Local Radio Freedom Act Now Co-Sponsored By Majority In House; Some Groups Not Impressed
October 22, 2015 at 5:22 PM (PT)
Six more members of the House of Representatives and three more Senators have been added as co-sponsors of the Local Radio Freedom Act, a resolution that opposes "any new performance fee, tax, royalty, or other charge" on local broadcast radio stations. The resolution has now been backed by a majority of the House of Representatives, with 218 co-sponsors in Congress, while 23 Senators are sponsoring the Senate version thus far.
Adding their support for the Local Radio Freedom Act in the House are Reps. ANDRE CARSON (D-IN), DAN DONOVAN (R-NY), BARRY LOUDERMILK (R-GA), MARTHA ROBY (R-AL), TERRI SEWELL (D-AL), and MARK WALKER (R-NC). In the Senate, Sens. DEAN HELLER (R-NV) and ROGER WICKER (R-MS) have signed on.
FREE RADIO ALLIANCE (FRA) spokesperson PEGGY BINZEL issued the following statement: "More than 50% of the HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES agree: local radio should remain free and vibrant for AMERICANS and their communities. Bipartisan agreement is in short supply these days in WASHINGTON, so when 218 members of CONGRESS agree on something, that’s news.
"Whether it’s NEW YORK, ALABAMA or anywhere in between, local radio stations are the fabric of their communities. The FREE RADIO ALLIANCE is delighted that 218 members of the HOUSE and more than 20 senators are on record recognizing the value local radio provides.
musicFIRST, Recording Academy Aren't Happy
But the bill reaching a majority in the House didn't please musicFIRST Executive Director TED KALO, who issued a statement charging, "At its core, the so called 'Local Radio Freedom Act' is a lie. It purports to decry fees on ‘local' radio, yet the Fair Play Fair Pay Act answers this concern by limiting payments for small broadcasters to just $500 a year, protection that will cover 75% of music stations in the U.S.
"And while NAB and its allies continue to dodge the real issues and prematurely spike the football on their non-binding sense of the Congress, we will continue working with artists including REM, COMMON, ELTON JOHN, ELVIS COSTELLO, MARTHA REEVES, and ROSANNE CASH on real-world reforms that will make the music economy stronger and more fair.
"Like its outdated arguments about promotion, the NAB’s nearly decade old resolution is a stale, tired tactic.”
Also piling on was THE RECORDING ACADEMY, which released this statement: "Along with resolutions establishing “National Watermelon Day” and “Sense of Congress Supporting National Pet Week,” the NAB has added the “Local Radio Freedom Act” to CONGRESS’ long list of nonbinding resolutions. We hope the broadcasters will continue to be distracted by their non-bill, while CONGRESS continues its copyright review leading to the establishment of a radio royalty for artists."