Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Radio: Fumbles, Yourrrrrr OUT!

David "Fumbles" Rehr, you’re out!


Officially, it’s a resignation that was asked of you to make.

I hear they had to pry it out of you with the Jaws of Life.

You could say I’ve been predicting your downfall for years.

But I did call it on April 12. By then you were at the point of no return.

So many disasters in so little time.

Considering the irreparable damage Fumbles did to the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) it’s hard to believe that he was in that post for less than five years.

Just to put it in perspective, his predecessor Eddie Fritz held the same position for 23 years.

Sure, I’d like to take some credit for the campaign to kick his ass out of the NAB – but I can’t. It was all Fumbles; all self-inflicted.

Now, he’s an accident going somewhere else to happen.

Fumbles joined the NAB as President and CEO in December, 2005 just around the time his left his former employer, the National Beer Wholesalers Association, for health reasons. They were sick of him.

Fumbles sold himself as an insider – as one who had the ear of then-President George W. Bush. Within a few months it was evident that Rehr knew Bush better than Bush knew Rehr.

He sold himself as a savvy lobbyist but proved to have absolutely no skill on Capitol Hill.

When the phone didn’t ring he knew it was FCC Commissioner Boy Kevin Martin. The Boy never returned Fumbles’ phone calls, e-mails, and letters even though they shared the same party and ideology.

In fact, Boy Kevin even went right over Fumbles’ head and mandated DTV transition PSAs when it was apparent that the NAB had no plan of action to promote the change from analog-to-digital. television transmission.

Fumbles, you leave behind a charred legacy of failure. Where does one begin?

Your failure to achieve multicast must-carry rights for TV stations?

Your failure to block the Sirius-XM satellite radio merger?

Your failed “white space” initiative to open up the broadcast spectrum for shared use by on-line devices?

Your failed campaigns to save radio from itself? Radio Heard Here? Radio 2020? Need I add more?

The botched streaming audio negotiations with the RIAA’s SoundExchange that gave the latter even more royalties than they asked for by 2015?

Let me add three more words: Performance royalty fees. 

I’m running out of space. If you want more and have an hour to kill, go to the top of this page where it says “Search blog” and type in “Fumbles.”

Believe me. By the time you finish reading the rest of Fumbles’ follies you’ll be asking the same question: What took them so long?

Fumbles, you’ll be forever known as the one who escalated a business that was stuck in the past to go backward.

Your “resignation” comes with collateral damage.

Where does this leave your professional coat holder Dennis Wharton?

How about RAB CEO Jeff “Ka-Ching” Haley? How fast can that bum kisser get his head out of your butt?

And what of your digital radio buddies like iBiquity CEO Bob “Booble” Struble and poor Lyin’ Diane Warren of the HD Digital Radio Alliance? Is that demented party finally over?

I heard that your thisclose buddy Fred Jacobs took the news hard and spent the entire afternoon sobbing uncontrollably. 

It remains to be seen if the NAB can ever recover from your lack of leadership.

Will the NAB board, which is dominated by old-line major market broadcasters, be able to identify a new CEO with the essential attitude and perception to lead old media into the 21st century?

The economics of the radio and television industry are remorseless, but I believe there are opportunities to marry old media to new and develop a 21st century “side door” revenue stream that will become highly beneficial to both our consumers and clients – and it will happen with or without the NAB. It’s up to that association to face up to today’s challenges or form another that will.

Let’s hear how Fumbles announced his departure.

"I have enjoyed leading America's broadcasters through this time of change and challenge," sayeth Fumbles in his shovel-ready farewell. "Our efforts to educate America about the digital television transition have been enormously successful, and our effort to reinvigorate radio through the Radio Heard Here campaign is positioning radio broadcasters well for the future."

Denial. From beginning to end.

P.S. Take your box of stuffed ducks and…. you know the rest.


Anonymous said...

"And what of your digital radio buddies like iBiquity CEO Bob “Booble” Struble and poor Lyin’ Diane Warren of the HD Digital Radio Alliance? Is that demented party finally over?"

