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Broadcasters’ DC agenda comes into focus

 - NAB launching Congressional awareness campaign

As the new Congress slowly picks up steam, broadcasters’ agenda for the New Year is coming into focus, and it’s all too familiar.

Topping the agenda are major concerns that remain unresolved from the prior Congress:

  • Ensuring the FCC’s TV spectrum auction process respects the important protections Congress adopted for viewers and stations
  • Preserving the existing retransmission consent system
  • Opposing a Performance Tax on radio stations

With Congress and President Obama locked in a fierce battle over spending, tax policy and the federal debt ceiling, broadcasters also may have to contend with a proposal to eliminate the tax deductibility of advertising.

And as the FCC wrestles with ownership limits, the industry may be able to address concerns in part by pushing for reinstatement of the minority tax certificate program.

“The agenda underscores a number of serious vulnerabilities for broadcasters and the need for individual station owners and executives to be fully engaged in advocating our agenda before our local members of Congress,” said TAB President Oscar Rodriguez.

“Once again, TAB will be pressing these issues in DC and in local districts alike as we endeavor to ensure members of Congress understand the potential impact some of these proposals would have on our communities and business partners.”

With Texas gaining four additional Congressional seats, the task will be even greater than before.

NAB awareness campaign coming

Acknowledging the influx of new members of Congress after a bitter general election, the NAB is launching a year-long Radio and Television awareness campaign to help define broadcasters’ unique role in communities and the media marketplace.

“Rather than advocating on specific issues, the campaign will highlight how broadcasters stand apart from pay-TV and pay-radio services, as well as Americans’ extraordinary reliance on and preference for broadcast news, sports, public affairs and entertainment,” Rodriguez said.

The NAB will provide stations English and Spanish TV and Radio spots in the coming weeks and ask that they be aired locally during week-long breaks when House and Senate members work in their districts. The breaks are scheduled periodically throughout the year.

Questions? Contact TAB's Oscar Rodriguez or call 512-322-9944.

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