2018 Year in Review

2018 Year in Review

A letter from GAB President, Bob Houghton

As we approach the end of 2018, I would like to take a few moments to reflect on some of the accomplishments from this year in broadcasting.

Gordon Smith, President and CEO of the The National Association of Broadcasters sent out an end of the year letter this week highlighting many of the “wins” from 2018.

Here are just a few accomplishments at a national level that we can all be proud of:

  • Fought back efforts to eliminate the advertising tax deduction, which would have doubled the cost of advertising for your clients.
  • Secured $1 billion in additional funding to make stations whole after the broadcast spectrum repack.
  • Ensured the Music Modernization Act – the most comprehensive copyright reform in decades – passed Congress and was signed into law.
  • Held off record labels’ attempts to impose a performance tax on local radio.
  • Protected critical ASCAP and BMI consent decrees from being abolished by the Department of Justice.
  • Secured approval for voluntary use of Next Gen TV.
  • Worked with the Federal Communications Commission to enact long-overdue media ownership reform.

We were told that much of what we accomplished could not be done, and yet, working together we achieved great success in the 115th Congress, to the benefit of our listeners and viewers.

The Georgia Association of Broadcasters is pleased to have been a part of these wins in Washington. We are also proud of the many accomplishments that our organization has achieved over the past year.

In 2018, the GAB continued to improve our valued relationships with our federal representatives. For the first time ever, we hosted “Meet and Greets” with more than half of our delegates in their districts. Our upcoming trip to Washington D.C. for the NAB State Leadership Conference will allow our broadcasters to build strong relationships with the staffs in Washington. This will complement the relationships built with the Meet and Greets.

Building off the success of the past two years, we will host the third annual “GAB Day at the Capitol” this winter. Another opportunity for broadcasters to form relationships with our legislators. This is increasingly important as we will have new state leadership and major changes in the state house and senate in 2019.

Our legal counsel and lobbyists at the state and national levels continue to amaze us. With their help, the GAB stays on top of industry pertinent issues. For example, we provided financial support to an Amicus Brief which lifted a gag order that was won at the Georgia Supreme Court. This gag order prevented important information from being released in the high-profile homicide case of Tara Grinstead.

2018 brought us record revenue here at the GAB. This allowed us to provide additional member benefits like sales training and convention subsidies. We’re very thankful to have been able to host several events this year without any cost to our members. In the GAB office, I believe our support team is stronger than ever: Allison, McKenzie, Ben and Garrett continue to provide excellent support to our members every day. In 2018 we also welcomed a new Engineering Consultant, John George. John now heads up our Alternative Broadcast Inspection Program (ABIP). This is another example of a free service that we are able to provide to our members thanks to a great year.

I want to sincerely thank you for your support of the Georgia Association of Broadcasters in 2018. This success of this association would not be possible without every one of you. We look forward to your continued support in 2019 as we celebrate the 85th anniversary of the GAB!