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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 30, 2013
CONTACT
Dennis Wharton
202-429-5350
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NAB Statement on Rep. Watt's Introduction of Radio Performance Tax Legislation

WASHINGTON, DC -- In response to Rep. Mel Watt (D-NC) introducing legislation today that would negatively impact local radio stations across America, NAB Executive Vice President of Communications Dennis Wharton issued the following statement:

"NAB respectfully opposes the legislation, and appreciates the support of 183 members of Congress who stand with America's hometown radio stations against the offshore record labels.

"NAB believes market-based negotiations like the recent Warner Music-Clear Channel accord demonstrate that this issue is already being addressed in the free market. This legislation would impose new costs on broadcasters that jeopardize the future of our free over-the-air service."

NAB also announced that five additional Members of Congress have signed on as cosponsors of a resolution that opposes "any new performance fee, tax, royalty, or other charge" on local broadcast radio stations. The Local Radio Freedom Act is now currently co-sponsored by 171 Members of the House and 12 Senators.

The Members of Congress adding their support to the Local Radio Freedom Act are Reps. Kevin Cramer (ND-AL) , Scott DesJarlais (TN-4), Richard Hanna (NY-22) , David Valadao (CA-21) and Kevin Yoder (KS-3).

NAB supports the Local Radio Freedom Act (H. Con. Res. 16), which was introduced in the House of Representatives on February 15 by Reps. Michael Conaway (R-TX) and Gene Green (D-TX) along with 71 additional co-sponsors. An identical resolution (S. Con. Res. 6) was introduced in the Senate on March 6 by Sens. John Barrasso (R-WY) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND).

"Congress should not impose any new performance fee, tax, royalty, or other charge relating to the public performance of sound recordings on a local radio station for broadcasting sound recordings over-the-air, or on any business for such public performance of sound recordings," reads the Local Radio Freedom Act.

The 171 House cosponsors of the Local Radio Freedom Act include (new cosponsors in bold):

Rodney Alexander (LA-5)
Robert Andrews (NJ-1)
Spencer Bachus (AL-6)
Ron Barber (AZ-2)
Andy Barr (KY-6)
John Barrow (GA-12)
Joe Barton (TX-6)
Dan Benishek (MI-1)
Sanford Bishop (GA-2)
Jo Bonner (AL-1)
Charles Boustany (LA-3)
Jim Bridenstine (OK-1)
Mo Brooks (AL-5)
Vern Buchanan (FL-16)
G.K. Butterfield (NC-1)
Ken Calvert (CA-42)
John Campbell (CA-45)
Shelley Moore Capito (WV-2)
Mike Capuano (MA-7)
John Carney (DE-AL)
Bill Cassidy (LA-6)
Mike Coffman (CO-6)
Tom Cole (OK-4)
Michael Conaway (TX-11)
Paul Cook (CA-8)
Tom Cotton (AR-4)
Joseph Courtney (CT-2)
Kevin Cramer (ND-AL)
Rick Crawford (AL-1)
Ander Crenshaw (FL-4)
Henry Cuellar (TX-28)
Steve Daines (MT-AL)
Rodney Davis (IL-13)
Charles Dent (PA-15)
Scott DesJarlais (TN-4)
Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25)
John Dingell (MI-12)
Sean Duffy (WI-7)
Jeff Duncan (SC-3)
John Duncan (TN-2)
Renee Ellmers (NC-2)
Blake Farenthold (TX-27)
Michael Fitzpatrick (PA-8)
John Fleming (LA-4)
Bill Flores (TX-17)
Jeff Fortenberry (NE-1)
Rodney Frelinghuysen (NJ-11)
Cory Gardner (CO-4)
Christopher Gibson (NY-19)
Phil Gingrey (GA-11)
Paul Gosar (AZ-4)
Trey Gowdy (SC-4)
Kay Granger (TX-12)
Sam Graves (MO-6)
Tom Graves (GA-14)
Gene Green (TX-29)
Tim Griffin (AR-2)