Let's hope so! Not so funny is the damage these motherfuckers have done to our public airways. Looks like Bob Struble and Diane Warren can look forward to over-the-air RIAA royalties that will help put and end to their scam, as FMs are forced to flip to news/talk/sports formats.

Anonymous said...

John, Great news. Thanks for never backing down. The only concern remaining is that the person replacing Fumbles Rehr is as bad or worse. The same problem Shakespeare brought up. We need a healer and a visionary and not another empty suit. Any suggestions?

Anonymous said...

At least we have hope and with hope could come change. The NAB needs someone young, someone understanding both the needs of terrestrial radio's survival and how new media will play a role in its reinvention. We also need a leader that will go back to the RIAA/SX and pull that deal off the table and insist that no station will pay royalties unless its one based on the current ASCAP/BMI deals for terrestrial which deal with percentages of profits and not how many listeners, how many tunes. That borders on illegal in this country.

Anonymous said...

Poor poor poor Fred Jacobs. He lost his good buddy and soulmate David Fumbles Rehr. Did he not just get ousted from the HD Radio Alliance payroll too? Maybe there is justice after all.

Anonymous said...

Wow. I'm speechless. What good news. It is now up to the NAB board to hire someone who has a grip on the present and the future and not interested in trying to reinvent the past.

John, you were right about David Rehr. I hope you make lightning strike twice with the fire sales and your prediction on the right people buying in and buying back in to broadcasting with an eye on the future.

What great news!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

The Nab needs one who can satisfy the needs of station owners and at the same time understand the responsibilities the stations have to the market of license and its listeners. Neither one is the enemy. New media has found its balance between art and commerce. Radio has to do the same. To David "Fumbles" Rehr. Good riddance. You were a sham.

Anonymous said...

To be a fly on the wall at a certain crooked consultant's office in Southfield Michigan today. Boo hoo. First the HD radio alliance revises their budget. Now this. What's next? Will Freddie have his own Facebook page now that My Space is second fiddle and did we really need his research to tell us what we already knew months ago? The sooner the charlatans are kicked out of this industry the faster we can recover.

Anonymous said...

while youre at it, the nab board has to be realigned. who put lew dickey in there? fumbles. get rid of him. the nab board should be a mix of small to major markets & there should be conflict & debate. a house that agrees on everything does not move forward. we need a board that challenges the status quo because it has not been working. let us reach out to some young people & real broadcasters who love this industry & are not just slaves to shareholders or private equity. put broadcasting back into the control of broadcasters. may the next nab chairman come from new media. we need fresh blood now. we need a transfusion.

Anonymous said...

Well shit the bed Fred!

Anonymous said...

David, We ain't gonna miss ya. You fumbling idiot.

Rehr End said...

Negotiating with the RIAA that results in such higher royalties that stations are now pulling the plug on their streaming is what I think was the last straw.

Vic in Long Beach, CA said...

You're a lot more "in" than I will ever be. Can you think of a replacement who has what it takes to get the NAB off it's deadass and moving to help broadcasters go forward?

Anonymous said...

It sounds like they could not wait to get him out of the building. He'll stick around. In the lobby. What a mistake his hiring was.

Anonymous said...

Hey G-Man, David Rehr gave you a nice birthday present. Glad to see him "outta there". My question is: Has the NAB outlived its usefulness for radio? Should radio and TV be represented by the same group which has both sides vying for its attention at a time when the rules of the game are being rewritten by new media challenges? I would be curious to hear your take on where the NAB should go from here. David, we will not miss you at all. The G-Man was right. You are now an accident going somewhere else to happen.

Anonymous said...

i believe rehr knew he was out the door before he entered into negotiations w/the riaa/sx streaming audio royalties & also knew he was behind the 8-ball w/the performance royalty fee. a negotiator he is not. his royalty deal & the ineffectual manner he handled the performance royalty tax almost makes it look like that was his middle finger up to the radio industry. he did not earn many friends on the tv side & my friends on that side considered him just as ineffectual for their causes. i think tv and radio need their own separate group. one size does not fit all.

Anonymous said...

