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TAB Delegation Advances DC Agenda

- Performance Tax, Ownership Diversity

A group of 18 Texas broadcasters last week visited with nearly each of the state’s 38 Congressional offices supporting legislation intended to diversify broadcast ownership ranks and reinforcing the industry’s opposition to a new music royalty record labels want to extract from Radio stations.

The Local Radio Freedom Act, also known as HConRes 20, is seven co-sponsors short of the majority 218 needed to derail continuing efforts by the record labels imploring Congress to force local Radio stations to pay a performance royalty. The new royalty would be in addition to the hundreds of millions of dollars in royalties that broadcasters already collectively pay annually to songwriters, composers, authors and other artists through organizations like ASCAP, BMI, SESAC and GMR.

Texas leads the nation in the number of co-sponsors at 20. 

Where Texas’ Members of Congress Stand on LRFA

Women/Minority Tax Certificate Program

H.R. 3957 by Rep. G.K. Butterfield, D-NC, would establish a Tax Certificate Program at the FCC to encourage investment in broadcast station ownership for women and people of color. Sen. Gary Peters, D-MI, is carrying companion legislation in the Senate, S. 2433.

Their intent is to ensure owners of broadcast stations are as diverse as they communities they serve.

The measures, known formally as the Expanding Broadcast Ownership Opportunities Act, would take up where the Minority Tax Certificate left off. In place from 1978 to 1995, the MTC increased minority ownership of broadcast stations by more than 550 percent but attempts to game the program led to its demise.

The new program would be open not just to members of a minority group, but also to women and would contain strict guardrails to prevent a repeat of the original program’s weaknesses. 

Under the new program, sellers of stations would receive a three-year deferral of capital gains taxes if they sold to a woman or member of a minority group.

The legislation, if successful, would be a meaningful complement to efforts by individual broadcasters and station groups across the country, as well as the NAB’s Leadership Foundation, to expand diversity in the industry’s management and leadership ranks.

Spectrum, Consent Decrees and More

TAB also called lawmakers’ attention to the need for preserving broadcasters’ swath of the C-band and 6 GHz bands, and to the importance of the existing music licensing consent decrees that at least one federal official thinks could be ripe for reconsideration.

In addition, TAB outlined the continuing success of the retransmission consent process and underscored the importance of ensuring that advertising remains fully deductible by business as ordinary and necessary business expenses in the year they’re incurred.

NAB Issue Papers

TAB Delegation

Texas broadcasters carrying the flag for the industry in DC included:

  • Adam Chase, KXXV-TV Waco-Temple-Bryan                              
  • Ben Downs, Bryan Broadcasting                                                
  • Sarah Frazier, Entercom Houston                                               
  • Kristie Gonzales, KVUE-TV Austin                                              
  • Tami Honesty, Radio One DFW                                                  
  • Gayle Kiger, KCEN-TV Waco-Temple-Bryan                               
  • John Kittleman, KRGV-TV Rio Grande Valley                            
  • Mark Krieschen, Cox Media Group Houston
  • Jerry Martin, KPRC-TV Houston
  • Carolyn Mungo, WFAA-TV DFW
  • Andrea Parquet-Taylor, KTVT/KTXA-TV DFW
  • Mike Payne, Salem Media Group San Antonio
  • John Seabers, Sinclair Broadcast Group
  • Pat Stacey, KLTV/KTRE-TV Tyler/Lufkin
  • Luis Villarreal, KGNS/KYLX/KXNU-TV Laredo

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

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