Executive Director Letter

Executive Director Letter

January 29, 2019

Dear Fellow Broadcasters:

The closing of the old year and turning of the calendar to look forward to the new year always provides a great time for reflection on the past and anticipation of things to come. Today I want to take a moment to do both with you from the perspective of my office.

2019 is a year of celebration for our association, as we celebrate 70 years of serving the Arkansas Broadcasting Industry.

2018 marked a year of significant change and success for the Arkansas Broadcasters Association. The Board has set a mandate to embrace these changes and successes, be progressive in advocating for them, and assuring our membership is both prepared and at the forefront of changes which impact our industry. A portion of what we are doing as we flip the page of our calendar is to reimagine our vision for this organization, where, through strong advocacy, relations with other states and the National Association Broadcasters, and a greater connection with our membership we can provide a stronger, more responsive and vibrant organization. This is something we work on every day!

With the writing of this letter I am relaunching my statewide tour with the lofty goal of visiting each and every broadcast organization in the state. So far, I have visited 20 television stations and 98 radio stations. Please contact us to set up a visit. It is essential in order to build this re- imagined association that we, the ABA, remember the needs of our membership and be in the trenches fighting for those things which make a difference for you. I have already begun to forge new relationships with both our state and federal legislators in an effort to make sure our voice is ever-present in their thoughts. I am finalizing several partnerships (some multi-state) with new clients ensuring that both our organization and its membership are not passing up opportunities that are available to us. Along with the Board, I have taken a hard look at finances, reapportioned our priorities, and already strengthened the bottom line for this organization. And, we are working to do a better job of communicating with you through traditional means as well as a stronger social media presence.

As the Arkansas Broadcasters Association works hard for you, we also hope you will embrace the changes and this opportunity to help be a part of the positive change we bring to, and for the state. Specifically, you can do this in three ways. First, be a part of the positive change. Allow us to join in the successes that occur every day in our ABA family. Celebrate “us” on social media with the hashtag #BroadcastingNaturally. Second, communicate your needs with us. Help us to help you address the concerns and issues which prevent you from being your very best. And third, support our association – your association. Your membership in this association and the support, monetarily and otherwise, you provide it is essential to the health and vibrancy of broadcasting in this state.

To those of you who are continuing members of the ABA I thank you for your support and hope you continue to help us fulfill our mission. To those of you who have not yet joined us, I hope you will give thoughtful consideration to joining us and reaping the benefits a strong organization has the ability to provide you.

Once again, let me express my appreciation for what each of you does every day to ensure that Arkansas Is Broadcasting Naturally. I wish each of you a happy and prosperous 2019 and look forward to seeing each of you soon. In the meantime, if I can be assistance to you, please feel free to contact me. You will always find the door to your association open to you.

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.

Here on the home front and under the “Golden Dome” of the State Capitol we proudly served broadcasters by:

• Successfully testified before the Governor’s Tax Reform and Relief Legislative Task Force to preserve a tax exemption provided to broadcasters on services rendered when installing new equipment.

• Maintained a watchdog presence to stay on top of pertinent industry issues.

Most sincerely,
C. Luke Story,
Executive Director
Arkansas Broadcasters Association