Spanish-Language Radio Lobbies Congress Against Performance Royalty
May 5, 2009 at 2:41 PM (PT)
UNIVISION RADIO morning show host EDDIE "PIOLÍN" SOTELO and several other Spanish-language radio leaders appeared before Congress to warn that a new performance tax on local radio stations could mean bankruptcy and more job losses for many minority-owned radio stations with niche programming.
PIOLÍN stressed Spanish-language radio's vital role in conveying important messages, like voter registration, to the Latino community. "Without those stations, how are they going to receive the right information?" he asked. "Those are the things that are really important to think about."
Other Spanish-language radio leaders who spoke at today's event included BUSTOS MEDIA Chairman/CEO AMADOR BUSTOS, SALEM ESPANOL National Dir. TONY CALATAYUD, GAYTAN BROADCASTING owner MARIA DE LEON, SBS VP/GM FRANK FLORES, ENTRAVISION VP MARCELO GAETE, TOP LINE BROADCASTING Pres./CEO RAFAEL GRULLON, LAZER BROADCASTING Pres./CEO ALFREDO PLASCENCIA, NORSAN MULTIMEDIA Pres./CEO NORBERTO SANCHEZ, UNIVISION RADIO Pres./COO GARY STONE and Border Media Partners VP/Market Manager Miguel Villarreal.
"The performance tax would be the added and final nail in the coffin for these small broadcasters like ours, and I think that it is just absolutely ludicrous that the record companies are trying to sort of bite the hand that feeds them," AMADOR BUSTOS said.
SBS' FRANK FLORES added, "We have worked real hard with the record labels and the artists. And to be honest, a lot of these artists wouldn't be where they are if it wasn't for these radio stations."
"For most of us, the additional tax would mean laying off some people," BORDER MEDIA's Miguel Villarreal stated. "And when you lay off some people -- one, two, however many you have to lay off -- that's [fewer people] who have the opportunity to serve the community through the airwaves. We're dealing right now with the outbreak of the swine flu. There are entire communities along the border that are being impacted on a daily basis, on an hourly basis. For us to lose one individual who could not go on the air to give information ... could be devastating."