For the longest time you were the only one who was on David Rehr's performance as CEO of the NAB. Everyone else played politically correct. Today as I scan the web trades everyone is claiming an inside story about his resignation or saying they knew it was going to happen. John, you had the guts to take him on when everyone else was kissing Rehr and I commend you for that. I wish more people in this industry had your passion and insight of the radio industry. Like you I believe the radio industry is more dormant than dead. It will take new leadership and instead of a NAB/Clear Channel enemies list, radio (and television) must learn how to work with new media. Together it can be highly beneficial for both. Also as you say it takes twice as long to correct a mistake as to make one. We have a lot of work to do to reverse the damage Rehr and his cohorts made to the NAB.

Anonymous said...

If you keep predicting the sun will set, you're eventually correct John. Now here's my challenge to you. Instead of being critical of people still in the trenches, I challenge you to focus on solutions and what radio is doing right. Throwing stones is easy; coming up with answers is not.

Anonymous said...

Right about now the Pete Townsend song "Won't Get Fooled Again" comes into play. How does the NAB avoid a "meet the new boss, same as the old boss".

It is a different and better Washington with Obama and the land-grab days are over. My question is how does radio reinvent itself to once again be important to the masses. NPR has done what commercial radio has not been able to do under the greedy-take-all years. Can commercial radio make a comeback?

I have my doubts as long as we keep reading the same names: Mark Mays, Lew Dickey, Dan Mason, Farid Suleman among them. As long as these people have a say in the matter of who runs the NAB I think we will have more of the same.

Anonymous said...

Whoever it is that replaces Rehr should be well versed in new media, the current political scene, and be able to stand ground with the old line, hard core radio owners that refuse to accept that their way of running radio isn't working.

Give us someone with the intelligence to lead.

The last three and a half years were a nightmare. I'm not one to say Fritz was any better. These are different times. We need a healer not a divider.

Anonymous said...

I cannot see the NAB changing. It's made up of mostly older men who refuse to accept change. Even with an Obama presidency I expect we will have the same old people running the NAB into the ground for both radio and television.

The old line media people do not understand or choose to accept change and the world has changed and left them behind.

Maybe when credit gets moving again and the fire sales begin. Until then I think we will be stuck with the sos/dd.

Anonymous said...

I could not stop laughing at the visual of Fred Jacobs breaking down in tears because you know that isn't that far from the truth. I am sure Fred is taking it badly. He found a real sucker in Rehr and fed him the same crap he feeds his clients and gets away with.

Fred will try to make nice with anyone who comes on board but I don't think he will have the free pass he was granted from David Rehr.

Sorry, Freddie.

Anonymous said...

I never bothered to read the comments before. Could I make a suggestion. profanity is not needed. It weakens the argument.

There are some very valid points made here by some while othes use the comments as an opportunity to character assassinate.

Solutions, not problems.

Anonymous said...

The streaming audio deal that David Rehr cut for radio with the RIAA/Sound Exchange - is that a done deal? It needs to be renegotiated. Radio should not have to pay. I understand the argument. Gorman spelled it out about retail sales. More and more music is being bought on line and radio either terrestrial or streaming continues to expose new music and for that matter catalog music for the labels, too. Why should radio have to pay? I agree with Gorman that the formula radio created after World War II is the same when Google and others are using when referencing content that does not belong to them. Why don't the record labels understand that this is beneficial to them. Regarding the years of payola. Those people are gone (I hope). Look forward, not backward. Can't we have a better dialog here?

Anonymous said...

There is NO WAY David Fumbles Rehr resigned on his own. John you have it right. He was pushed out. Maybe the timing of the board was not the best since it should have been done months ago, it is still better to have him gone than inflicting more damage on an already crumbling radio industry.

We need to turn this industry around quickly and the ONLY way it can be done is to put a BROADCASTER in the position. By BROADCASTER I mean someone who was one before deregulation turned radio into a buy sell-mish mash mush.

Get a visionary. One who knows where were were, where we are and MOST IMPORTANTLY where we are going. The current crop at the NAB Board proves they don't know but at least they have taken the first step by getting rid of Rehr.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said... "I never bothered to read the comments before. Could I make a suggestion. profanity is not needed. It weakens the argument. There are some very valid points made here by some while othes use the comments as an opportunity to character assassinate.Solutions, not problems."

