AI and its impact on broadcast journalism.

Sen. Ben Ray Luján (NM), a leader on both the AM Radio for Every Vehicle Act and the Local Radio Freedom Act, also spoke at the conference. Luján acknowledged the power of local broadcasters’ reach in vast geographical landscapes like New Mexico, and noted the important role AM radio played during the state’s recent devastating wildfires. He shared when other communications mediums failed, broadcast radio remained on the air, delivering critical, life-saving information. Luján also spoke about the crucial role broadcasters play in delivering trusted information to their viewers and listeners, especially with the increased spread of disinformation and misinformation on social media.

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Commissioner Anna Gomez joined Rick Kaplan, chief legal officer and executive vice president of Legal and Regulatory Affairs at NAB, for a Q-and-A session. Gomez discussed her experience prior to serving on the Commission, including her role in the digital television transition. She also spoke about the importance of broadcasting to individual households and broadcasters’ trusted role in localism. Kaplan and Gomez discussed the rapid rise of AI and the implications for broadcasters and other industries regulated by the Commission.

Other highlights included: honoring outgoing NASBA President Dewey Bruce, president and CEO of the Montana Broadcasters Association; recognizing incoming NASBA President Wendy Paulson, executive director of the Minnesota Broadcasters Association; a panel on the challenges and opportunities of AI content in broadcasting; a briefing from the NAB Government Relations team focused on key issues for broadcasters, including the AM Radio for Every Vehicle Act, the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act, the Local Radio Freedom Act and artificial intelligence (AI).

On Wednesday, SLC attendees will travel to Capitol Hill to meet with their members of Congress to discuss Broadcasters’ Policy Agenda for the remainder of the 118th Congress. Issues include the AM Radio for Every Vehicle Act, the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act and the Local Radio Freedom Act.

About NAB

The National Association of Broadcasters is the premier advocacy association for America's broadcasters. NAB advances radio and television interests in legislative, regulatory and public affairs. Through advocacy, education and innovation, NAB enables broadcasters to best serve their communities, strengthen their businesses and seize new opportunities in the digital age. Learn more at


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