Chairman’s Message
Justin Fluke, KNZA Radio Group HiawathaGreetings Broadcast Friends,

I hope your first month of 2023 has been a successful start. And if you had a new year’s resolution, it remains in focus and on track. I appreciate the Mark Twain quote, “The secret to getting ahead is getting started.”

January is about jumping right in with planning, prioritizing, preparation and tasks like publishing the annual EEO report and renewals of services and memberships. Speaking of which, let this be your friendly reminder to pay those KAB dues if you haven’t already! Besides all the information and resources, online training, education opportunities, job services, paid internships and scholarships for the future of our industry, events and assisting in ongoing regulations, perhaps the most important benefit of KAB membership is the advocacy and support KAB provides in being active in the state and federal legislation.

Hopefully you’ve now heard of SB- 13, which allows Kansas broadcasters the right to any regular season and postseason activities. This would eliminate any exclusive contracts that are in place such as the NFHS Network with KSHSAA that have previously prevented local broadcasters from being able to stream some of the biggest games of the year. Instead, those games were moved to a lesser quality and non-localized pay-per-view platform for viewers, taking away local advertising dollars from our stations and instead funneling money to NFHS, headquartered in Indianapolis, IN.

In addition to restricting local broadcast companies, these exclusive agreements are also prohibiting schools and students that have their own live streams or work with local broadcasters during game broadcast. KAB met with KSHSAA and tried to resolve some of these issues last summer (to no avail) to try and secure a policy that would not prohibit any broadcast during the regular season. And while we are fine with KSHSAA using NFHS or other entities to help cover more events, we believe in open market and competition and just want an equal opportunity as local state broadcasters to provide coverage for the communities we serve without any exclusive restrictions.

Along with our KAB President, Allison Mazei, and other local broadcast companies, I was honored to testify in support of SB-13 on January 23rd at the Capitol in Topeka before the Kansas Senate Education Committee. We will continue to work with and support this bill and encourage you to reach out to state elected representative and leaders in support as well. I am also excited to be returning with a group of four other KAB board members to Washington DC the end of this month for the SLC to meet with our state congressional reps to discuss other important issues and potential national issues that directly affect Kansas broadcast stations.

Have a great February and I hope your stations feel the love this month!
P.S. Go Chiefs!