To Mr. High-and-Mighty, who are you to pass judgement? And, who's arguing, and who cares? This is just a blog comment block, and isn't meant to change anyones' minds. Bloggers have the right to use profanity, so screw-off!

Anonymous said...

Maybe someone can answer this. I believe there was a time when the NAB represented only television and a separate organization, the National Association of Radio Broadcasters did radio.

It appears that the NAB cannot satisfy the needs of both radio and television and surprisingly from what I have read and heard today, the TV industry had more complaints about David Rehr than radio did!

Anonymous said...

Some of the geezers, John, can't handle the fact that you called this one in the first inning. The seem to be a little snippy.

Anonymous said...

Fuckin' A, Bubba!

Anonymous said...

Please bring back sanity to our business. Getting rid of Rehr is a start. So many left to go. If they can't service their debt they should not own radio stations. We need a new beginning and we need it now.

Anonymous said...

We realy need to get rid of Bob Struble and his gang of cohorts - that would be a start.

Anonymous said...

Well, I'm glad the David Rehr haters are happy. The man is gone. Now what?

Radio and television are dying, consolidating industries. No one can give them the influence they want in DC anymore because they don't have any clout in the real world any more. The business is irrelevant today.

Talk to some oldtimers, guys who built their stations from nothing. They get it. And that's why mostly they're gone. You'll see a couple of them at the NAB radio show, and they'll tell you they ain't in it for the money any more. They just love the business too much to quit, and they're too old to want to try something new. So they'll ride this horse til it drops and enjoy whatever time it has left.

The world changes folks. 20 years ago, tobacco had the government in a hammer lock. Everyone loved their product and so the government couldn't mess with the industry. Today, the customers are gone, and so is the industry's clout. Its products are taxed beyond measure and it is about to be regulated out of existence. Radio and TV are facing the same future. White spaces? Satellite? Must carry? No one listens to the industry any more.

And the fact is, the NAB would be gone too if it weren't for the fact that its tradeshow is a cash cow that will not die. But 90% of the people who attend NAB every year have nothing to do with the broadcast industry. That money machine that rolls into Vegas every year makes the association appear far more powerful and vibrant than it actually is. If the association were reliant on industry for its lifeblood, it would be as dead as the broadcast business itself.

Reality check folks: Time to stop trying to breathe life back into the corpse of broadcast radio and television. Embrace the new communications models and get on with life. Forget the broadcast dinosaurs. They're done. And the longer you stay in denial, the more of your career you're wasting.

Anonymous said...

Profanity is fine.............slander is another story. The good news is that there's probably only 14 different people who read this blog anyway. If a media consultant and talent coach falls in the forest does anyone hear it?

Anonymous said...

I'm in the biz and I've never heard of "Radio Heard Here"...

Anonymous said...

I would be inclined to say that more people are aware of and read this blog than there are those who are aware of "Radio Heard Here". I am in the business and DO know about it and it is the biggest joke you could imagine. Think about it. Just take the slogan. It will make a unique case study in how not to launch a campaign. No wonder they sent David Rehr packing. Gorman was right. He and his cohorts cannot do anything right. Anything.

Anonymous said...

"Profanity is fine.............slander is another story."

What slander - point it out.

Anonymous said...

BTW - proving slander and liable are far harder for ublic figures - they are held to a different standard. Stop the whining, idiot!

Anonymous said...

Right said, Fred.

If a self proclaimed researcher, consultant and self proclaimed "creator" of such formats as classic rock, alternative and AAA sobs uncontrollably to the news of David Rehr's departure from the NAB does anyone really care whether he makes a noise or not?

I don't know what Fred is trying to prove here although there is no problem in showing him how his "research" should always be in quotations (you know what I mean, F) and that there were classic rock, alternative and AAA formats long before he was wearing that stupid beret he used to don in Detroit to "look cool" and started his "consultantcy", quotations again on purpose.

Daniel Fowler said...

