House Opposition To Performance Fee Reaches 214
June 2, 2009 at 7:51 AM (PT)
The NAB, and opponents of the Performance Rights Fee now have a bipartisan group of 214 House lawmakers, just four lawmakers shy of a House majority, on record in opposition to the legislation. This numer comes just weeks after the House Judiciary Committee voted 21-9 in favor of a bill championed by Rep. JOHN CONYERS.
Adding their suppport to The Local Radio Freedom Act are Reps. ELIJAH CUMMINGS (MD-7), LEONARD LANCE (NJ-7), SHELLEY BERKLEY (NV-1), GUS BILIRAKIS (FL-9), DALE KILDEE (MI-5), JEAN SCHMIDT (OH-2), CHRISTOPHER SMITH (NJ-4), BRIAN BILBRAY (CA-50), JOHN SARBANES (MD-3), VERN BUCHANAN (FL-13), DAVID PRICE (NC-4), IKE SKELTON (MO-4), HARRY TEAGUE (NM-2) and PHIL ROE (TN-1).
"As opposition to the multinational record labels nears a House majority, lawmakers are growing acutely aware of this bill's negative impact on both musicians and the millions of listeners to America's hometown radio stations," said NAB EVP DENNIS WHARTON. "Local radio remains an unparalleled provider of free promotion for recording artists, as well as a trusted friend to charities across America. Funneling money from local radio to the foreign record labels will only hurt community-based organizations that rely on broadcasters in times of need."
musicFIRST Takes On Radio One
Meanwhile, the MUSICFIRST COALITION aimed their wrath at RADIO ONE Founder/Chairperson CATHY HUGHS, who they quoted as having written, "this bill would murder black radio."
The COALITION responded:
* Thanks to Reps. JOHN CONYERS, SHEILA JACKSON LEE and other members of the Congressional Black Caucus, H.R. 848, the Performance Rights Act, has accommodations for small and minority-owned radio stations.
* Stations with less than $1.25 million a year in revenue -- 75% of the radio stations in the U.S. -- will pay as little as $500 a year to clear the rights for all the music they use.
* Stations with less than $5 million a year in revenue -- 90% of all radio stations in the U.S. -- will not have to pay anything for three years.
And in a personal shot, wrote:
* Over the last three years, RADIO ONE had station operating income of at least $130 million and operating margins of more than 40%.
* RADIO ONE recently awarded its CEO, ALFRED LIGGINS, a $10 million bonus.
* The annual salaries of the chairperson and CEO were increased 72.7% and 69.3%, respectively, in 2008.