Reaching out to broadcasters amid a leadership change at their largest trade association, ACA President and CEO Matthew M. Polka congratulated the National Association of Broadcasters for selecting former U.S. Sen. Gordon H. Smith as its new president and Chief Executive Officer.
"The American Cable Association applauds the National Association of Broadcasters for wisely selecting former U.S. Sen. Gordon H. Smith as its new president and CEO, effective Nov. 1. ACA believes that the NAB has shown great foresight by turning to an individual who earned the respect of his Senate colleagues as a bridge builder and who demonstrated leadership by being more interested in finding compromise than exploiting political divisions for partisan advantage," Polka said.
Smith -- a two-term Republican from Oregon defeated for re-election last fall, is replacing David Rehr, who abruptly resigned in April after a string of policy setbacks. After leaving the Senate, Smith joined the Washington, D.C., law office of Covington & Burling.
"In the weeks and months ahead, ACA is optimistic that the establishment of new leadership at the NAB will create the opportunity for ACA and the NAB to develop a new relationship, one that is advantageous both to small broadcasters and small, independent cable companies and results in better service for consumers in smaller markets and rural America, where ACA members have been leading providers of advanced communications for decades," Polka said.
Smith, meeting with reporters last week at the NAB's radio show in Philadelphia, said he planned to prove critics wrong who said NAB needed an industry veteran to lead the organization.
Polka said he hoped that Smith's reputation for balance and fairness would benefit ACA's relationship with broadcasters.
"During his two terms in the Senate, Sen. Smith was highly regarded by his peers and industry leaders for being a good listener, a fair-minded policy maker and a leader willing to master the details in order to make his own informed, balanced decisions," Polka noted. "ACA members are hopeful that Smith's laudable strengths during his Senate years will help launch a new era of cooperation between our two associations and produce a healthy climate that allows ACA and the NAB to interact in a productive fashion for the good of all consumers."