To Fred Jacobs and all the Gorman doubters out there. If you thought Gorman was only kidding about David Rehr, here is another viewpoint from today's TV Newsday which corroborates Gorman's many comments and reports about the way David Rehr handled his chairmanship at the NAB. Read it and go back and read what Gorman wrote about Rehr and tell me where he "slandered" anyone. For those of you who criticized Gorman about Rehr's reignation being forced, read this, too :

It's Do-Over Time At The NAB
By Harry A. Jessell
TVNEWSDAY, May 8 2009, 3:10 PM ET
With broadcasting suffering through the worse economic times in its history and Washington threatening even more trouble, its principal lobby is suddenly without a leader.

On Wednesday, David Rehr resigned as NAB president after being told that he no longer enjoyed the confidence of the board. The announcement brought to an abrupt end to Rehr's tumultuous three-plus years in the $800,000-a-year job.

While the board scrambles to find a replacement, Janet McGregor, NAB's chief operating officer and CFO, who joined the NAB just last year, will run the place.

McGregor might be an excellent administrator, but she is no lobbyist. She cannot do what the NAB president should be able to do -- make things happen on Capitol Hill and at the FCC.

That's unfortunate because things are getting a little dicey in Washington right now.

Congress is weighing one measure that could seriously undermine the ability of TV stations to negotiate for retrans fees from cable operators and another that could force radio stations to pay hefty music royalties to record labels for the first time. Hundreds of millions of dollars are at stake.

Meanwhile, there are rumors that Michael Copps wants to make his mark as interim FCC chairman by rushing through new local programming requirements on TV stations before the Senate confirms Julius Genachowski as the new permanent chairman.

What went wrong?

To be president and lobbyist-in-chief of the NAB, you have to have good personal relationships with the handful of lawmakers and regulators that govern TV and radio: the chairmen and senior minority members of the congressional committees that oversee communications policy and the five FCC commissioners.

If possible, you also want some close contacts in the House and Senate leadership and at the White House.

You need such relationships so that you are always assured a place in the room when policy is being developed and when the deal-making begins.

The word on David Rehr around Washington was that even after three years he didn't have the relationships he needed and that, more than anything else, led to his forced resignation.

"His style was not one that I was comfortable with," Russ Withers, a former NAB radio board chairman and longtime Rehr critic told TVNewsday Correspondent Kim McAvoy. "Washington is not a pen pal town. It is a personal relationship town. I don't think David ever got that."

Others, unwilling to go on the record, agree, and it's perplexing. Rehr is hardworking, smart, open and engaging. But somehow he couldn't apply those attributes to befriending politicians or repairing damaged relationships.

It does take an extraordinary commitment. The most successful lobbyists live the job. They are on 24/7. Their professional and social lives are one. They look for every possible opportunity to spend quality time with the policymakers -- whether that's in their offices or at fundraisers, receptions, black ties, weekend BBQs, duck hunts, whatever. They show up early and leave late.

Woody Allen once said 80 percent of success is showing up. That's particularly true in Washington.

Perhaps Rehr felt he could delegate the chief lobbyist's job. If so, he had to make sure he had strong lieutenants. For much of his tenure, he did not.

Until July 2007, Doug Wiley was Rehr's point man on the Hill and until December 2008 Marsha McBride was the designated rep at the FCC.

Neither proved effective. In fact, I'm told that McBride had somehow antagonized FCC Chairman Kevin Martin when she worked at the FCC and that she could barely get an audience with him. Both Wiley and McBride were eventually shown the door.

Rehr belongs to the wrong party. He is a Republican in an increasingly Democratic Washington world and not just any Republican. While running the National Beer Wholesalers Association prior to joining NAB, he built his reputation on Capitol Hill as an ally of then House Majority Leader Tom Delay, a virulently partisan Republican who is remembered bitterly by the people now running things.

Rehr could have overcome the Delay ties by endearing himself to the Democrats as they took charge. But, as I said, it just wasn't in him.

Other Rehr critics say that he was sometimes politically tone deaf, distracted by costly logos and other cosmetics and obsessed with the notion that you could turn around a political contest by changing the language of the debate. Just call it "anti-stripping" rather than "must carry."

If 80 percent of political success is showing up, the other 20 percent must be money.

