At past conventions of the National Religious Broadcasters (NRB), some delegates complained of a show business, commercial atmosphere. Last month’s meetings, held at the Hilton Hotel in Washington, D.C., again featured a crowded dais of top name evangelicals from a variety of backgrounds: singer B. J. Thomas, exiled Ugandan bishop Festo Kivengere, former astronaut James Irwin, and pollster George Gallup. Many organizations again set up booths in the large exhibition hall to promote their products and causes.

But at this thirty-sixth annual meeting, the emphasis tended toward business. The focus of the four-day meetings was professionalism in religious broadcasting and matters pertaining to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)—important concerns for the 1,400 delegates, but that one secular broadcasting representative, expecting a more flamboyant affair, termed “dull.”

Outgoing president of three years Abe C. Van Der Puy challenged the delegates toward higher quality broadcasting during a major address. Van Der Puy, of radio station HCJB in Quito, Ecuador, said there was still some “huckstering” going on in religious broadcasting, and that the NRB should maintain high standards for membership. (The NRB now includes about 850 organizations, about 60 per cent are radio and television producers and 40 per cent are station owners.) He said that established member stations should be willing to help fledgling members toward higher levels of professionalism.

In keeping with this theme of quality control, many delegates expressed pleasure for their newly elected president, David Hofer, owner of station KRDU in Dinuba, California. Hofer is believed to be the first station owner to become NRB president.

NRB officials invited commissioners ...

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