In his remarks, Jack highlighted the marks of a broadcaster, turned spotlight on TV station ownership caps
Jack Abernethy, CEO of FOX Television Stations since 2004, was named Broadcaster of the Year at last week’s TVB Forward conference in New York City. The honor was presented by Mark Robichaux, editorial director of Broadcasting & Cable and Multichannel News.
“I have worn a few hats in my years in the media business, but I must say I am most proud of being called a broadcaster,” Jack said in his remarks at the conference. “When I started out a long time ago, it was a cool job, a cool term, but now, we’re the underdogs. And I am very comfortable with that… And I am fortunate to work for the Murdochs, whose commitment to and appreciation of broadcasting has been historic. And it remains.”
During his acceptance speech, Jack also looked back at his career and highlighted the distinguishing marks of a broadcaster: they guard and value their reputation, understand their obligation to their community, and place broadcast accuracy above all else.
He also took a moment to address consolidation and ownership caps for TV stations: “If anyone is honest and takes a step back, there is no question that the best thing for our business would be a full relaxation of ownership restrictions; the best thing for consumers, employees and the communities that we serve. Arguments to the contrary are defensive, self-serving, misinformed or a combination thereof.”
Jack added that TV stations need size and scale to deal with competitors that have no such restrictions. And in response to claims that larger TV station groups would decrease competition and diversity, he pointed to several examples of the opposite at FOX Television Stations.
“As we have added stations we have done more and more news per week and become more competitive almost every time,” Jack said. “We air just one hour per week of national news – the acclaimed Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace. The rest of our news is generated by local management who know and reflect their communities.”
Read more about Jack’s Broadcaster of the Year award and his remarks at the TVB Forward conference. Watch his full remarks in the video below: