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Cong. Thornberry Sides with Local Radio in Royalty Fight

-New FM translator window for AM’s a bit tricky

The Local Radio Freedom Act picked up another Texas co-sponsor last week as Cong. Mac Thornberry, R-Amarillo, renewed his opposition to efforts by the international record labels and their supporters in Congress to force local broadcasters to pay a new Performance Royalty. Derided as a “tax,” such a measure would come on top of the hundreds of millions of dollars stations already collectively pay each year to ASCAP, BMI, GMR and SESAC.

Thornberry last co-sponsored HConRes 13 several sessions ago when the threat level was at its highest. With two pro-Performance Tax bills filed so far this Congress – one by a California Republican and the other by a New York Democrat – TAB, NAB and all state broadcast associations are working hard to sign at least 218 House members onto the resolution by the end of the summer.

Crossing the majority threshold is key to ensure the issue is put to rest before the House Judiciary Committee begins anticipated efforts to address various copyright issues.

Two Texans – Reps. Mike Conaway, R-Midland, and Gene Green, D-Houston – are once again championing the resolution on behalf of local Radio broadcasters. With 20 Texas House members signed on to date, Texas leads the nation in the number of co-sponsors.

FCC sets rules for new FM translator window
Class C and D AM stations looking for FM translators should head the FCC’s recent Public Notice setting out instructions for the July 26-August 2 application window.

Attorney David Oxenford cautions the proceeding is highly complicated as the FCC is treating these applications as those filed in preparation for an auction. Potential pitfalls include “prohibited communications” outside the settlement window.


Questions? Contact TAB’s Oscar Rodriguez or call (512) 322-9944.

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