Brett Guthrie (KY-2)
Richard Hanna
(NY-22)
Gregg Harper (MS-3)
Vicky Hartzler (MO-4)
Alcee Hastings (FL-23)
Doc Hastings (WA-4)
Joe Heck (NV-3)
Ruben Hinojosa (TX-15)
Richard Hudson (NC-8)
Tim Huelskamp (KS-1)
Randy Hultgren (IL-14)
Duncan Hunter (CA-50)
Lynn Jenkins (KS-2)
Bill Johnson (OH-6)
Jim Jordan (OH-11)
David Joyce (OH-14)
Ron Kind (WI-3)
Peter King (NY-2)
Adam Kinzinger (IL-16)
John Kline (MN-2)
Ann Kuster (NH-2)
Doug Lamborn (CO-5)
Leonard Lance (NJ-7)
James Lankford (OK-5)
Tom Latham (IA-3)
Robert Latta (OH-5)
Frank LoBiondo (NJ-2)
Dave Loebsack (IA-2)
Billy Long (MO-7)
Frank Lucas (OK-3)
Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-9)
Michelle Lujan Grisham (NM-1)
Ben Ray Lujan (NM-3)
Cynthia Lummis (WY-AL)
Dan Maffei (NY-24)
Kenny Marchant (TX-24)
Thomas Massie (KY-4)
Jim Matheson (UT-4)
Carolyn McCarthy (NY-4)
Patrick McHenry (NC-10)
Mike McIntyre (NC-7)
Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-5)
Mark Meadows (NC-11)
Patrick Meehan (PA-7)
Gregory Meeks (NY-5)
Luke Messmer (IN-6)
Michael Michaud (ME-2)
Candice Miller (MI-10)
Jeff Miller (FL-1)
Markwayne Mullin (OK-2)
Mick Mulvaney (SC-5)
Randy Neugebauer (TX-19)
Kristi Noem (SD-AL)
Devin Nunes (CA-22)
Alan Nunnelee (MS-1)
Pete Olson (TX-22)
Bill Owens (NY-21)

Steven Palazzo (MS-4)
Erik Paulsen (MN-3)
Frank Pallone (NJ-6)
Steve Pearce (NM-2)
Tom Petri (WI-6)
Joe Pitts (PA-16)
Ted Poe (TX-2)
Mike Pompeo (KS-4)
Bill Posey (FL-8)
Charles Rangel (NY-13)
Tom Reed (NY-23)
Jim Renacci (OH-16)
Reid Ribble (WI-8)
Scott Rigell (VA-2)
Martha Roby (AL-2)
Harold Rogers (KY-5)
Mike Rogers (AL-3)
Mike Rogers (MI-8)
Todd Rokita (IN-4)
Peter Roskam (IL-6)
Edward Royce (CA-39)
Jon Runyan (NJ-3)
Paul Ryan (WI-1)
Tim Ryan (OH-13)
Matt Salmon (AZ-5)
John Sarbanes (MD-3)
Aaron Schock (IL-18)
Allyson Schwartz (PA-13)
David Schweikert (AZ-6)
Pete Sessions (TX-32)
Carol Shea-Porter (NH-1)
John Shimkus (IL-15)
Mike Simpson (ID-2)
Adrian Smith (NE-3)
Christopher Smith (NJ-4)
Steve Stivers (OH-15)
Lee Terry (NE-2)
Glenn Thompson (PA-5)
Pat Tiberi (OH-12)
Scott Tipton (CO-3)
Mike Turner (OH-10)
David Valadao (CA-21)
Marc Veasey (TX-33)
Peter Visclosky (IN-1)
Ann Wagner (MO-2)
Tim Walberg (MI-7)
Greg Walden (OR-2)
Tim Walz (MN-1)
Brad Wenstrup (OH-2)
Lynn Westmoreland (GA-3)
Ed Whitfield (KY-1)
Frederica Wilson (FL-24)
Joe Wilson (SC-2)
Rob Wittman (VA-1)
Steve Womack (AR-3)
Kevin Yoder (KS-3)
Don Young (AK-AL)

The Local Radio Freedom Act's 12 Senate cosponsors are:

John Barrasso (R-WY)
Max Baucus (D-MT)
John Boozman (R-AR)
Michael Enzi (R-WY)
Martin Heinrich (D-NM)
Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND)

James Inhofe (R-OK)
Tim Johnson (D-SD)
Pat Roberts (R-KS)
Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)
Tom Udall (D-NM)
David Vitter (R-LA)

In recent months, broadcasters and music labels have entered into private-market agreements, without the need for government intervention. Earlier this month, Clear Channel and Warner Music Group, one of the three largest record labels worldwide, signed such an agreement. Other examples of these private-market deals include those between Beasley Broadcasting and Big Machine Label Group, Entercom and Glassnote Entertainment Group, and Greater Media and Big Machine Label Group.

