The National Association of Broadcasters fired Pam Magnani the other day. She’s the person that arranged for Tim Robbins to give the keynote address at the recent Las Vegas NAB Convention. Radio & Records characterized Robbins’ address as:
A cynical, sarcastic, sometimes humorous, expletive filled attack-turned-challenge on and to broadcasters to add balance to what he perceives as a ‘dangerous lack of diversity and opinion’ on America’s airwaves.
While Robbins insisted (and the NAB acquiesced) that there be no video of his address, there is a video record of the address. You can see it here.
The dismissal came a week after the NAB appeared to defend Robbins. NAB Executive Vice President Dennis Wharton was quoted by R&R the day after the screed stating:
We found Mr. Robbins’ remarks to be entertaining and thought-provoking. We obviously disagree with some of his claims about local broadcasters, but we respect his right to have his opinions.
According to the NAB, it is:
The advocate for licensed, free-over-the-air radio broadcasters before government, regulators, business, and the community.
One wonders. The NAB, radio’s advocate, hasn’t come out in defense of radio, conservative talk show hosts, or anything else Robbins smeared and sarcastically belittled. And this is the organization that represents radio?
If the NAB really did represent radio broadcasters, the organization would have quickly jumped to the defense of Talk Radio, pointed out that it is Robbins that is out of touch with America, not radio. Americans in very large numbers listen to conservative hosts. And according to our research, a high proportion of those listeners share the conservative viewpoints that the hosts express.
The NAB gave Robbins the platform to attack radio. The least it could do is to apologize to its members and use the opportunity to draw attention to radio’s continuing vitality and relevancy. Instead, they hid.