Rehr came in promising to spread more money around on Capitol Hill. He did boost PAC spending by 20 percent, but I doubt that it was enough to make a material difference. And, needless to say, writing checks is a dubious strategy for an industry that's supposed to be a watchdog on that kind of thing.

The other complaint I've heard about Rehr is that he wasn't good at rallying the other broadcast lobbyists and lawyers in Washington around a cause on either a regular or an ad hoc basis. By failing to do so, he often went into battle without all his weapons.

The consequences of all this is that the Rehr NAB was not been the lobbying force it should have been. It suffered some big losses, failing to block the XM-Sirius merger to the detriment of radio and the FCC's white spaces initiative to the detriment of TV.

It also watched as the Martin FCC turned on broadcasting, mandating DTV awareness PSAs, imposing a rigorous quarterly programming disclosure regime and launching a rulemaking that may result in local programming quotas and stiff ascertainment requirements.

The best you can say is that it might have been worse without the NAB's engagement.

And the Rehr NAB was all defense, no offense. TV broadcasters wanted multicast must-carry and some relief on local ownership restrictions. Such benefits were beyond the NAB's means to deliver.

For the record, Rehr's years were not a total bust. He was a good spokesman for the industry. Last month, I saw him give a convincing speech before financial types in New York in which he argued that broadcasting was not only in fine shape, but on the verge of a renaissance.

Significantly, Rehr championed efforts to bring about that renaissance, pushing for FM receivers in cell phones and funding development of the mobile DTV standard.

And he will also be remembered for the NAB's DTV awareness campaign. Nobody can say that the broadcasters didn't do their part in easing millions of America from analog to digital.

Who's to blame?

Rehr himself, of course. He's a big boy who was pulling a big salary.

But you can also point to the Television Operators Caucus, the clique of major TV station group executives that places its members in key positions on the NAB board and exercises undue control over the association.

It was the TOC that chased away Eddie Fritts in 2005, despite his 22 years of experience as NAB president and the kinds of political connections that still makes him an effective hired-gun lobbyist today. That he is a Republican hardly makes a difference.

The TOC thought the broadcast networks were the enemy and that Fritts was too close to the networks. In truth, the broadcasters' enemies then and now are cable and overzealous regulators.

And the TOC that was instrumental in hiring Rehr in October 2005, even though his patron, Tom Delay, had already been indicted on ethics charges and clearly was on his way out of Washington.

The TOC can't be faulted completely for its role in hiring Rehr. He had a solid resume and clippings and made a great first impression. Other than the Delay connection, he had no obvious liabilities.

And remember, at the time of the hire, Rehr's political background was an asset. Republican power in Washington was still near its zenith.

Ironically, it was also the TOC that started to movement to oust him. According to our reporting this week, TOC put him on double-secret probation last fall after concluding that he didn't have the personal clout he needed and that it was only going to get worse with Obama on his way in and more liberal Democrats taking over Congress.

As we reported earlier this week, TOC members reportedly met informally with at least two Washington insiders over the last few months to gauge their interest in the job. One of them, we believe, was Antoinette Cook Bush, a well-respected Democratic lawyer/lobbyist with a Hill background. She apparently wasn't interested. (Bush could not be reached for comment.)

Rehr must have been aware of the TOC's displeasure and of its efforts to find a replacement, which couldn't have helped his confidence or motivation. And to the extent that others were, they made him a lame duck and undermined his ability to function in Washington.

What now?

The NAB board has appointed past joint board chairman Bruce Reese to head a search committee, but that's rather discouraging news when you think about it. It confirms that the board has no one in the wings and that the NAB will have to muddle through for several months while the committee finds, vets and hires a new boss.

The search committee will have no lack of applicants. Despite its diminishing clout, the NAB is still a prestige job that comes with a lot of money. The job will culminate a career for somebody.

The NAB could turn to Marty Franks, the longtime CBS executive. He's a Democrat, he's politically savvy and connected in ways that Rehr could only dream about. He wanted the job in 2005, but, having been rejected then, he may no longer be interested. I'd give him a call.

