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U.S. Broadcasters Discover the Consumer

Broadcasters must go on the offensive and turn new technology to their advantage, the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) new President and CEO David Rehr said at the opening session of the NAB's annual convention in Las Vegas.

It was one point of a five-point plan to 'reenergize' the local broadcasting industry and its efforts in Washington. "There are breathtaking changes taking place in broadcasting � and across all electronic media," Rehr said. "This is the day of consumer convenience and consumer choice. For the first time in the history of media, the consumer is completely in charge."

So, put simply, as consumers turn-off or pay less attention to their radio and TV sets in record numbers, they have finally caught the attention of the broadcast moguls. But, he cautioned, it is up to broadcasters � radio and TV � to capitalize on the opportunities. "The future is always on offense and those who play defense will be left behind," Rehr said.

As broadcasters develop new technologies, Rehr said TV and radio stations must promote their digital offerings. "February 2009 is staring us in the face. Studies show that the majority of the American public still has a blank slate on what DTV truly means," Rehr said. He added that broadcasters must take it on themselves to educate the audience and not rely on the government, cable or satellite companies or consumer electronics to convey the benefits of DTV and digital radio.

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