NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith listens to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler on stage in Las Vegas.

Megan Geuss

LAS VEGAS—At the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) conference today, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler stepped into somewhat hostile territory to address an audience of broadcast licensees that were angry about their perceived mistreatment by the commission.
In a keynote speech yesterday, NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith questioned whether the FCC was dealing straight with TV broadcasters. During that speech, Smith cited perceived favoritism of wireless broadband providers, as well as a recent move by the FCC to restrict TV stations’ ability to jointly negotiate ad sales and retransmission deals, as evidence that broadcasters are getting short shrift compared to the treatment of wireless industries.
Today, Wheeler addressed that tension right up front. “Now it’s no secret that the NAB has been critical of some of my actions as FCC chairman; I don’t know if you noticed or not,” Wheeler said sarcastically.
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