Dear Mr. Rehr,
You have engaged in double talk for years. When it suits your membership, consolidation of companies is fine, when it does not, it is anti-consumer. You claim to be an organization of “home grown” and “grass roots people,” yet the vast majority of your membership own stations that impact regions or even operate on a national scale. You raise your banner championing localism, yet that really only applies if someone lives in the top 20 markets. You want to give the impression of vast reach when it suits your needs, but on the other hand want to be identified as the organization with a "local touch."
Mr. Rehr, there is a reason that many organizations and groups are excited about a merger of Sirius and XM. Satellite radio has made it a point to carry diverse content. They have made an effort to fill needs that terrestrial radio has left unmet for decades. Even when the opportunity for terrestrial radio to meet those needs arose with low powered FM, the NAB and their membership have fought it tooth and nail.
Simply stated, the NAB is all about those top 20 markets, and maintaining a control over the content heard. The NAB membership wants to maintain the tired and outdated business model that fills 25% to 30% of the time on the air with advertisements and station bumpers.
How long do you expect people to remain fools to your agenda? When there was no other choice, you had your way with consumers. Now, faced with competition from I-Pods, satellite, and cell phones, you want to cry foul at every turn. The problem with your membership is that consumers found what they consider to be better alternatives, and your membership was slow to react. The years of living high on the hog for the NAB membership off of the backs of consumers is changing, and your membership does not like it. Not only that, NAB members are ill prepared to adjust their business to new market conditions. The NAB solution is to make sure there is no competition.
Well Mr. Rehr, I have news for you…….LOCAL and NATIONAL news. There is competition. There is a better way to treat consumers. There is the ability for consumers to get what they want from other sources, be it I-Pods, satellite, or cell phones with audio capability. Consumers now have choices. You should get used to the idea. There are outlets for minorities to get the content that you have failed to deliver for decades.
In your letter to Mel Karmazin you requested that he withdraw his application for a merger. I have a better suggestion. Why don’t you remove your foot from your mouth, or better yet, remove the clouds from your thinking? No longer will consumers listening ability be controlled by the membership of the NAB. No longer will consumers be forced into the limited choices and playlists that the NAB offers. No longer will consumers be sold a bill of goods about “local” content.
As the listenership of terrestrial radio drops, you have two choices. You can see what it is that consumers really want and try to offer it, or you can try to beat down that competition in every way. Your agenda is clear. You would rather wipe out competition than offer a product that consumers want. If you had the consumer at heart, you would not be going down the path that you are.
It is you Mr. Rehr that should withdraw your opposition to the proposed merger.
Tyler Savery (and any other person who sees what you are doing)
Position - Long Sirius, Long XM