ABC Withdraws From NAB

Reuters reports that Walt Disney-owned ABC television and radio networks have pulled out of the National Association of Broadcasters trade group. ABC, which owns 10 TV stations and 68 radio outlets, has long been at odds with the NAB’s support for a 35% national television ownership cap and claims that other broadcasters are using the organization as a weapon in their business disputes with the networks.

While the Federal Communications Commission recently relaxed ownership limits to allow a network’s holdings to reach 45% of the national audience, there is a push in the U.S. Senate to restore the 35% cap.

ABC, the last of the four major U.S. networks to withdraw from the NAB, has reportedly begun talks with other networks to form a new group that would represent local stations regardless of network affiliation.