On numerous occasions, both record label executives and artists have recognized the promotional value of free radio airplay. Recent statements include:

"You can see a direct correlation. If you looked at a terrestrial radio audience chart and at the iTunes top 10 singles chart, I would say 75 percent of it matches up."
-- RCA Records Executive Vice President & General Manager Joe Riccitelli, September 26, 2013

"There's nothing else that can bring you new listeners like radio."
-- Rapper Big Sean, NAB Radio Show, September 18, 2013

"I'm on the radio I can't believe it! It feels like the first time!"
-- Tweet from Lady Gaga on release of single "Applause," August 12, 2013

"They've [Radio programmers have] been good to me for 20 years. And I got news for you. I got 20 more years to go." McGraw thanked a local radio station for spinning his tunes. "They played the (expletive) out of this next song."
-- Country radio star Tim McGraw, Riverbend, May 26, 2013

"Internet, Twitter and everything else put together doesn't equal what country radio does for us as artists and as an industry."
-- Country artist Kix Brooks

"Radio connects the world together. It's my friend and it's everyone's goal to have a big hit song on the radio."
-- Lady Gaga producer and songwriter/producer and label executive RedOne, SXSW "Navigating The Waters Of Radio To Your Benefit" panel

"I want to thank all the people who help us to do what we do, our whole team. I want to thank all of country radio, Southern Ground, all our folks back home."
-- Zac Brown Band frontman Zac Brown at the 2013 Grammys

"I was driving in the car with my mom the first time I heard my song on the radio. It's a pull-over-your-car, get-out-and-jump-around moment, something that you dream of when you're a little girl and you want to be an artist. And that feeling doesn't go away. I'm still excited when I hear myself on the radio."
-- Miranda Lambert, iHeartRadio music festival, October 1, 2012

"To our world, nothing is more important than radio."
-- Epic Records COO Mark Shimmel, Advertising Week, October 2012

"We have a lot of platforms but there is no platform more important than radio."
-- Epic Records chairman, songwriter, producer and "The X Factor" judge L.A. Reid, Advertising Week, October 2012

In contrast to the mutually beneficial relationship between broadcast radio and performing artists, record labels have a history of exploiting artists while shortchanging them out of royalties. In recent years, musicians ranging from Kenny Rogers to Aimee Mann to Eminem have filed lawsuits against their record labels seeking compensation for being "cheated" out of royalties. Other disputes over royalties between musicians and record labels include:

5 Legendary Feuds Between Artists and Record Labels

Sister Sledge Files Class Action Against Warner Music Over Digital Royalties

Hawthorne Heights Sue Victory Records, Say They've Been 'Abused'

EMI/Virgin Records Sues Platinum Selling Band For $30 Million... Despite Not Paying Them A Dime In Royalties

Lil Wayne's record label 'sued by music producers for not paying their royalties'

Rick James Estate Files Class Action Lawsuit Against Universal Music Over Digital Revenue

P.O.D. Files Lawsuit Against Record Label

Artists' lawsuit: major record labels are the real pirates

Producer Sues Sony Music Over Revenue From Journey Songs

Sony Settles Allman Brothers Digital Music Lawsuit For $8 Million + 3%, Will Others Follow?

Dr. Dre Wins 'Chronic' Lawsuit

About NAB
The National Association of Broadcasters is the premier advocacy association for America's broadcasters. NAB advances radio and television interests in legislative, regulatory and public affairs. Through advocacy, education and innovation, NAB enables broadcasters to best serve their communities, strengthen their businesses and seize new opportunities in the digital age. Learn more at www.nab.org.