Another possibility is Steve Newberry, a radio broadcaster in Kentucky who is in line to be the next joint board chairman of the NAB later this year. He's a Democrat who likes politics. Last year, he ran unsuccessfully for the state senate and his brother, Jim, is mayor of Lexington, Ky.

In fact, as incoming joint board chairman, Newberry could play a large role in running the NAB until a new president is named.

During the interregnum, NAB spokesman Dennis Wharton says not to worry.

Rehr is leaving behind solid professionals to rep the NAB on Capitol Hill and at the FCC, Laurie Knight and Jane Mago, the successors to Wiley and McBride.

Plus, he points out, much of NAB's clout has always come from the "grassroots" -- individual broadcasters working in their congressional districts and active state broadcast association. "We're confident that NAB will be successful."

So, the NAB gets a do-over.

Having learned from the Rehr experience, the search committee can look over the field and find that someone who, regardless of party, can build relationship with those handful of key players, plot political strategy and rally the industry when needed.

Here's hoping that it comes up with a strong individual with enough confidence and know how to lead the board rather than be led by it as Rehr was.

It can be done, but there are skeptics.

Says Tribune lobbyist Shaun Sheehan: "If the search committee is the same crowd that ran off Eddie ... and replaced him with a second-tier operative as they did the last time, a difficult job becomes almost impossible."

Anonymous said...

You're not a self-proclaimed ANYTHING if you actually do it, doofus. Even if you do something poorly, you're doing it. In terms of slander you're right - impossible to prove. Disinformation? Definitely happening. Total BS? Definitely happening. People making things up? Definitely happening. Case in point -- if ANYONE in here can say they actually saw Fred Jacobs crying at the announcement, then please raise your hand and announce yourself. People in here are more than willing to take shots at things they know little or nothing about (no one, by the way, is arguing about David Rehr's effectiveness or lack thereof)and yet are totally unwilling to commit their name to their bs statements. If you have the "guts" to trash someone's reputation then what is it you are afraid of? And before you ask why I don't identify myself well, I'm not trashing anyone by name am I, nor am I lobbing inane statements about things I know nothing about. Try sticking to factual information in here not personal grudges -- save that discussion the next time you talk to the person at the unemployment office, your shrink, or your mom. Maybe she can still handle your whining about how other people have screwed things up and and it's no YOU, it's everyone else that's causing problems.

Anonymous said...

Gee - Excuse ME - but who else just posted an anonymous comment!

Anonymous said...

Fred hates to be anonymous. Sometimes he has to be. I think he should worry about the more pressing problems at hand. The next NAB CEO may see right through him. He is pretty damn transparent after all. If he is not getting his every other day in the trades and online exposure he will just wither. Do we really need a "major research study" from Fred to tell us that Facebook is more popular with adults than My Space? Get real.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said... "You're not a self-proclaimed ANYTHING if you actually do it, doofus. Even if you do something poorly, you're doing it. In terms of slander you're right - impossible to prove. Disinformation? Definitely happening. Total BS? Definitely happening. People making things up? Definitely happening."

Is there a difference between reporting on public and private figures?

Yes. A private figure claiming defamation—your neighbor, your roommate, the guy who walks his dog by your favorite coffee shop—only has to prove you acted negligently, which is to say that a "reasonable person" would not have published the defamatory statement.

A public figure must show "actual malice"—that you published with either knowledge of falsity or in reckless disregard for the truth. This is a difficult standard for a plaintiff to meet.

Who is a public figure?

A public figure is someone who has actively sought, in a given matter of public interest, to influence the resolution of the matter. In addition to the obvious public figures—a government employee, a senator, a presidential candidate—someone may be a limited-purpose public figure. A limited-purpose public figure is one who (a) voluntarily participates in a discussion about a public controversy, and (b) has access to the media to get his or her own view across. One can also be an involuntary limited-purpose public figure—for example, an air traffic controller on duty at time of fatal crash was held to be an involuntary, limited-purpose public figure, due to his role in a major public occurrence.

Now, shut the fuck up Fred! It is almost impossible for public figures to prove slander and libel. Same old tired threats of legal action to shut us up!

Anonymous said...

May you all eat-a-sweeter-peter!

Regards, Fred